By The Raleigh Telegram
RALEIGH -During a fundraising trip to Raleigh for Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Dan Forest, this newspaper had the exclusive opportunity to interview former Presidential candidate and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is currently a television commenter on cable news and remains in the public’s eye long after his run as the Republican nominee for President in years past.
Huckabee has endorsed Dan Forest for office and said that he knows Mr. Forest’s mother, North Carolina Congresswoman Sue Myrick.
During our exclusive interview in Raleigh, we asked Huckabee about the federal deficit, his public battle to lose weight, North Carolina politics, his possible return to the political arena in the future, and how to reach independent voters amid partisan politics.
Regarding the federal deficit and spending, Huckabee said the country seems to be heading in the wrong direction in terms of budget issues.
“We’re spending money we don’t have,” he said. “Government’s got to be paid for somewhere.”
Huckabee said he is endorsing candidates like Dan Forest, who is an architect, who are from the private sector because they know how to get things done.
Huckabee said that Washington needs people who have worked in business who have “common sense.”
“Government is not necessarily a place where you have to have quality,” he said. “It’s hard to get fired in government.”
In regards to his very public battle to lose weight, Huckabee said he has had mixed success. He initially lost a lot of weight, but has put some back on since then.
“It’s been a battle all my life, I’ve put 30 pounds back on,” said Governor Huckabee. “I messed up my knee running the New York Marathon and I’ve never quite gotten over that.”
He said that it’s hard to keep the weight off especially in today’s society that encourages you to eat.
“It’s a battle…but ultimately, it’s my responsibility,” he said.
When talking about North Carolina politics, Huckabee said the state enjoyed an excellent education system and a high tech sector that are both assets in the state. He added though that he felt the state could benefit from having candidates like Forest who are not career politicians in Raleigh.
Will Huckabee return to office after his career in television and radio? He seemed open to the question.
“Good question…I don’t rule anything out,” he said. “If someone asked me four years ago if I’d be doing television and radio, I would have said ‘gee no, I’d rather be in the White House.”
The Telegram asked Huckabee how candidates could reach independent voters after extreme positions are sometimes taken in both Democrat and Republican races to get through the primaries.
“I think it’s a very, very, valid question,” he said. “I still think people are going to ask themselves which one of these two people have the [most] similar experience as me. Which one of these folks will understand the world I live in.”
Huckabee said that while hardcore Republicans and Democrats can be political junkies and watch the news closely, he said many independent voters may not keep up with the issues because they are simply trying to live their lives and spend time with their families.
“Frankly, I think most independent voters are independent because they are not eaten up with government all the time,” he said. “They’re just not that focused on it…They just want to go to work every day to bring home a paycheck to put gas in their car and food on the table and clothes on their kids’ backs and hopefully a little left over for a little fun. And they have to ask which one of these candidates is going to best help me lead that life.”
Huckabee summarized his opinion on the vote in one phrase.
“This election is really a referendum on common sense,” he said. ::
Article Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012.
VIDEO: THE RALEIGH TELEGRAM