“This country pays more attention to who’s on television that who’s running the country,” said Mike Huckabee. He’s probably in a better position to say that than most people: The former Arkansas governor who finished second in the 2008 Republican race for the presidency to John McCain says more people know him now as a political commentator than when he was an active politician.
Huckabee, keynote speaker on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the CCJ Fall Symposium at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Phoenix, said the race for the presidency “can be a brutal process, a full-contact sport played without pads. It’s not about solving problems, but about beating the other side.” He said the 2012 presidential race, like all recent ones, probably will be decided “by people that don’t pay attention until a few weeks before the election” and then will “vote on the candidate they think will take us up.”
To get the American dream back on track, “we need to have a good flushing of the system,” said Huckabee, who believes three things got the country off track: high taxation, excessive regulation and litigation. “Why is it so difficult to create a job?” Huckabee asked. “We need people with real-world experience that know how to get people back to work.”
He said the country has enacted too many “policies that punish productivity and subsidize reckless responsibility,” yielding “across-the-board mediocrity.” As former governor of Arkansas, Huckabee became acquainted with the late trucking giant, J.B. Hunt, who “was all about hard work and finding ways to meet somebody’s needs that hadn’t been handled before.”
By comparison, Washington, D.C. has become “a lawless mob,” said Huckabee, who also chided the Occupy movement that “has misidentified the problem and doesn’t know how to solve it.” Recalling a bobsled ride he took in 2001, he remembered his brakeman’s advice to “steer for the curve ahead” and don’t look back.
Huckabee said a natural gas infrastructure for trucking would establish “a solid dependable customer” for the energy source and prove it could become a long-term solution to high fuel prices. “I think it can happen and will,” he said, “when people get sick of paying high prices for energy, and people realize those high prices are because of ridiculous policies.” While term limits would help, Huckabee said Americans also must “stop empowering politicians who are creating the problem.”