Debate Guide: Do you want to chat about the 2016 Presidential Race?

Mike Huckabee


SMITH: Governor Huckabee. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, thank you very much. I still want to go back to the fact that if we got rid of all the taxes on our work, got rid of the taxes on our savings, investments, capital gains, and inheritance, and made a zero tax, we'd pay at the point of consumption. Because why should we punish people for their productivity? And the fair tax doesn't punish people for doing well and building the economy. There's $31 trillion parked offshore. What happens if that money comes back to America? You'd think it'd goose the economy? I guarantee you it would. And that's why the fair tax is the best solution we have for economic growth in this country. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

REGAN: Governor Huckabee, Americans, under your plan, would pay a tax on every single thing that they purchase. Given that consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of GDP, some economists worry that your tax plan would actually discourage spending, thereby slowing our economy. How do you respond? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, do you know an American that will just stop spending? I don't. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: No, that's not going to be the problem. Look, Americans will go to the marketplace with more money they've ever had. For the first time they'll be having their whole paycheck. You see, most people don't understand that when you buy something that is made in America, 22 percent of the cost of it is the embedded tax they never even know they paid. It's why China has beaten the daylights out of us, they can build stuff that we can't because they're not taxing it, when they don't tax capital and labor and we do.

HUCKABEE: They bring something over here, it's automatically cheaper even without the regulatory environment because they're not embedding the taxes, we are. Take the embedded taxes out. Give a person his whole paycheck because every American would no longer have a payroll tax taken out. It means they'd see their real paycheck for the first time. When they go to spend that money, they'll actually have it.

HUCKABEE: And they only pay taxes on the stuff that's new. So a lot of Americans will buy used stuff. Look, here's the point, Americans are not going to quit shopping. Americans are not going to quit buying. But it would be nice if Americans could control how much they paid in tax, rather than having the government reach into their pockets and take it out before they ever had a chance to even see it, much less spend it. And that's why the fair tax makes a heck of a lot more sense than punishing productivity and rewarding irresponsibility.

TAPPER: Do you agree with what Donald Trump and Governor Bush have proposed, raising their tax rates? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: I have a different idea. I think we ought to get rid of all the taxes on people who produce. Why should we penalize productivity? And it's why I'm an unabashed supporter of the "fair tax," which would be a tax on our consumption, rather than a tax on our productivity. In other words, you're not going to tax anybody for what they earn, whether it's worker whose working by the hour or whether it's a hedge fund manager. If they can produce something and bring capitaland labor to create jobs, we need some jobs. And I think the "fair tax" makes more sense. Now, Jake, I've been listening to everybody on the stage and there is a lot of back and forth about I'm the only one who has done this, the only one who has done that, I've done great things. We've all done great things or we wouldn't be on this stage. But it occurs to me as we're sitting here in the Reagan Library that most of us would like to pay tribute to a guy who, when he got elected, didn't get elected telling everybody how great he was. He got elected telling everybody how great the American people were. And he empowered them to live their dreams, which is what I'd love to see us do by no longer penalizing the people who are out there working because they are taking a gut punch right now. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


TAPPER: Governor Huckabee. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Just today -- just today, there was a new report that 50 different intelligence analysts have said that what they sent up the ladder was doctored by senior officials, so that they could give some happy talk to the situation that we face. I love the idea of a good intellectual capacity to deal with our enemies, but the fact is, if you don't have good intelligence that is reliable and honest, you won't have good intelligence and you cannot make good decisions. The next president is primarily elected not just to know things, but to know what to do with the things that he knows. And the most dangerous person in any room is the person who doesn't know what he doesn't know. And the reason Barack Obama has been dangerous to this country and we better elect someone who had some executive experience, is because we cannot afford another eight years having a person in the office who doesn't know what he does not know. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


SMITH: Governor Huckabee, we're here Wisconsin, a state that has seen the biggest decline in middle-class households of any American state. With more than 120,000 manufacturing jobs being lost in the last 15 years. As we move away from a manufacturing economy to a services based, technological economy, how are you going to help the millions of Americans that are stuck in this transition? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, Trish, I don't know why we have to move away from manufacturing. The only reason we have is because... ..we have a tax code that has punished manufacturing. I hear a lot of people talk about the plans to simplify the tax code. I've got one better than any of the simplifications, it's called a, "Fair Tax", and it eliminates all of the taxes on our productivity. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

Here's what would happen. We'd get rid of taxes on people's work, so, we wouldn't punish people for working anymore. Yeah, we've lost five million manufacturing jobs just since the year 2000 -- 160,000 manufacturing plants have close in this country, which means a lot of people -- that the governors talking about, he's exactly right. They don't have jobs anymore.

