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. John Allan

    Huck never took Economics 101. The problem in this country is NOT unemployment. And this is not the Depression, so we don't need Federal Works projects to get us through. We need to stimulate the economy by making it easier for business people to provide jobs, not use tax money to pay people's wages. Duh! Only Mitt Romney's economic policies make sense to me.

    January 25, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  2. joe

    Ah, once again we see Huckster pandering. You know why don't we just build a giant tower that reaches to the heavens.

    January 25, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  3. 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 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  4. Zina

    Though I was never going to vote for him, I was impressed with Huckabee a few weeks ago. No matter what he says now, I can't help but to think of him "changing the constitution to reflects God's law".

    Obama '08

    January 25, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  5. Make Sense

    Even though I'm not a Huckabee fan, I applaud him for proposing a different approach that could actually help America.

    Then again, how about instead of borrowing the money so our country goes further into debt, we stop the war that's bleeding us dry and was based on lies (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/23/bush.iraq/index.html), and tax the oil and lending companies that have made record profits this year! Then we'd have the money in hand to fix up our crumbling infrastructure which would be great.

    Oops, sorry, now I remember why our country can't do this – the politicians are being paid for by the military contractors, oil companies and lending companies who are growing rich at our expense. Why would the politicians bite the hands feeding them?!

    January 25, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Only $150 million? What a 'steal.'

    January 25, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  7. P

    Well, I guess it will help the economy of the construction industry, but I don't know about a large cross-section of Americans, overall...

    January 25, 2008 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  8. Joyce Todd

    Could hardly wait for the debate this evening. As usual, Gov Huckabee was clear, concise, to the point. He amazes me... I have never been this much involved in any candidate but there is just something about this man that makes me want to listen and hear him out... Bottom line... he makes sense. I sincerely believe if he had even 1/2 the funds that most of the candidates are spending in this campaign, he would turn America upside down with enthusiasm... Think about it... He is for real...

    January 25, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  9. Bob Segal

    STEAL is correct. Bush is stealing our money to send to the supporters of terrorism and China. He and the dopes in DC are just using us as the conduit.

    January 25, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  10. Catherine

    Huckabee's idea is on the money. I can understand why some of you republicans are upset. He sounds like F.D.R.. His plan worked in the past to get our country out of the great depression of the 1930's. We are in a recession not a depression. Yet we behave as if we don't know the difference. Perhaps Huckabee has an instinct, or better yet, an insight about the future for our economic development. We need to develope our economy through jobs for Americans. Not by throwing a bunch of money on crappy Chinese imports at the local mall.
    Put Americans to work to repair our infratructure. Our bridges are collasping, our roads are crumbling, overcrowded and in need of repair, our sewer systems are eroding and the quality of our drinking water is suspect by many users. We desperately need to roll up our sleeves and employ our minds and bodies in the hard work we need to do to free us from the stranglehold of imported oil. We Americans are ready to work. Do not tell us to shop to save our country. Tell us how we can work to save our country. We need a leader!!!!

    January 25, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  11. Foreign National

    I think Huckabee was making an 'example', but his idea is a good one. A better example is bulding a cross country transportation system and also at the metro level like they have in Europe, as this would cut down on the need for automobiles and petrol, as the transportation system can all be electric powered.

    They do have high speed electric trains in Europe! Anyone ever read the book called 'Who Killed The Electric Car'?

    Believe it or not, Huckabee is well versed in Economics!

    January 25, 2008 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  12. Foreign National

    The Public Transportation system would also attract a lot of Tourism to the States!

    January 25, 2008 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  13. Ruth

    Mitt Romney has experience on making money for big corps. That has nothing to do with running this country. Or does it? He is all for big business and making money for his investors. His claims of how to turn a business around mean nothing to those of us looking for a leader of this country. I am not impressed nor do i think his credentials qualify him to be president.

    Ron Paul stands behind our constituion. Lets elect someone who knows what our founding fathers believed in and who will stop the big corporations from controlling our lives. Unlike Romney , Ron Paul has been steadfast in his stand on the issues. Ron Paul can bring this nation back to the great nation is once was.

    January 25, 2008 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  14. Rob

    I can't believe Huckabee is still in this race. Our country would be better off with no president than with Huckabee. I'm convinced he is clueless.

    January 25, 2008 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  15. Read a book

    There are so many gaps in his arguement it's amazing.

    .....at least he didn't say that we'll borrow money from the Chinese and then people will go out and buy Chinese food with their rebate checks. Although, the logic in the argument is the same.

    Although, this message probably did well with the welder and truck driver set.

    January 25, 2008 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  16. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Huckabee had the guts to not pander to the bail-out junkies. Only he and Paul showed real spines.

    January 25, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  17. AJ - Montpelier

    I really dispise Huckabee but in this instance, he's absolutly right.

    January 25, 2008 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  18. Danny

    Huckabee is the answer! Romney is such a joke!

    January 25, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  19. Sammy

    Was that a debate or was it a Softball game.

    January 25, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  20. Walt, Belton, TX

    Is Huckleberry still running?

    January 25, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  21. W.D.Russell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    It is a shame that Mike is from the Spanish Inquisition wing of the GOP. He actually says something intelligent once in awhile.

    January 25, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  22. jay, Snellville, GA

    Luckily Huckabee read some of Dr. Paul's writings about China and our economy and used them last night to get an article written about him.

    January 25, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  23. Michael

    I think he's absolutely right, but channeling FDR when everyone else is echoing Reagan isn't I think a good way to win the nomination of the modern Republican Party.

    January 25, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. Mike Van

    I do not like Huckabee one bit (I mean; how can one vote for a guy who does not believe in science?) but I have to say; on THIS one he is right on the money; what he said was exactly what I was thinking when I found out about this idiotic rebate-check plan.
    Let's face it; the checks that are going to be handed out, only serve ONE purpose: To make a completely failed presidency look "good".
    And that's a total waste of tax dollars, althouh let's face it, wasting our tax dollars is not exactly a concept this current president is totally unfamiliar with.

    January 25, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. Brad, Omaha NE

    i hate huck – but he's right.

    although – with the package as proposed i might now be able to afford that iphone.

    i love capitalism

    January 25, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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