Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee told Republican party faithful Friday the key to winning the White House is getting people to ignore a booming stock market and instead question how well they personally are doing.
The former Arkansas governor acknowledged at a GOP meeting here that the Nasdaq index is up 275 percent from six years ago, shortly after Barack Obama took office.
The Standard and Poor’s index, he continued, is up 200 percent. And the Dow Jones industrial average has posted a 175 percent gain.
“But if you ask people around America, ‘Is the economy in recovery?’ a lot of Americans will say it isn’t for them,” Huckabee said. And that, he told his audience, is key to the 2016 race.
“When people talk about what can the Republicans do to be able to win this next election, I think it’s speak to the hearts of Americans and remind them that the policies of this administration have left many of them stranded,” he said. Huckabee, who made a similar presidential bid in 2008, said that is a message that will sell to “working-class people across this country whose economy has not been in a state of recovery.”
Huckabee would not answer the question that has been going through the GOP presidential field for days now: If he had known then what he knows now about Iraq, would he have invaded the country as George W. Bush did in 2003.
It’s a question over which Jeb Bush stumbled for days until on Thursday, during his own Arizona appearance, he said he would not have made the same decision as his brother.
“I think it’s a ridiculous question,” Huckabee said Friday.
He said it might be different were he Marty McFly, the hero of the “Back to the Future” series of movies, and had the ability to time travel.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have future information for a present decision,” he said.
“But leadership is not about guessing what might happen,” Huckabee said. “Leadership is about acting on what we know.”
But that did not stop Huckabee from posing his own “what if” question to those attending the spring meeting of the Republican National Committee.
“If America had known in 2008 what kind of president this one would have turned out to be, I’ll guarantee you America would have made a different decision,” he said to cheers from his audience.
That, however, ignores the fact that voters did reelect Obama four years later, rejecting Republican hopeful Mitt Romney. Huckabee, however, rushed off after his speech before he could be asked about that.