HUCKABEE: And the reason they don't have jobs is because their jobs are in Mexico, they're in China, they're in Indonesia. Bring the jobs back. And with the fair tax, you do that, because you don't tax capital and labor and you bring a real sense of equity to the opportunity so that people will not only make it easier to function, they'll get the manufacturing jobs back. And here's the best part. We don't reduce the IRS, we get rid of the IRS. We completely eliminate them...

HUCKABEE: -- because the government has no business knowing how much money we make and how we made it. It's none of their business. And that's why I believe that manufacturing is critical. If we can't feed ourselves, fuel ourselves and fight for ourselves, we can't be free.

And by the way, fighting for ourselves means manufacturing our own weapons of self-defense.

REGAN: Governor Huckabee, both Senator Santorum and Governor Christie were boat -- both critical of the Federal Reserve. Also, many have questioned whether Janet Yellen is the right person to be running the Fed. If elected president, would you keep Janet Yellen? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, my wife's name is Janet and when you say Janet Yelling, I'm very familiar with what you mean. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: But, look, I think the Fed is in a big trouble because they haven't addressed the number one issue that's hurting Americans and that's the fact that wages for the bottom 90 percent of the economy have been stagnant for 40 years. In the 25 years after World War II, up to 1971, wages grew by 85 percent in this country. People were -- were moving up in the middle class. There was a middle class. That's not happening any more, and in large measure, the Fed has manipulated the dollar so it doesn't have a standard.

Tie the dollar to something fixed and if it's not going to be gold, make it the commodity basket. But here's what we've got to do. We absolutely have to get it where the people who go out there and work get something in return. And if the dollar keeps fluctuating, and this is as crazy as -- as is the price of bread, well, the fact is, people can't get ahead then.

SMITH: So would you change leadership at the Fed? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Absolutely. Absolutely, because what we need to is to make sure that they tie the monetary standard to something that makes sense, rather than to their own whims, because who's getting gut punched? It ain't the people in Wall Street, it's the folks on Main Street. They're the ones who's wages have been stagnant for 40 years. And the average American today has a total savings of 1,000 bucks. One root canal and they're in trouble. And if their car breaks down the same week... they're out of business. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)


QUICK: Governor Huckabee, you wanted to respond to the points that Senator Rand Paul was just making when it comes to Social Security. Your time, sir. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, and specifically to Medicare, Becky, because 85 percent of the cost of Medicare is chronic disease. The fact is if we don't address what's costing so much, we can't throw enough money at this. And it's why I've continued to focus on the fact that we need to declare war on the four big cost drivers because 80 percent of all medical costs in this country are chronic disease. We don't have a health care crisis in America, we have a health crisis. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

And until we deal with the health of Americans and do what we did with polio -- when I was a little kid, we eradicated it. You know how much money we spent on polio last year in America? We didn't spend any. We've saved billions of dollars.

You want to fix Medicare? Focus on the diseases that are costing us the trillions of dollars. Alzheimers, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Eradicate those and you fix Medicare and you've fixed America, its economy and you've made people's lives a heck of a lot better.

Social Security

QUINTANILLA: We promised we would get to everyone this block. Governor Huckabee, I'm going to give you 60 seconds on this. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, I would really appreciate that. First of all, yes, we've stolen. Yes, we've lied to the American people about Social Security, and Medicare. But, you know what we're not telling them? It's their money. This isn't the governments money. This is not entitlement, it's not welfare. This is money that people have confiscated out of their paychecks. Everytime they got a paycheck, the government reached in and took something out of it before they ever saw it. Now, we're going to blame the people. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

Today congress decided to take another $150 billion dollars away from Social Security so they can borrow more money. That makes no sense to everybody. And, they're always going to say, "Well, we're going to fix this one day."

No their not. It's like a 400 pound man saying, "I'm going to go on a diet, but I'm eating a sack of Krispy Kremes before I do."

And, people are sick of believing that the government is never going to really address this. But, let me tell you who not to blame. Let's quit blaming the people on Social Security. Let's quit making it a problem for them. It's like them getting mugged, and then us saying, well, we're going to mug you some more. You ought to just be able to get over it, get used to it...

