(CNN) - As he mulls another bid for the White House, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee brings a message of strong family values to Iowa this weekend as he headlines a major gathering of social conservatives.
Huckabee, who ran for 2008 Republican presidential nomination and won that year's Iowa caucuses, will point to what he considers the current assault on marriage and families as a factor in the rise of poverty.
"Statistics show poverty is largely the result of the traditional family's decline. When children grow up in homes where the mother and father don't work, don't have an education and are solely on government assistance – then everyone involved becomes trapped in a devastating cycle of poverty," Huckabee will say Sunday when he keynotes the Iowa Family Policy Center's "Celebrate the Family" event, according to excerpts released to CNN.
"The traditional family's decline directly affects poverty levels and this nation's economic recovery. Conservatives know that our government can spend billions on social programs and can throw all the money it wants to at poverty – but we can never truly address poverty until we first heal broken families," adds Huckabee.
Huckabee's speech comes just days after he told WHO Radio in Des Moines that when it comes to another presidential candidacy, "I'm not ruling it out. And that's not a yes, but it's definitely not a no."
"The honest answer is: I'm keeping it open as an option, I'm looking at whether or not there's a pathway to victory," Huckabee told WHO's Steve Deace. "As I've told several people, I'm not jumping into a pool when there's no water in it."
Recent national polls of Republican voters, including a survey from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, indicate that Huckabee remains at or near the top of the pack among possible contenders in any hypothetical race for the GOP presidential nomination.
The Iowa Family Policy Center, where Huckabee speaks Sunday, is a nonprofit research and educational organization that says its mission is to "restore and defend traditional moral principles in the culture by advocating for sound public policy."
Also speaking at the event will be former Republican candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats, who Monday told the Des Moines Register that he will become president and chief executive officer of an umbrella group that includes the IFPC, Marriage Matters, and their political action committee. Vander Plaats, who's new position is expected to be formally announced at the event, aims to give the group an influential role in Iowa's caucuses, which kick off the presidential primary calendar.
"We are going to be very engaged in the 2012 cycle. We believe it is our responsibility and our duty to be actively involved in taking a look at the candidates, vetting the candidates and then either recommending a candidate or candidates for consideration by the people who support us," Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register.
Vander Plaats won 41 percent of the vote in his loss to former Republican Gov. Terry Branstad in this year's GOP gubernatorial primary. Huckabee endorsed Vander Plaats bid for governor, and in his speech will highlight his friendship with Vander Plaats
"On a personal note, Iowa may not be as warm as the south this time of year – but you won't find a warmer, friendlier group of people anywhere in the United States. I really do love Iowa, and spending time with the dear friends I've made there over the years, like Bob Vander Plaats, make this trip special," Huckabee will say, according to excerpts.
Vander Plaats, who just led a successful campaign to oust in this month's elections three state supreme court justices who ruled in favor of allowing same sex marriages in Iowa, endorsed Huckabee in 2008, but says he'll remain neutral this time around until his group makes an endorsement.
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LINK TO CNN POLL: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/04/cnnopinion-research-poll-october-27-30-2012-presidential-election/
Yeah, those good conservative christain rethugliecant family vaules of joblessness, home loss, doctor killing, bible-based home schoolin' and Hoovervilles for veterans. Now those are real 'merican values yezzsirreebob. But remember...God still loves you – unless of course you can't tithe any longer then, not so much...
There needs to be some level of encouragement for people to better themselves. There needs to be shift in the culture to have people begin to work for things. There has been far too much of the "gimme" culture and not enough of people encouraging people to learn and do. We need to be supportive (be there for the kids) of the next generation. There is something to be said for this, but there also needs to be the understanding that not everyone can realistically pull themselves up by their own boot straps because there are no boots. Sometimes it is just in who you know and luck of the timing.
As soon as I hear the term 'family values' I assume I will be subjected to Right-wing bigotry.
The GOP can shove "family values" and all their other lies and hypocrisies....
