Despite some setbacks due to microphone difficulty, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee still managed to make light jokes with the crowd of approximately 600 people who packed into the grand ballroom of the Topeka Ramada Inn Friday, Feb. 8, to participate in his rally.
“Looks like we should have rented a bigger room,” said Huckabee.
The 10-and-a-half year governor of Arkansas’ comment was immediately met with laughter and applause from the audience.
Topeka was one of four different stops of Huckabee’s throughout Kansas on the eve of the state’s Republican caucuses, which were scheduled to spread across 67 sites Saturday. Olathe, Wichita and Garden City were also included in his rally tour.
Despite the notion that rival candidate Arizona senator John McCain has a lock on the Republican presidential nomination, Huckabee said he plans to stay in the race until he’s completely defeated or until he is ruled out by the convention.
“I believe elections are about choices, not coronations,” said Huckabee.
While the large turnouts at each of Huckabee’s rallies were made up of conservatives hoping to prove that the Grand Old Party race is not yet finished, McCain currently holds 707 of the 1,191 delegates needed for a nomination, in comparison to Huckabee’s 195 delegates.
While covering a wide range of topics, Huckabee touched base on key issues such as Washington D.C.’s government and its lack of efficiency, as well as abortion.
“Our founding fathers had more moral clarity,” said Huckabee. “If we as Americans come to the conclusion where we are saying abortion is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.”
Huckabee expressed his desire to implement a fair tax if elected president. He also plans to fight for small businesses as he believes that a business owner’s toughest competition is the tax system.
“It’s causing stagnation within the growth of the economy,” said Huckabee. “The IRS needs to be put out of business so that they can’t keep putting us out of business.”
With a belief that no country can be run without first being understood, Huckabee hopes to diversify the economy, move the U.S. toward energy independence with the next 10 years and reduce job outsourcing.
“There is nothing free about trade if it isn’t fair,” said Huckabee.
Excitement radiated throughout the audience as Huckabee’s speech fell upon the government’s high spending habits.
“There needs to be more transparency in the federal government,” said Huckabee. “People need to know where the money is going. We must turn the lights on.”
Speaking candidly about his childhood, Huckabee explained that he understood the hardship of everyday Americans.
“The people in Washington, D.C., have lost touch, and I’m counting on Kansas to help me do something my own father never imagined, and that’s becoming the 44th president of the United States,” said Huckabee.