Former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform legislation is a Frankenstein that “should never have come out of the laboratory” – and he believes Obamacare doesn’t have long to live.
Huckabee also asserts that Obama has “zero business” meddling in the public workers union controversy in Wisconsin, declares that people are “very gullible” if they believe Obama has changed his anti-business philosophy, and states that the government’s selective bailout of mismanaged companies sends a “terrible message.”
Huckabee, who finished second to John McCain in delegates during the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, is considered a strong candidate for the GOP nod in 2012. He hosts a talk show on the Fox News Channel, “Huckabee,” and his latest book is the just-released “A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don’t!).”
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Huckabee predicts the likely outcome of the ongoing fight over the budget between Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
“I think, as in most political fights, nobody gets everything they want, but I think the Republicans will get more of what they want than will the Democrats,” he says.
“The centrist Democrats will probably swallow it and live with it. But the liberals really believe that we can just spend our way to prosperity, and everything will be just fine and dandy if we just spend a little bit more of the taxpayers’ money. Let’s tax these people some more. Let’s go after those folks that are working hard. Let’s bust them at the point of capital gains. Let’s hit them where it hurts.”
Asked whether we could be headed for a government shutdown over the budget, as occurred in 1995, Huckabee responds: “We could be. But I think it’s going to very different than it was in 1995 on a couple of fronts.
“First of all, some of the things that were so painful to a lot of Americans in 1995 – would we stop getting Social Security checks and veterans checks? – those things have been automated since then so those checks are still going to go out. The immediate impact won’t be as dramatic.
“The other thing is, I think Americans are in a very different place than they were in 1995. Then it was, hey, don’t shut the government down. A lot of people are now saying if you don’t shut it down now, it’s going to be shut down permanently for our kids, because you guys just keep spending money as if you can print it and borrow it – oh that’s right, that’s what you do, you print it and borrow it.
“Somebody’s got to pay for it someday. So I think there is a growing sentiment, as we saw in the last election cycle, of people wanting there to be a little bit of courage displayed by Congress.”
As for Obamacare and whether it should be killed, Huckabee declares: “It needs to be. It never should have come alive. This is a Frankenstein. This should never have come out of the laboratory. We had some test models that had been done in the states, and they failed miserably.
“The original concept, which James Madison so clearly defined in the Federalist Papers, was that the states would try things and if it worked, the federal government might adopt it, but you won’t ruin the economy of all states by doing something at the federal level and then finding out whether it’s going to work.
“That’s exactly what Obamacare attempted to do. In this case, we actually had a couple of state models, Tennessee and Massachusetts, that have tried. [They said], let’s get everybody covered, let’s see what happens.
“Well, costs went up, waiting times for doctors went up, quality went down, satisfaction went down. It did almost the polar opposite of what it was supposed to do. Yet we went headstrong with Obama and the Democrats pushing for this. So it should never have lived. I do think it will die. If the courts don’t kill it, I sure hope the Congress will.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has accused President Obama of meddling in his state’s affairs by opposing Walker’s stand against public sector unions and the bloated state budget.
“The president has zero business poking around” in the state’s affairs, the former Arkansas governor maintains.
“He had no more reason to get involved in this Wisconsin battle than he did getting involved in a local police matter in the suburbs of Boston, when a professor got angry because he was asked for his ID at his home. That led to the infamous beer summit.
“It’s almost as if the president doesn’t understand that he’s the president. He seems to forget that, as president of the United States, when he weighs in on a topic, it raises the whole topic to a level maybe it doesn’t really deserve.
“So whether it’s suing the state of Arizona and criticizing them for doing something the federal government refuses to do, which is follow its own laws [on immigration], or whether it’s Wisconsin or Massachusetts, this is a president who seems to be far more interested micromanaging something at the state level than taking care of the business he does have, which is protecting America’s borders, and getting our economy stable so people can get back to work.”
Obama has appeared to reach out to the business community in recent months. Asked whether big business is buying the president’s change of heart, Huckabee tells Newsmax: “If they are, then they’re very gullible people, because this is a president who philosophically believes that government is the catalyst to job creation and to free enterprise.
“Many of us believe that the purpose of government is to be the referee. [It] doesn’t put on a team jersey and pick the winners and losers and actually get in the game. [It] just makes sure that the game is being played fairly. That’s government.
“But what this president and the Democrats seem to believe is that they have to suit up, pick a team, and try to score goals for someone. So they pick out that GM is going to win and survive, Goldman-Sachs is going to survive. Lehman Brothers? They’re gone.
“When has it ever been the domain of the government to start picking the winners and loser in the marketplace? That’s what I feel has been the worst precedent of all.
Huckabee adds: “It’s not just that we’ve thrown away billions of dollars on some of these hideously run companies that were mismanaged, that were wrecked by greed. But in addition to that, what we have said to all other companies is, ‘Go out there and make a mess of things. It’s okay, because if you’re really big, government says you’re too big to fail. But if you’re just some small mom and pop business, then you’re too small to succeed.’
“That’s a terrible message.”
In Part Two of Mike Huckabee’s interview with Newsmax, he predicts that the crowded 2012 GOP primaries will be a “demolition derby” – and explains why he can beat Obama. It will be published Friday.