Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, August 31, 2007

Blogger Conference Call with Governor Mike Huckabee

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's surprising second-place finish at the Iowa Straw Poll has clearly helped his campiagn gain needed traction (and funding). A new set of American Research Group polls are out this morning and they show a tremendous increase in support. Prior to the straw poll, this same polling firm had Huckabee's campaign polling at 1% in Iowa in July, 1% in New Hampshire and 3% in South Carolina. Yesterday, the numbers were 14% in Iowa, 9% in New Hampshire and 9% in South Carolina.

But with Fred Thompson set to enter the race next week, how can Governor Huckabee keep this momentum going? That was one of the topics of a conference call with the Governor that I just participated in.

Here is what Mike had to say initially:
Iowa straw poll was a seminal moment. Gaining lots more media coverage.

Huckabee spoke to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers convention in Orlando last week. For the first time in 119 years, the union endorsed a Republican candidate. Union stated it did so because Huckabee was only Republican with guts to meet with them. Huckabee said he didn't agree with the union on every issue, but they agreed they could work together.

Fund-raising is going exceptionally well.

3-4 times normal website traffic.

There are now 150 bloggers for Huckabee.
Then he field some questions from us bloggers:
On Fred Thompson Entering the Race: Fred Thompson will have a hard time meeting the very high expectations set for him. Thompson could have entered before the New Hampshire debate but didn't, dsiappointing some New Hampshire Republicans.

Travel and Appearances: Has to concentrate on early primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina) for now to stay competitive in the race and fundraising. Not a lot of extra time for travel elsewhere, as he flys commercial 90% of the time.

Trade with China: For free trade, but it has to be fair. Doesn't feel trade with China is fair because of the regulations there. Time for U.S. to draw a line in the sand with the Chinese urging them to improve standards. Our first job is to protect American jobs and the U.S. economy.

Gay Marriage: Overturning of Defense of Marriage Act by judge in Iowa yesterday shows why it is important who we elect and who gets appointed to courts. When liberals redefine what marriage means, it has crossed the line.

Health Care: To solve the health care crisis, we need to change the rules to encourage personal responsibility so people can be rewarded for living healthy lifestyles, not unhealthy lifestyles.

Curbing Government Spending: Wants to turn lights on government spending. Have every government transaction posted on the Internet. Will exercise veto pen. Work towards balanced budget amendment.

On Fair Tax and Criticism by Club for Growth: Supports the Fair Tax. Supported by true economic conservatives. Attacks have come from special interest groups who have an interest in protecting certain groups like hedge fund managers. In capitalism, you make sure the people who help you make the money benefit. If you don't, it's immoral and greedy. Wants to get rid of burdensome regulations on business like Sarbanes-Oxley.

Endorsement by Stephen Strang: The publisher of New Man magazine, affilated with the Christian men's organization "Promise Keepers," has endorsed the Huckabee campaign. That has meant a lot to the Governor.
There will be another conference call after the New Hampshire debate. I hope to ask a question about either Iraq or immigration then.

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