QUINTANILLA: ...Governor... (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: ...No, sir... (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

QUINTANILLA: ...Thank you, Governor...

HUCKABEE: ...we need to honor our promises...

QUINTANILLA: ...Senator Cruz...

HUCKABEE: ...before I go. This is the only time I've had a chance, let me finish.


HUCKABEE: ...This is a matter not of math, this is a matter of morality. If this country that does not keep its promise to seniors then what promise can this country hope to be trusted to keep? And, the fact is, none of them.

QUINTANILLA: 30 seconds, Governor Huckabee. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: John, listen, let's keep in mind that for one-third of the 60 million Americans on Social Security it represents 90 percent of their income. And, when I hear people talking about means testing, let's just remember what that means. If we means test Social Security, it means that the government decides whether or not I deserve it. If a person lives in a seven room house, does the government get to say you don't need seven rooms, we're going to take two of them away? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Folks, the government has no business stealing even more from the people who have paid this in. I just want to remind you, people paid their money. They expect to have it. And, if this government doesn't pay it, than tell me what's different between the government and Bernie Madolf, who sits in prison today for doing less than what the government has done to the people on social security and Medicare in this country.

Gay Rights

TAPPER: Governor Huckabee, last week, you held a rally for a county clerk in Kentucky who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as I don't need to tell you. You've called what happened to Kim Davis, that clerk, "an example of the criminalization of Christianity." There are several people on the stage who disagree with you. Governor Bush, for example, says that that clerk is sworn to uphold the law. Is Governor Bush on the wrong side of the criminalization of Christianity? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: No, I don't think he's on the wrong side of such an issue. Jeb is a friend. I'm not up here to fight with Jeb or to fight with anybody else. But I am here to fight for somebody who is a county clerk elected under the Kentucky constitution that 75 percent of the people of that state had voted for that said that marriage was between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court in a very, very divided decision decided out of thin air that they were just going to redefine marriage. It's a decision that the other justices in dissent said they didn't have and there wasn't a constitutional shred of capacity for them to do it. I thought that everybody here passed ninth-grade civics. The courts cannot legislate. That's what Roberts said. But heck, it's what we learned in civics. The courts can't make a law. They can interpret one. They can review one. They can't implement it. They can't force it. But here's what happened: Because the courts just decided that something was going to be andpeople relinquished it and the other two branches of government sat by silently -- I thought we had three branches of government, they were all equal to each other, we have separation of powers, andwe have checks and balances. If the court can just make a decision and we just all surrender to it, we have what Jefferson said was judicial tyranny. The reason that this is a real issue that we need to think about... (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: No, no. Let me finish this one thought, Jake. I haven't gotten that much time, so I'm going to take just what little I can here. We made accommodation to the Fort Hood shooter to let him grow a beard. We made accommodations to the detainees at Gitmo -- I've been to Gitmo, and I've seen the accommodations that we made to the Muslim detainees who killed Americans. You're telling me that you cannot make an accommodation for an elected Democrat county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky? What else is it other than the criminalization of her faithand the exaltation of the faith of everyone else who might be a Fort Hood shooter or a detainee at Gitmo? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, like Governor Walker, you have staked out strong positions on social issues. You favor a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. You favor a constitutional amendment banning abortions, except for the life of the mother. Millions of people in this country agree with you, but according to the polls, and again this an electability question, according to the polls, more people don't, so how do you persuade enough Independents and Democrats to get elected in 2016? (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Chris, I disagree with the idea that the real issue is a constitutional amendment. That's a long and difficult process. I've actually taken the position that's bolder than that. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

A lot of people are talking about defunding planned parenthood, as if that's a huge game changer. I think it's time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, andFourteenth Amendments to the constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother's womb is a person at the moment of conception.

The reason we know that it is is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child's Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law. It's time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they're parts to a Buick.

Big Government

SMITH: Do you have something to add, Governor? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, I'd just like to respond, with all due respect to, to the Governor, to the state just south of me, I would say that a lot of us have cut things. And during the recession of 2001 to 2003, when 91 percent of our state budget was basically three things, educate, medicate and incarcerate, we ended up cutting 11 percent out of the state budget through that recession so we didn't have to go in and raise a bunch of taxes, and there were people who thought we should. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

So it's just not accurate to say that nobody else up here has ever cut. I believe every governor has probably had to make tough decisions. I'm, I'm guessing my colleague Governor Christie has, as I'm tossing him the ball like Arkansas did to Ol' Miss the other day.

