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. Mike

    My God! I actually agree with the Minister! That's odd. Now I'm just waiting for pigs to fly.

    January 24, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. Ed

    This is the most sensible thing that any of these guys have said all night. The only thing he got wrong is that most of us will spend it on gasoline imported not from China but from a country that funds terrorism.

    January 24, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. Donovan Stewart

    You misspelled "steel"

    January 24, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. Excited in Florida

    I get so excited when Mike Huckabee opens his mouth. Romney will chew him up and spit him out with this backward protectionist economic theory. Huckabee is already pushing gov't spend (and gov't tax must follw). Let us have our money back from the gov't so we can use it in the economy however my free choice directs.

    Huckabee is acting out the democrat party again. Let Bush do something right, please.

    I-95 is right near my home and I drove it from Altanta to Cocoa Beach every weekend for 8 months. I can tell you that we don't need this project especially with Mike's approach.

    Romney will climb the polls and delegate votes again due to this article.

    08' & 12' are for Mitt!

    January 24, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. Mike

    Huckabee is right about this one. The multinationals will get money (~70% of the profit from selling goods made in other countries) and the jobs that are supported (cost of those goods bought by us) will be from outside the country. Guess what happens....the multinationals will invest the profits in factories over seas...and the overseas workers will spend the money locally (not in the US). What do American citizens get? more crap that will end up in our land fills within a year.

    A better idea....invest the 150 billion in rebates for Americans who put solar panels on thier roofs....and incentives for businesses that hire US citizens to install the solar energy systems. Unfortunitely, Bush will veto this type of plan because the oil companies will give him a hard time.

    January 24, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. Josh

    I think it's spelled "steel."

    January 24, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. Jason

    I agree with Huckabee on this one (even I don't like him). The whole stimulus package is a crap, and it won't help American companies.

    Put money into construction, like bridge, road, F-22. That will give domestic companies a boost, and the money will stay here.

    January 24, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  8. Ryuken

    This former Baptist Minister said drug dealers and pimps were not Republicans. He was clearly implying that drug dealers and pimps were Democrats. This offended me a great deal. Immoral acts and lapses in judgement is not concentrated by any single party. Does anyone remember Mark Foley? Thanks!

    January 24, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. Arlen N Haynes

    American 'steal'??? Come on Alexander Mooney, buy yourself a new dictionary!

    January 24, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Don't vote for hate

    Who knew Huckabee got his ideas from the callers to NPR's "Talk of The Nation" ? Can't he just get Chuck Norris to deliver a few roundhouse kicks to the economy to get it back in line?

    January 24, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  11. Pam Dallas TX

    Actually, "steal" is correct. These are Republicans we are talking about, after all.

    January 24, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. David, Oregon City


    January 24, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Mark Cross Junction VA

    Build more churches so we can pray you aren't elected president

    January 24, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. Robb, New York

    Finally somebody who gets it. We can't just keep throwing money at everything. We need to create jobs in this country. We need to stop importing everything and exporting our industry. We need to develop projects to improve our infrastructure and get people back to work. Tax rebates are nice, but America needs jobs, America needs a new infrastructure and America needs to make and buy American-made goods. That is not wasteful spending; that is how a well-developed nation works.

    January 24, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. Cathy

    I'd rather have an extension of the MARTA system in Atlanta than another interstate through the area.

    The problem is that people will use the money to pay off credit cards instead of purchasing goods. That's interest that the card companies are not earning, which in turn reduces their profits. And this whole mess was started when banks lost too much money all at once.

    I'd rather have that $150 billion be sent to a fund to held stave off subprime foreclosures.

    January 24, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Adam

    Public works projects!? Are you kidding? Are you sure this guy is not a democrat? I don't see how taking money from citizens then giving less than you took back to them in the form of wages is supposed to stimulate the economy. I agree that the rebate is not the best idea, but boy...Huckabee talks about Romney pandering! Huck is one to talk!

    January 24, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. xtina - chicago IL

    $150 billion isn't that much when viewed against the many earmark projects on which Congress has no problem spending our tax money. If we extend the President's tax cuts in 2010, it would help the economy greatly.

    January 24, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  18. Christina

    Why is it that a bunch of boomers are using a genX theory of just throw money at it and it will go away. The Boomers have been working on throwing enough money at stuff our whole life. Robing Peter to pay Paul is how we grew up. Why not just fix it once and for all. Social Security does not need fixing, it only needs to stops being a interst free bail out agent. Why can we bail out Delta or AmTrak with tax payer dollars but we cannot bail out tax payers. A welfare check is a welfare check, no matter who you give it to or what you call it.

    January 24, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  19. Mark

    The last feeble effort of the Bush administration to win some easy favor with the American public (or pubic as we might as well be called at this point). They destroyed our economy for decades to come & now "here, have $600" or something. What does it matter to Bush? Just tack it onto the trillion he wasted murdering and stealing for the last 8 years. Leave for the next prez, like everything else. Ugh.
    What I want to know is why would republicans be receiving any of this "rebate" money? They voted for this garbage. Let them clean up their own mess for once. If anything, taxes for the next 4 years should be doubled for them.

    January 24, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Mr Huckabee,

    As with most Republican based ideas on how to jumpstart the economy, this one would depend on trickle-down economics.

    Nope. It wouldn't work. A few large companies would get VERY rich, and a few workers may get a few extra overtime hours, but it won't do anything to fix the problem.

    Back to the drawingboard.

    January 24, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  21. AJ, Iowa City, IA

    Mitt Romney '08!!!

    Huckabee, it is over. Be a man and endorse Romney!!!

    January 24, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  22. Steve, Bakersfield, CA

    I'm a republican and I agree w/ public works projects–let the welfare recipiants work for their money. Right now, a lot of people to sit around and collect money and we get nothing in return except more children who will sit around and collect money. I figure, if we're going to be speding the money, we might as well get some roads, bridges, landscaping, painting, schools, ... out of it.

    Wait, would expecting someone to work for thieir money violate their right to liberty and hapiness??

    January 24, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. Dead End Road

    Huckabee, nice enough guy but his dead end road is a non starter to save the economy.

    Mitt Romney has the know how on the economy and the Olypic experience to bring the Country and the World together.

    January 24, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  24. Carol

    Who is he giving the no bid contract to?

    To Adam.... who do you think should build the country's infrastructure?

    January 25, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Chris - Halifax, Nova Scotia

    I live in Canada and would love to see Mr. Huckabee become leader of the Republican Party and eventually President of the United States. Watching the Primaries has been very interesting....more so than Canadian politics. Americans are so much more involved in politics. Using this money instead to build infrastructure is a win-win situation for sure.

    January 25, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
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