2016 Presidential Candidate Profile: Mike Huckabee

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Candidate Profile: Mike Huckabee

Current Office: None

Age: 60 (born August 24, 1955)

Party: Republican

Real Clear Politics Poll Average (as of December 13, 2015): National 2.0% (10th); Iowa 2.0% (9th); New Hampshire 1.0% (10th)1

Campaign Website: mikehuckabee.com

Mike Huckabee served as Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. In 2008, he sought the Republican nomination for President and carried 8 states en route to finishing second in the delegate count behind the nominee, Senator John McCain. Huckabee hosted a popular talk show on Fox News in between his 2008 and 2016 Presidential campaigns.

Immigration:

Mike Huckabee has not focused as much on immigration as some of his opponents have. On his campaign website, Huckabee pledges on his website to repeal President Obama's executive actions on immigration, oppose amnesty, and increase border security. However, in his 2008 run, Huckabee supported a path to citizenship for those who left the United States and applied from their home countries. He currently supports giving legal status to “DREAMers” and allowing them to apply for citizenship.

Israel:

Mike Huckabee has always been a strong supporter of Israel. He has opposed the Iran deal absolutely and opposes efforts to pressure Israel into giving up territory under any circumstances. In the very unlikely scenario that Huckabee were to be elected President, I have no doubt that he would have Israel's interests at heart.

Issue of Interest — Record as Governor:

Mike Huckabee is often portrayed in the media as being very conservative. However, I do not think that his record as Governor of Arkansas supports the notion that he is one of the most conservative candidates in the race. For example, his achievements on taxation as Governor of Arkansas was far less conservative than what many other Republican Governors have accomplished. The perception of Huckabee highlights a trend that the media tends to classify any candidate who is a strident “social conservative” as being very conservative in general.

Conclusion:

Mike Huckabee is far from the best candidate in this field. His intense focus and rigidity on social issues would serve to damage the Party and important conservative issues in the general election. While he has a reputation as a conservative, his record as Governor of Arkansas pales in comparison to the allegedly (in some circles) moderate Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. Although he is very strong on Israel, Huckabee's campaign has not offered detailed solutions on foreign policy, immigration, or many other important issues. While he would certainly be better than Hillary Clinton, he is weak relative to the strong field of Republican candidates in 2016. In any case, the polls indicate that Huckabee will have much less of an impact on this Republican primary than he did in 2012.

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  1. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html (retrieved on December 13, 2015)

Resources and Materials:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Mike_Huckabee.htm