January 24th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Huckabee slams stimulus package, proposes major public works project

(CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee, who has been critical of some of President Bush’s policies this campaign season, took aim at the president's stimulus plan during Thursday night's presidential debate.

"One of the concerns that I have is that we'll probably end up borrowing this $150 billion from the Chinese," he said. "And when we get those rebate checks, most people are going to go out and buy stuff that's been imported from China. I have to wonder whose economy is going to be stimulated the most by the package. "

The former Arkansas governor then proposed a major public works project as an alternative to the stimulus package.

"If we are going to spend a $150 billion, I'd like to suggest we add two lanes of highway from Bangor all the way to Miami on I-95," he said. "A third of the U.S. population lives within a hundred miles of that. This nation's infrastructure is falling apart, and if we built those lanes of highway, with American labor, American steal, American concrete, I believe it would do more to stimulate the economy. "

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Liam Burke, Buffalo, NY

    You mean American "steel" right? Amazing....

    January 25, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Whoever made that last statement about a stimulous package to build infrastructure didn't do much thinking. New Orleans needs to be rebuilt, and the "wall" to secure the borders is not completed. To talk about what needs to be done to stimulate the economy, how about finishing the jobs that have never been completed. If Huckabee made that statement, then his brain needs to be stimulated to think before he opens his mouth.

    January 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. Jim Rob

    Hey Gomer Fudd, it's "American Steel" not "American Steal"

    January 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. EntertainMeDontBoreMe

    "Let's see now… how can I get the people in Florida to vote for me, even if they do believe in evolution?
    " – Hey I've got it! We'll just propose a brand new highway straight to Miami! Hey get a load of this: we'll even use that for our Economic Stimulus Plan!"

    – Yes folks, the magnificent brain that envisioned the National Sales Tax to replace the IRS is still producing new lightning-bolts of human genius!

    January 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Gary, Detroit

    I have to admit, this guy finally said something intelligent. His remarks about China are right on.

    January 25, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. AS

    I support this idea better than this supposed stimulus package. I'm not happy with selling out the future generations of americans, just so I can get $600.

    This is actually the first rational idea I've heard.

    January 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Michelles

    Words that came first from the mouth of Ron Paul. But Ron Paul believes them, understands them, and will live by them; Huckabee just parrots them without understanding or any commitment to REALLY reduce our 9 trillion dollar deficit.

    Ron Paul is Very Electable–EVERYONE ELSE is Unacceptable.

    I like his America FIRST foreign policy, economic policy, and his determination to give us back our freedom in home schooling and other civil liberties.

    If you vote for him–he IS ELECTABLE. Don't let the naysayers scare you away, because it is your children's future that counts.

    January 25, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Allen Fuller

    A few smears of Huckabee turned into the "conventional wisdom." In the face of the full body of evidence, and supported only by a few cherry-picked facts and distortions, Huckabee has been branded a "liberal" or even a "socialist."

    The real Huckabee is *objectively* MORE conservative than Romney, and more consistently so as well.

    Check it out for yourself. Look them both up on the independent site OnTheIssues.org, which looks not only at their current positions but also their past statements and records.

    Both are fully within the conservative camp but Huckabee is actually dead center conservative.

    Don't listen to the pundits and the "conventional wisdom" based on hearsay. Find out for yourself why Huckabee is a true conservative, and why he has the bold ideas, vision, great communication skills, and leadership to lead this country into the 21st century.

    January 25, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Allen Fuller

    AJ, Can you describe why you "dispise" Huckabee?

    Someone has to come up with some substance here! It seems that all the Huckabee hating is really just a gut reaction to some distorted attacks on who Huckabee really is. Or, a reaction to his rhetoric, which I admit can be misleading because he doesn't use typical conservative lingo.

    Let's stop the despising and look at the issues and the FULL records of the candidates.

    January 25, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Matt

    Got to give credit where credit is due. This is the smartest thing any candidate on either side has said in a while.

    January 25, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    Oh my goodness.. Other than Ron Paul, this is the only candidate that has actually said something worth while and has hit at the root of the problem. My admiration for him has just gone through the roof. Still voting for Ron Paul, but way to go Huckabee.