BAIER: So the question is, at this point, is the government simply too big for any one person, even a Republican, to shrink? (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

HUCKABEE: It's not too big to shrink. But the problem is we have a Wall Street-to-Washington access of power that has controlled the political climate. The donor class feeds the political class who does the dance that the donor class wants. And the result is federal government keeps getting bigger. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

Every person on this stage who has been a governor will tell that you the biggest fight they had was not the other party. Wasn't even the legislature. It was the federal government, who continually put mandates on the states that we had to suck up and pay for.

And the fact is there are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution. This is power that should be shifted back to the states, whether it's the EPA, there is no role at the federal level for the Department of Education.

HUCKABEE: And I'm still one who says that we can get rid of the Internal Revenue Service if we would pass the fair tax, which is a tax on consumption rather than a tax on people's income, andmove power back where the founders believed it should have been all along.

Closing Statement

SEIB: Governor Huckabee. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: In many ways, I feel like I'm the luckiest guy on Earth. I really do. It's a long way from a little brick rent house on second street in Hope, Arkansas to this stage where I'm running for President of the United States. It's not about me, not about these guys -- 'ought to be about you, and I've never been the favorite of the people who have the most money. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

But, I want to be the favorite of the people who still want to believe the American dream can work for them. Today in our office, I got a letter from a third grader in North Dakota, her name is Reese (ph). She sent $6 dollars from her allowance, and said, "I want to help you be president." You know, I'm going to keep standing on this stage, and keep fighting for one reason, because somewhere out there in North Dakota, and all over America, there are kids like Reese (ph) who need a president who will never forget where they came from, and I promise I won't.

HARWOOD: Governor Huckabee. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: You know, I know to a lot of people in the media, this is just a great big game, and we're the players. And, we come out here, and we do our thing. And, sometimes we're held up in contempt by people who write columns, but, I guarantee you to every person on this stage there's something deep inside of us that would cause us to give up our livelihoods and step out on this stage and fight for the people of America. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

I've got five grandkids. I do not want to walk my five grandkids through the charred remains of a once great country called America, and say, "Here you go, $20 trillion dollars of debt. Good luck making something out of this mess." And, for those of us who are serious enough to run for president, think long and hard why we're here, and hopefully you'll know we're not here for ourselves. We honest to god are here to get this country back on track. I know this, I certainly am.

BAIER: Governor Mike Huckabee, closing statement. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

HUCKABEE: It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who's very high in the polls, that doesn't have a clue about how to govern. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead, and, of course, I'm talking about Hillary Clinton. I think America...

HUCKABEE: in trouble, but it's not beyond repair. But it's going to take leadership who sees the greatness of this country, and who believes that once again we can be one nation, under God.

I'll be my best to do that, and thank you for your support.

Code Name

TAPPER: Here's the next lighthearted question, you all know that the United States Secret Service uses codenames for the president, andhis family. Ronald Reagan's codename, for example, was, "Rawhide", an homage to his performances in Westerns. Nancy Reagan's was, "Rainbow". You don't have to come up the one for your spouse, but, what would you want your Secret Service codename to be. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: I'd go with Duck Hunter. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

Criticizing Obama

SEIB: So a question, who in Congress do you most admire on the Democratic side? I need one name from each of you. Governor Huckabee? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, since we're not going to answer the question, let me just remind everybody, tomorrow is Veterans Day. And here's what I would like to remind everybody. The VA has been a disaster in large part because the people in Congress have never bothered to fix it, and this president has certainly not... (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Let me finish, please. I'm going to ask you just this, what would happen if the Congress and the president had to get their health care from the VA? We would fix the problem and we would fix Congress.

Criticizing Trump

HARWOOD: Governor Huckabee, you've written about the huge divide in values between middle America and the big coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles. As a preacher as well as a politician, you know that presidents need the moral authority to bring the entire country together. The leading Republican candidate, when you look at the average of national polls right now, is Donald Trump. When you look at him, do you see someone with the moral authority to unite the country? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: You know, of the few questions I've got, the last one I need is to give him some more time. I love Donald Trump. He is a good man. I'm wearing a Trump tie tonight. Get over that one, OK? (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

(UNKNOWN): Is it made in Mexico?

