Remarks Following the Michigan Primary
Thank you. Thanks so very much.
You guys have been waiting -- I hear we have between 800 and 1,000 people packed in this place. Please don't call the fire marshal.
First of all, I want to say a special word of thanks to the people in Michigan. They've been wonderful to us over the past few days. You know, we were outspent 50:1, and for us to be able to do as well as we did is a remarkable testament to some incredible volunteers up there.
I congratulate Mitt Romney. He won a great race. He worked hard. He, of course, has a great base there, but our hats are off to him for his victory there tonight.
So it looks like that I won Iowa; John McCain won New Hampshire; Mitt Romney won Michigan. Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to win South Carolina!
We put a flag in the ground here Saturday. We're going to make it real clear, that the first-in-the-South primary is going to give their support to the first-in-the-South candidate who understands that this nation needs leadership, and leadership that comes right from the earth and right from the heart of the people.
Months ago, when none of the other Republicans were talking about the economy, when they all said it was doing great, I said you better keep your eye on it, because if you just not spend your time talking to people, but if you spend some time listening to people, you're going to find out that there's a world of hurt out there in America.
Now, all of them are realizing that what I said months ago is true. And we need the kind of leadership that not only sees it first, but does something about it first, and that's what I pledge to the people of America.
Give me a chance to lead, and we will lead this country. And we'll change the tax system. And we'll also make it so that your government doesn't work against you in your job, but helps work for you, because good government ought to facilitate the free enterprise system; it ought not to complicate the free enterprise system.
That's why we need lower, not higher taxes. It's why we need a government that understands that mothers and fathers raise better kids than governments do.
Get the government off mom and dad's back and let them raise their families.
It's why it's also true that over the past few months, people who said, who is this Huckabee guy? Where is he coming from?
I'll tell you where I'm coming from. I'm coming from you, and a lot of people around this country are realizing that it's time that the presidency and that the government is not headquartered so much in Washington, D.C., as is headquartered in the small towns across this country, where people do the work and put food on the table for their families and get their kids to school.
And they basically just want a government that is as small as it can be, but what government there has to be does two things -- one, protects our borders, protects out security and makes it so we're safe in this nation; and the second thing, leaves us alone so that we can live our lives and live in this free enterprise system and give small business a chance to survive and even thrive.
That's what America's really looking for.
And that's what they're going to get when we get elected.
I'm deeply grateful for the kind of support we're getting in South Carolina. And today, when we were here in rallies in Sumter and in Rock Hill, huge crowds, enthusiastic crowds.
And we told folks, look, between now and Saturday, we don't want you to just go and say, "oh, I'll vote for you." We want you to go and say, "I'll vote for you and I'll get folks out there to go with me to vote."
And I've said, if you're going to vote for me, don't let anything keep you from it. If you're not going to vote for me, don't even show up.
If you know somebody that's not going to vote for me, let the air out of their tires Saturday.
You know, a lot of these politicians will say, now, it doesn't matter who you vote for, as long as you vote. You'll never hear me say that, because it matters who you vote for!
And I want to tell you something. For the past several months, it's been our desire, our commitment, and now it is our determination that we're not just going to do well in South Carolina.
You know, the Campbell (ph) family -- and I'm so grateful for Mike Campbell and his family -- they're kind of the gold standard of South Carolina politics. And every year since 1980, when they picked Ronald Reagan when he was in fourth place and he was the Republican candidate that the establishment didn't like and didn't want, back even then, the Campbell family said, "this is who we're going to support." And they picked a winner.
And every presidential election since that time, the Campbell family has batted 1000. They haven't been wrong yet. And I want to make something absolutely, perfectly clear. We aren't about to let the Campbell family down in 2008.
They're going to still be picking a winner this week.
David Beasley's been here with me. He and I have been governors together, close friends. Our wives are close friends. And I can tell you that there's nobody more fired up for us in all of South Carolina than David Beasley. And folks, over the next few days, I'm sure you're going to hear some things, well, here's all the stuff about Mike Huckabee. That's fine. Just remember, you know, as my pastor used to tell me as a little kid, when you're getting kicked in the behind, it proves you're still out front.
So we'll probably take a little kicking out here.
All that does is prove we're still out front.
And I want you to help us this week. Let me tell you why it's so important. Because we need to prove that electing a president is not just about how much money a candidate has. It's about whether he can lead this country and reflect the views and the values of the people that really are the heart and the soul of America.
Mike Huckabee, Remarks Following the Michigan Primary Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/276869