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HomeNewsPoliticsHuckabee Touts ‘Blue Collar, Not Blue Blood’ Economic Populism In Announcement

Huckabee Touts ‘Blue Collar, Not Blue Blood’ Economic Populism In Announcement

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee waves to supporters in Hope, Ark, on May 5, 2015. (Photo: AP)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced he was running for president Tuesday, promising an end to bailouts, economic unfairness and an unaccountable government.

“I am a candidate for president of the United States of America,” said Huckabee during an event in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas. The 59-year-old former governor promised to dismantle at least two major federal departments, including the IRS, and gave a speech largely surrounding a message of economic populism. He said he was “blue collar, not blue blood” and took multiple shots at the gross unaccountability and out-of-control careerism in Washington.

“Washington has become the roach motel. People come in and they never come out,” Huckabee said. “As president, I will fight for term limits on all three branches of government. That would help return us to the founders’ dream that service to the public should be a temporary duty, not a lucrative career with generous paychecks and pensions that aren’t available to the people who pay for them.”

Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and finished a strong second in South Carolina, two of the largest of the early-voting states with large evangelical Christian populations. While most of the speech consisted of a message of economic growth, fairness and government accountability, the former pastor certainly tipped his hat to an important bloc in his 2008 coalition.

“The Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and they cannot overturn the laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”

However, the former host of his own Saturday show will face far stiffer competition and criticism this cycle. Huckabee became the third Republican this week to announce a 2016 White House bid, following Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina on Monday. But they join Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Further, familiar critics of his 2008 run are back and already leveling charges against the governor’s record.

The Club for Growth Action today announced a $100,000 TV ad buy that will begin airing tomorrow in Sioux City, Iowa and Greenville, South Carolina.

“Governor Huckabee raised taxes; he raised them a lot and he raised them often,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh.“ And, as our ad points out, numerous conservative organizations highlighted those massive tax increases when Huckabee ran for president in 2008. Since he’s decided to run again, and is still not telling the whole story on his tax record, then we’ll do it for him.”

Huckabee said in an interview Monday that the Club For Growth has never been honest in characterizing his record. He argued the group fails to account for the fact that — at the time — he was a Republican governor in a state with the least number of Republican state lawmakers and “had to learn how to govern.”

He also vowed adherence to the Tenth Amendment on issues such as education, saying the Department of Education “needs to be expelled.”

“Commonsense tells us that the best government is the most local,” he added. “I’m running for president because I know there is a difference between making a speech, and running a government that is accountable to the people.”

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