HUCKABEE: I don't know.

(UNKNOWN): Where's it made? Is it made in China?

(UNKNOWN): Is it made in China or Mexico?

HUCKABEE: I have no idea.

TRUMP: Such a nasty -- such a nasty question, but thank you, Governor. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: You're welcome. Let me tell you, Donald Trump would be a president every day of the week and twice on Sunday, rather than Hillary. I've spent a lifetime in politics fighting the Clinton machine. You want to talk about what we're going to be up against next year? I'm the only guy on this stage -- you know, everybody has an "only guy" -- "I'm the only guy this; I'm the only guy that." Well, let me tell you one thing that I am the only guy: The only guy that has consistently fought the Clinton machine every election I was ever in over the past 26 years. And not only did I fight them, but I beat them. Somebody says "I'm a fighter." Well, I want to know, did you win? Well, I did. And not only did I fight them and win, I lived to tell about it and I'm standing on this stage tonight as evidence of that. And I think that ought to be worth something. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

Entitlement Reform

SMITH: Governor Huckabee, you have characterized entitlement reform as both political and economic suicide. Taxpayers currently spend more than $600 billion per year on social welfare programs, with the intended goal of getting people back on their feet and working again. Today a record number of Americans aren't even looking for work. Are our social welfare programs, while well-intended, creating a culture of dependency? If so, how will you fix it? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, Sandra, first of all, let me mention the fact that I think there's a big difference between welfare programs and what some people call entitlements. Namely, Social Security and Medicare. I just want to remind everybody out there who has ever had a paycheck, the government didn't ask you if you wanted them to take money out of your check for Social Security and Medicare. They did that involuntarily. Those are not entitlements and that's not welfare. That's an earned benefit. And by gosh, you paid for it. And if the government screwed it up, you shouldn't have to pay the penalty because of an incompetent government. That's different than the social programs that we've spent $2 trillion on since the War on Poverty began exactly 50 years ago this year. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Now the reason we still have so much poverty is because it was never designed to get people out of poverty. It was designed to make sure that there was an industry of poverty, so that the people in the poverty industry would have a lot of jobs. But the people who are poor haven't been benefited. Having grown up poor, I know a little something about it. Nobody who is poor wants to be. That's a nonsense statement and I hear it all the time. Well, poor people ought to work harder. They're working as hard as they can, for gosh sake. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: But the problem is the system keeps pushing them down because, if they work, then they get punished. They lose all the benefits. When we did welfare reform in the '90s, you know what we did? We said you're not going to lose everything at once. There's not an arbitrary threshold. So as you move up the ladder from work and training, you'll actually always be better off than you were before. That's the American way. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee? (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

You say that changing entitlements, the kind of thing that Governor Christie is talking about, would be breaking a promise to the American people, and you say that you can keep those programs, save Social Security, save Medicare, without those kinds of reforms through a Fair (ph) tax, which is a broad tax on consumption. Please explain to Governor Christie how that would work, and how you could save these programs without the kind of painful reforms he says we need?

HUCKABEE: Well, lets all be reminded, 60 million Americans are on Social Security, 60 million. A third of those people depend on 90% of their income from Social Security. Nobody in this country is on Social Security because they made the decision when they were starting work at 14 that they wanted to trust some of their money with the government. The government took it out of their check whether they wanted them to or not. And, if person goes to 65, they're going to spend 51 years with the government reaching into their pocket at every paycheck. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

Now, here's the point, whose fault is it that the system is screwed up? Is it the recipients, or is it the government? And, if Congress wants to mess with the retirement program, why don't we let them start by changing their retirement program, and not have one, instead of talking about getting rid of Social Security and Medicare that was robbed $700 billion dollars to pay for Obamacare.

It's always that the government figures that they can do this off the backs of people, many of whom are poor, and depend on that money, and I just think it's fundamentally lying to people and stealing from them, and we shouldn't be doing it.

WALLACE: ...Alright, this is it. Thirty Seconds, finally. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, you ask about how we fund it. One of the reasons that Social Security is in so much trouble is that the only funding stream comes from people who get a wage. The people who get wages is declining dramatically. Most of the income in this country is made by people at the top who get dividends and -- and capital gains. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

HUCKABEE: The fair (ph) transforms the process by which we fund Social Security and Medicare because the money paid in consumption is paid by everybody, including illegals, prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, all the people that are freeloading off the system now.

