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Interview with Gov. Mike Huckabee
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This evening, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, made a campaign stop at the Country Springs Hotel, in Pewaukee, WI. It was a public event that took place in the ballroom, starting around 7:00pm. I arrived at about 5:45pm and there was a solid 100 supporters waiting in line, anxious for the doors to open. The energy from the people tonight was most certainly uplifting for Huckabee, after receiving no delegate votes, from the last round of primaries.
Huckabee's speech tonight, touched base on a lot of issues. The first thing he said was "Nobody has a total of 1,191 delegate votes yet, therefore I will not give up, for there is no reason to! I will take McCain all the way into the November Convention and settle things the old fashioned way - I will certainly be in this until the end." He reassured people that even though the math doesn't work out and people are saying he doesn't have a chance to catch up to McCain…he's not backing down. "It's not time for our campaign to start winding down, it's time to start winding up."
Another important topic he went over tonight, that I’ve heard before from his last speeches, was, "In order for America to be free, we need to have three things. One, we need to be able to feed our families, you don't like the food you've got now, well you won't like it coming from a foreign country. Two, we need to be able to fuel ourselves. We need to use our own system for fueling and move toward energy independence, here in the United States, so we can tell those other countries that we need your fuel, as much as we need your sand. And three, we need to be able to fight for ourselves. We need to have a stronger military, so our enemies will stop and think twice about engaging upon us."
After his speech, I made my way into the press room behind the stage and I had the opportunity to do some amateur journalism. TV stations were setting up cameras for interviews, as I stood there by myself with my digital camera and notepad. Huckabee entered and was first greeted by myself and WISN's news anchor Terry Sater, whom I was chatting with seconds before he appeared. Sater gave Huckabee a formal interview and when he was finished Gov. Mike Huckabee walked over to me. And here’s what I asked him…
Governor Huckabee, you say having the world's strongest military is crucial, which I agree with myself, but where do you stand when it comes to private military contracting companies, such as Blackwater?
"I support private military contracting companies, I support Blackwater very much with what they're doing. I think that our military and Blackwater in particular, can get things done more efficiently. It depends on the contract though, as you may know, Blackwater had a few incidents where they were out of line, but I do support them...depending on the contract. I think they need more oversight on their actions.”
When you said we need a short-term stimulus package, but we need to do more, can you
explain what that something more is?
“My short-term economic policies can move us toward our long-term economic goal… simply, America's federal tax system is broken. What we have now, is a system that is failing American families and businesses. Our tax system burdens low and middle-income families, robbing them of the chance for upward mobility. It pits industry against industry and class against class. My FairTax proposal will allow American workers to keep their whole paycheck, businesses to compete on a level playing field with their foreign competitors, and bring jobs along with investment back to the United States.”
The last question I have Governor is, you said you’d like to bring our troops home as soon as possible, while still maintaining activity overseas - can you give an estimated time of how long it will take?
“I support General Petraeus' current plan which, according to current projections, should make a considerable dent, of decreasing our troop levels by mid-July. Beyond that, I don't support a timetable in particular. Further withdrawals will depend on favorable conditions on the ground and with recommendations from our generals. I agree with President Bush's plan of ‘Return on Success.’”