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Jan. 7, 2008

Mike Huckabee

by Alisa Lu, Online News Editor
Political Party: Republican
Current Position: Businessman, Baptist Minster
State: Arkansas
Political Experience: Governor of Arkansas, 1996-2007

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The Washington Post, CNN, On the Issues, Reuters and Huckabee's web site. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Throughout November and December, Mike Huckabee has quickly risen through the polls from being a second-tier candidate to one of the Republican frontrunners. His background as a minister and his right-wing views have attracted conservative Republicans and religious fundamentalists. On Dec. 3, Huckabee won the Republican Iowa Caucus with 34% of the vote and beat former frontrunner Mitt Romney.

In line with his conservative beliefs, Huckabee supports No Child Left Behind (NCLB), although he believes it needs to be reformed. He supports giving states more power in education and thinks the federal government should take a supporting role. In addition, he supports allowing states to set their own benchmarks for tests.

Because of his religious background, Huckabee is staunchly pro-life. He strongly opposes abortion in all cases except when the mother's life is at risk. Huckabee also opposes public funding for abortions and has recently said that abortion should be outlawed in all states and public funding should be withdrawn from any organization that supports abortion.

To further convince Republican voters that he is a conservative, Huckabee has become increasingly tough in his views on illegal immigrants. As governor, he supported in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants but has since completely changed his stance. He recently released his "Secure America" plan, which includes the prevention of amnesty for illegal immigrants, the deportation of illegal immigrants, a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants, an increase in visas for highly skilled immigrants and an increase in funding for border security.

Huckabee has also taken strong stances on foreign policy. Huckabee supports staying in Iraq until victory has been secured. He supports Bush's Iraq policy and opposes setting up a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq or a slashing of funds because he thinks that Iraq needs a stable government before the U.S. can withdraw.

Huckabee's tenure as governor of Arkansas will also be a factor in the primaries. As governor, Huckabee cut taxes but enjoyed a budget surplus. But controversy remains on his comments on and role in the state gas and fuel tax hike in 1999. Although Huckabee said the tax increases were initiated because of a voter referendum, the increases were implemented before the referendum took place. Huckabee currently supports an almost complete overhaul of the tax system and the abolishment of all federal income and payroll taxes, which includes taxes for Social Security and Medicare. In lieu of these taxes, he supports the Fair Tax plan, where people will be taxed nationally on purchases instead of paychecks and savings.



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