While my wife and I were getting ready for church this morning, we had a chance to watch Mike Huckabee’s interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
I have to be honest with you, I felt like this was the best interview he has been given on Fox this campaign season. Wallace actually gave him some time to talk about the Fair Tax, something that usually only gets a passing mention in other interviews. Wallace also asked him to address some of the negative things that keep coming up about him from groups like The Club for Growth, and accusations of accepting gifts that he should not have, and he had the chance to again address his fiscal record in Arkansas.
I feel that he handled the questions very well. Anyone who has followed his campaign already knows the answers to the accusations that he is a tax-hiker. He said that the people of Arkansas voted for many of the tax increases in order to help with improving roads. The increase in education spending was mandated by the Supreme Court. Perhaps the biggest fear that people have is that he will raise taxes on a national level if elected. Huckabee believes that simply will not be necessary. He argued that the budget of Arkansas had very little margin for extra pork spending, and he was able to leave office with a billion dollar surplus. He said that the answer in Washington is not raising taxes, but exercising fiscal responsibility and cutting spending. That is the kind of attitude a President needs to have with the out of control deficit spending going on in Washington.
One of the most encouraging things that I heard Huckabee say was that he was not afraid to disagree with the party line if he felt it did not fall in line with what he believes is best for the country. Our country has truly been engaged in horizontal (left-right) politics for way too long. Instead of trying to do what is best for the country, politicians are more concerned with toeing the party line. Huckabee argues that we should be engaged in vertical politics, moving the country upward. If that means the Democrats present a good idea (‘gasp’- hey, it could happen) we go with it, and if the Republicans are being ridiculous we go against them. Huckabee is about more than the Republican Party, he firmly believes that, should he be elected, he will be there to do what is best for the people of America.
I can’t write this post without mentioning the debut of Huckabee’s first television ad (link). I must confess, the first time I saw it, I was a bit disappointed. I thought, “What about the issues, Mike? Fair Tax? Abortion? etc.?” Then I heard him explain it, the goal was not to try and spell out an entire platform in a thirty second spot, but to drive people to a more suitable medium in order to find out more about Huckabee. The ad, which featured Chuck Norris, was humorous and will undoubtedly cause some curious voters voters to give him a closer look. It will also get great word of mouth and will probably receive a lot of YouTube activity over the next few days. In the end, I felt the ad was very creative and not the bland ad we have come to expect from politicians these days. Props to the Huckabee team for not being afraid to take a risk on the TV spot.
In conclusion, the interview was very good. Wallace did an excellent job, was respectful, but still asked tough questions. The nicest thing was that he gave the Governor time to answer and to speak to some of his own campaign issues. The show was aired on local Fox networks and will air again this evening on Fox News Channel.