Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee opened his remarks with some light hearted humor about his weekly trip to New York for his Fox News television show. In response to whether or not he would ever consider living in New York, the Former Governor simply said “I’ll consider living in New York, when Mayor Bloomberg will let me duck hunt in Central Park.” Huckabee talked briefly about his rise to prominence before delving into the meat of his address. Relaying a personal story to the crowd, Huckabee said he recently took picture of vendors inside Fenway Park. He said the vendors reminded him of what was great about America.
“Every day they work, so they can earn a little bit of money,” he said, “so that maybe – one day – they can sit in the seats while someone else climbs the stairs with those trays.”
As Huckabee continued, he began an introspective look at the Conservative message. In response to claims that America rejected the Republican message in 2012, he said “We lost because America didn’t understand what our message was.” The problem, according to Huckabee, is that Americans never fully realized what conservatives truly value. “
“Does the government value what it is that you do every day? Because if the government takes a larger and larger portion of your paycheck, they don’t,” Huckabee explained. “A tax is the government deciding that what they do with your money is more valuable than what you would do with it.” He went on to explain that what the single mother spends her money on, or what working families spend their money on, is far more important to those people than a government program.
Continuing on the theme of conservative compassion, Huckabee brought up the issue of School Choice. “It shouldn’t just be the richest people in the country that send their kids to the best private schools,” he said. “A parent can always make a better decision than some bureaucrat in DC.”
Huckabee’s message of what conservatives value, and their vested interest in individual’s success, spanned a range of topics. At one point Huckabee raised TSA security, and the NSA scandal, saying simply “We (conservatives) value your dignity. We value your privacy.”
Conservative values, Huckabee explained, are vested in concern for individual rights and personal responsibility. Conservatism, according to Huckabee, is more dedicated to individual’s wellbeing than any government entity.
As to why, specifically, Republicans failed to capture the White House, Huckabee said most of the pundits are off base. According to him, conservatives are not in trouble because of social issues – like their stand for the sanctity of life. In fact, says Huckabee, the Pro-choice stance is an insult to women, and single moms. “It says what you value – your children – are not necessarily valuable. [Conservatives believe] there is no such thing as a life that is disposable, or expendable.”
The Governor also waded into foreign policy issues by bringing up the Arab Spring – and the current revolution in Egypt. As he was discussing Middle East politics, he alluded to America’s reserved stance on Israel’s construction near Palestine. “We’ve put more pressure on Israel to stop building bedrooms, than we put on Iran to stop building bombs.”
Getting to the direct issue of the Republican loss in 2012, Huckabee explained “When people say Republicans lost because of their message, I say we lost because Republicans never found their message.” And that message, according to Huckabee, is that conservative values are universal, and American.
In closing, the former Governor said, “We can make America a place your sons, and daughters, can thrive. Not just survive.”