And of course the Republican's three decades long assault on the middle class, unions and manufacturing jobs has *nothing* to do with half the country sliding into poverty, does it Mike? Nope the current crisis is all our fault, because we didn't pray enough. How very convenient.
Also have to wonder why he's so in favor of marriage as the supposed cure to all our ills yet against extending the same legal rights and responsibilities to *all* of our fellow citizens, who are created equal by God and endowed by our Constitution, and Iowa's, with the same rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all sink or swim together, Mike, much as you would like to pretend that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals aren't in the boat.
Seriously, why are Huckabee's religion-addled fantasies even covered in a News section?
After Mark Sanford and David Vitter, family values is the last thing a republican should be touting.
"Statistics show poverty is largely the result of the traditional family's decline. When children grow up in homes where the mother and father don't work, don't have an education and are solely on government assistance – then everyone involved becomes trapped in a devastating cycle of poverty," says Huckabee.
Nazis had statistics and researches that 'proved' that they were right. So did Stalin and Brejnev (the worst premiers of the USSR). So did EVERY demagogue/tyrant/usurper and the likes. With the exception of Hugo Chavez (who banned all forms of statistics that he could not 'work' on them, practically all that there were in Venezuela...)
So, Mister Huckabee, where did you picked those statistics?
PS: Chumbucket, who accused me of having memory problems regarding the shutdown of the government activities in the 90's, History and facts disagree with you fella.
Guess what Huck: lack of family values doesn't breed poverty. Lack of jobs and greedy companies breed poverty. Banks unwilling to loosen credit to invest and companies unwilling to take chances breeds poverty. Concern for the short term bottom line breeds poverty. Being in debt to China up to our ears for the debt of Afghanistan and Iraq breeds poverty.
Family values has nothing to do with it. No one wants to hear this tired crap. Even the tea parties. Go back to the hole you came out of.
Sorry, Mike, but we'll decide whether you and the other GOP candidates have what we regard as solid "family values". So far, you're not scoring too high.
Whoopie! another conservative who wants the government out of our public lives but into our private lives!
More seriously, what does promoting family values mean operationally? For example, since he raises the link between poverty and single families, what does he propose for ways that welfare rules can be reformed to reduce the number of single-parent families?
Let's move from the slogan to formulating workable national policies.
Do you want to fix the problem or just preach the slogan in order to get elected?
Huckabee is correct but it will take a spiritual revival to turn this country around.
Can't wait to hear Sarah Palin talk about family values. Or, maybe Bristol Palin will go on the stump to give that speech?
Assuming she can take time from her "dancing" skills exhibition, right?
First GOP need to learn values, ethics, and standards, before telling others...
Family values again, WTF? You should invite the Republican Senators from Louisana, and Nevada to Iowa, and those others like to dick around. Family values KMA! Look for a new angle, that ones old!
Huckabee would allow religion to influence government, and that would not be acceptable.
huckabee needs to sit down and shutup,family values went out the window with the republicans.and he should know this.
outlaw all marriage, that'll end these silly discussions.
Family values? Like setting Maurice Clemmons free over the objections of prosecutors? I wonder what those families who lost loved ones to cop-killer Clemmons think about Huckabee's "family values?"
We know what the Republican family values mean= preach high morals until you get caught!!!!!!!!!!!!
Apparently Huck didn't get his TeaPer memo in time for his Iowa speech. *REAL* Americans want a divisive, angry, hate filled, screech-er, NOT a family oriented kumbaya candidate. Sorry, Huck. Better luck next time.
I do believe the Republicans patent on Family Values expired sometime ago.
"Family values?" That's nice. What's your plan to create jobs? Have a nice day!
Oh please, Huckabee does not have a clue about family values. He twists the words in the Bible
to justify his intolerance. He is a hypocrite.
Dear Mr. Huckabee,
The resurgence of certain Republicans into leadership positions does not give family values much credence. There are can be many ways of celebrating family and I find it difficult to believe that anyone could talk about them as if he/she held the correct view.
Family values have become a code word for the conservative base in this country as if moderates and liberals could not possible have any values.
There's no pathway to victory for any of these rightwingnut chuckleheads.