    January 25, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. David, Dallas Tx

    I agree that giving Americans a few hundred bucks won't help anything. Some would save it, others would buy foreign-produced products, and $150 billion is only 1% of the national economy anyway, so it's not much of a boost. It's just a way for politicians to buy votes.

    I also agree with Huckabee to the extent that public works projects would benefit Americans both by providing jobs and improving our infrastructure. However, instead of picking one highway arbitrarily, I think it'd be much better to spend a few hundred thousand studying our national infrastructure and allocating the funds to where they are most needed.

    Unfortunately, the highway offer has better political resonance, because as Huckabee says, 1/3 of American voters would be close to the proposed project, whether the strip near them actually needed the work or not.

    January 25, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Jim

    I like Mike Huckabee, but please, no more pesidents from the state of Arkansas for awhile! NAFTA is still to fresh in my mind.

    January 25, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. DB

    Perhaps we should fix all the roadways, and bridges across the country. That is that the New Deal did with the public Works office and after WWII with the Highway act of 1945.

    The money is a temporary band-aide that the country can't afford, we are spending too much in Iraq already, that is on of the reasons we are moving towards a recession.

    January 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Allen Fuller

    Jim, Huckabee is pro-NAFTA and free trade (so you economic conservatives, relax) but he's for FAIR trade. Too many countries are dumping cheap goods on our market at a disadvantage to our domestic producers... because our domestic producers pay MORE tax than most developed countries around the world.

    The FairTax is one step toward leveling the playing field for domestic manufacturers. Huckabee has nothing against foreign products and firms, but he just wants our local industries to compete on the same terms.

    I don't see how anyone could be against that.

    January 25, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Agkyra

    John Allan is right. Sadly, Huckabee doesn't understand basic economics: a long-term capital project has absolutely nothing to do with an immediate stimulus to consumer spending. By the time Huckabee's highway expansion project got started — five or ten years from now perhaps? — this recession would be long forgotten about. If something is going to be done, it has to be done now.

    Not that a highway improvement or other capital project isn't a good idea. It just doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with preventing a recession.

    January 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. JIm Robinson

    I am from Canada and I know that the election of Obama as President will elevate the image of the U.S. around the world. Once again, Americans will not need to wear Canadian badges and symbols to feel safe and accepted as they travel the world. At long last, America will shed her image as an overbearing bully in Iraq and elsewhere.
    I am hoping an praying for the good of everyone, especially Americans, that Barack Obama will become the next President of the world's most powerful country.

    January 25, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Eric in Little Rock

    I agree with Huckabee...once again.

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Kelsey

    Am I the only one that has noticed the resemblance between Huckabee and Charles Logan? (The traitorous president from 24)

    January 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Chris

    I keep seeing more and more reasons to vote for this guy. He's got some radical ideas but if they can actually happen, look out. My favorite has got to be the Fair Tax. If he has the guts to bring up a crazy (but wonderful) idea like this, and then get it enacted, I'll vote early – and often. Huckabee sounds like he can handle the job. I look forward to April 15th under a Huckabee presidency.

    January 25, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. believehuckabee

    I agree with Mike Huckabee on this issue and all of the other issues. He is an innovative thinker, excellent communicator, and a great leader. He was re-elected Governor of Arkansas until his term limits expired. He was their Lt. Gov. prior to that. He was voted one of the Best Five Governors in America by Time Magazine. He is AUTHENTIC!

    January 25, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. maynard

    How many people read these blogs>> the rebate that will be given out is a bad idea. why, one might ask themself is that.?... $1200 for you to spend anyway you want..... this year...

    next year you will get a tax statement from the government for the $1200 that you spent this year from the government. putting you in a different tax bracket next year.

    what is wrong with the candidates that they can not see into the future or have this rebate tax exempt. you wont get hit so hard with next years taxes

    maybe i should run as a write in

    January 26, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. David

    One of the most sensible things said by any candidate in any of these debates...sadly it isn't provocative or juicy enough to make headlines.

    January 29, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  24. will

    Wow! Lets build a highway to fix the economy!....what is this? 1950?

    February 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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