On Tuesday in Hope, Arkansas former Governor of the “Natural State” Mike Huckabee announced his 2016 bid for the White House. He joins a field of 5 other GOP candidates looking to win back the Presidency for the GOP. He chose to make his speech from his home town in an effort to remind voters of his roots in Hope, something he didn’t really do his last time around in 2008.
Below is a partial transcript – you can read the full transcript of his speech at RCP.
“I’m running for President because I know that there is a difference between making a speech and making government accountable to the people who pay for it. You can’t spend money you don’t have or borrow money you can’t afford to pay back. The federal government ought to live by the rules YOU have to live by and they should function under a balanced budget law like I had to every year I was a Governor. And I don’t want to hear politicians talk about tinkering with the tax code and making little adjustments that still let powerful Washington interests pick the winners and losers. We can never create prosperity for working people, grow our economy out of the bottomless pit of debt, and move America back to the greatest economy on earth if we punish productivity and subsidize reckless irresponsibility. The man I met at a machine shop in New Hampshire told me of how he started working a double shift to help his daughter pay for grad school. He naturally figured that if he worked 16 hours a day instead of 8, he’d bring home twice the pay. But he found out that the money he worked for on that second shift put him in a new tax bracket and the government got more of it than he did. It’s not that our tax system is punishing the richest people in America-they can afford accountants and lawyers who will find a way to protect them. It’s the people working for wages who can’t get ahead if the government penalizes them for trying to do better. As President, I’ll work to pass the Fair Tax, which would no longer penalize people’s work, their savings, their investments, or their good stewardship. And it would be the end of big government bailouts and most importantly, we finally rid ourselves of the biggest bully in America, the IRS. The IRS would disappear and April 15 would be just another beautiful spring day.
“The struggle for many families isn’t helped when the government solution is fighting over what the MINIMUM wage should be. It’s a race to the bottom to figure out what the government determines the least you can make. We need to be promoting the MAXIMUM wage, which is set by the worker who is willing to avail himself or herself of training for a job that pays a maximum amount. We will never break the cycle of poverty by pushing people to their minimum wage, but by empowering them to reach their maximum wage. That is how we take people from Hope to Higher Ground!
“This country has to do three things to stay free: Feed itself, Fuel itself, and Fight for itself. Our farmers and ranchers provide our food and fiber and we need to keep them from being regulated out of business; we have enough energy resources under our feet to bring affordable energy to America and become the largest exporter so that Americans prosper in developing the energy and aren’t impoverished by paying for it when produced by a Saudi Sheik or a Russian robber-baron. And we need to be able to fight for ourselves by bringing manufacturing back to our communities where we make our own planes, tanks, bullets and bombs.
“The journey that begins in Hope today can lead this nation to Higher Ground, but I can’t do it without people being my partners–many who have never been involved in politics before now. I never have been and won’t be the favorite candidate of those in the “Washington to Wall Street” corridor of power. I will be funded and fueled not by the billionaires, but by working people across America who will find out that $15 and $25 a month contributions can take us from Hope to Higher Ground. If you want to give a million dollars, please do it, but most can’t. But I will ask you to give something-in the name of your children and grandchildren.
I’ve walked away from my own income to do this, so I’m not asking you for a sacrifice I’m not willing to make. I don’t have a global foundation or a taxpayer funded paycheck to live off of. I don’t come from a family Dynasty, but a working family. I grew up blue collar and not blue blood. I ask you to join with me today not just so I can be President, but so we can preserve this great Republic and that someday YOUR children and grandchildren can still go from Hope to Higher Ground.
“I still remember when my Dad took me to the dedication of the newly constructed Bois D’ Arc Lake, just a few miles from here, now named for Dr. Lester Sitzes, my best friend since 3rd grade. I was eight years-old and he said, “Son, the Governor is coming to dedicate the new lake and I’m going to take you there to hear him make a talk, because you might live your whole life and never get to meet a Governor in person.” Had my Dad lived four months longer, he would have seen me do more than MEET a Governor. He would have seen me become the 44th Governor of my state. I always wished he could have been there and maybe spend the night in the Governor’s Mansion, a place he never thought he’d get close to. I always wanted to feel that he did see that moment-from the best seat in the house! And I hope he’s able to watch in January of 2017, when that bashful little kid from the orange brick rent house on 2nd Street is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. And with your help and God’s, we will make that journey from Hope to Higher Ground.”