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Press Release - Mike Huckabee Triumphs At Republican Presidential Debate

December 13, 2007

Johnston, IA – Former Arkansas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee scored major points Wednesday during the Des Moines Register's Republican Presidential Debate in Johnston, Iowa – the final debate before the January 3rd Iowa Caucus.

"My first priority is to bring our country together again. We are a polarized country, which has led to having a paralyzed government," said Huckabee. "We are fighting each other – but who is fighting for this country?"

"We need to stop fighting among ourselves – and put the interests of the people above our own. We need to be the united people of the United States. The job of the President is to somehow remind us that we are a great, resilient nation that has to work together to solve all of these problems," he said.

On topics ranging from education reform to health care and energy and the environment, Huckabee outlined a results-driven agenda that reflects his optimistic vision for America.

Huckabee, who served as governor of Arkansas for 10 ½ years, said he had "the most experience of anyone on the stage and an impressive record" on education. "We raised standards. We measured and held people accountable for results."

While the primary responsibility for education is with the states, Huckabee said the federal government can play a "pivotal role by making sure that the best practices of what is working in the states gets to those states that are struggling.

"Any time you give governors the opportunity to know what works, they'll use it because it creates jobs and economic development," he said.

Huckabee also asserted that a primary job of the President, besides being Commander-in- Chief, is to be "Communicator-in-Chief." As President, Huckabee said he would use the bully pulpit to reform education.

"For a President to say it's none of my business is recklessly irresponsible," he said.

Noting that 6,000 students drop out of school every day and one-third of high school students do not graduate, he said "it is unacceptable that so many kids leave our schools every single day."

Calling himself a passionate advocate of including music and the arts instruction as part of all students' curriculum to increase creativity, he said: "We need to unleash what I call the ‘weapons of mass instruction'

During the debate, Huckabee affirmed that America's mounting national debt is indeed a national security issue. "A country is not free if it can't produce three things for itself – its own food, its own fuel, and its own fighting apparatus. If we can't do those three things, our national security is very much at risk," said Huckabee.

Huckabee also stated that America's health care system is "upside down." When 80 percent of the two trillion dollars we spend on health care goes to chronic diseases, "if we don't focus on prevention, we'll never catch up," Huckabee said.

Regarding federal tax policy, Huckabee asserted that over 80 percent of the Americans believe the tax code is unfair. "That's why we need the Fair Tax," he said.

When asked, Huckabee said he supported market-based efforts to combat climate change. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change or not, he said the "reason that this issue should be important is that we don't own this earth, we are stewards. We've done no harm if we take better care of this planet so it is in better shape for future generations when we give it back."

Mike Huckabee, Press Release - Mike Huckabee Triumphs At Republican Presidential Debate Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/293869

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