Mike Huckabee has a great crowd here. Certainly a much stronger reception at the beginning than either Romney or Giuliani. Way bigger.
Starts with jokes about the baby boomers collecting social security. "If you that’s bad economic news, just wait until you hear about all the old graying hippies getting free drugs."
The meat of this is about what is non-negotiable to the room. "What is non-negotiable when we got to vote." … And he is getting some "Amen"s.
- The value of freedom
- The value of family
- The value of faith
His immigration talk gets a standing ovation… Strange. "No to amnesty, and no to sanctuary cities. … I blame our government for sitting on his hands." Of course, he doesn’t really believe this. I am disappointed that Christians get so excited about this issue.
There is way more energy in this room than there was for anyone else I’ve seen.
Big applause lines:
- Companies moving to China.
- "Stop the muzzling of ministers who are told they can’t say things by the IRS." (the room explodes)
- He has a big applause line about international law.
- "we shouldn’t move God’s standards to meet the cultural norms, but move the cultural norms to meet God’s standards."
But then, he gets less applause on some real red meat:
- Tired of hearing about "people not being willing to rewrite the constitution, but they are willing to rewrite the word of God."
- he went on to abortion. And, again, people were enthusiastic, but it was different.
I am hearing more applause on the "faith under siege" narrative than the issues. If that is the case, Mitt Romney is in profound trouble.
And then he goes full bore into the other candidates:
- "It is important that people sing from the hearts and don’t merely lip-sync. It is important that people speak the language of Zion, not merely as a second language." (is this anti-Romney?)
- "Never sacrifice our principles for anyone’s politics. Not now. Not ever." (Not so much applause for that)
- "Most of you grew up like me, tutored in Sunday school. I haven’t outgrown that. Not any of it. Better to be with David than Goliath… Better to be Elijah … than it was to be 800 prophets of Baal…" (is this Baal language anti-Romney?)
- "There was never an end to the supply of what God could do, if the people have faith."
- "I don’t want ever for us let expediency or electability replace our values." … And the crowd goes wild…
- "I sign here to have a little seat at the table and tossed the King’s crumbs every once in a while."
- "It is time for those of us who call ourselves values voters to pledge our lives, our family, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to that which is true, right, and eternal."
And the crowd goes wild again.
Does this stuff work? It might work here. Does it win the straw poll? Does he have the organization?