That's why it ought to be a transformed system.

Gays In Military

BAIER: Governor -- Governor Huckabee, the culture of the American military is definitely changing. Women are moving into combat roles. Don't Ask, Don't Tell has obviously been dropped. And now Defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently directed the military to prepare for a moment when it is welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

As commander in chief, how would you handle that?

HUCKABEE: The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is kill people and break things. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

It's not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse. The purpose is to protect America. I'm not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines makes our country safer.

We've reduced the military by 25 percent... under President Obama. The disaster is that we've forgotten why we have a military. The purpose of it is to make sure that we protect every American, wherever that American is, and if an American is calling out for help, whether it's in Benghazi or at the border, then we ought to be able to answer it.

We've not done that because we've decimated our military. We're flying B-52s. The most recent one that was put in service was November of 1962. A lot of the B-52s we're flying, we've only got 44 that are in service combat ready, and the fact is, most of them are older than me. And that's pretty scary.

Income Inequality

QUICK: Governor Huckabee, you have railed against income inequality. You've said that some Wall Street executives should have gone to jail over the roles that they played during the financial crisis. Apart from your tax plan, are there specific steps you would require from corporate America to try and reduce the income inequality. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: I don't think it's so much about when the government orders a corporation to do something. In fact, that's part of the problem. If you saw that blimp that got cut loose from Maryland today, it's a perfect example of government. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

I mean, what we had was something the government made -- basically a bag of gas -- that cut loose, destroyed everything in its path, left thousands of people powerless, but they couldn't get rid of it because we had too much money invested in it, so we had to keep it.

That is our government today. We saw it in the blimp.

That's exactly what we saw. So look, corporations ought to exercise some responsibility. When CEO income has risen 90 percent above the average worker, when the bottom 90 percent of this country's economy has had stagnant wages for the past 40 years, somebody is taking it in the teeth.

And it's not the folks on Wall Street. I'm not anti-Wall Street, but I don't believe the government ought to wear a team jersey, pick winners and losers.


TAPPER: I'd like to invite each candidate to take 30 seconds to introduce him or herself to our audience. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: I'm Mike Huckabee. I'm delighted to be on this stage with some remarkable fellow Republicans. None of us are a self-professed socialist. None of us on this state are under investigation by the FBI because we destroyed government records, or because we leaked secrets. I know that there are some in the Wall-Street-to-Washington axis of power who speak of all of us contemptuously. But I'm here to say that I think we are, in fact, the A team. We have some remarkable people, and, in fact, not only are we the A team; we even have our own Mr. T, who doesn't mind saying about others, "you're a fool." And I'm delighted to be here with all of these guys, and would put any of them in an administration that I led. Thank you very much. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


TAPPER: All right, sir, go ahead. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Because I think it is incredibly important. This is really about the survival of Western civilization. This is not just a little conflict with a Middle Eastern country that we've just now given over $100 billion to, the equivalent in U.S. terms is $5 trillion. This threatens Israel immediately, this threatens the entire Middle East, but it threatens the United States of America. And we can't treat a nuclear Iranian government as if it is just some government that would like to have power. This is a government for 36 years has killed Americans, they kidnapped Americans, they have maimed Americans. They have sponsored terrorist groups, Hamasand Hezbollah, and they threaten the very essence of Western civilization. To give them this agreement, that the president treats like the Magna Carta, but Iranians treat it like it's toilet paper, and we must, simply, make it very clear that the next president, one of us on this stage, will absolutely not honor that agreement, and will destroy it and will be tough with Iran, because otherwise, we put every person in this world in a very dangerous place. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

BAIER: Governor Huckabee, what do you think about what Senator Paul just said? (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Ronald Reagan said "trust, but verify." President Obama is "trust, but vilify." He trusts our enemies and vilifies everyone who disagrees with him. And the reason we disagree with him has nothing ot do with party. (first GOP debate, Aug. 6, 2015)

HUCKABEE: It has to do with the incredibly dangerous place that this world is gonna be as a result of a deal in which we got nothing. We didn't even get four hostages out. We got nothing, and Iran gets everything they want. We said we would have anywhere, anytime negotiations and inspections, we gave that up. We said that we would make sure that they didn't have any nuclear capacity, we gave that up.

The president can't tell you what we got. I'll tell you what the world got. The world has a burgeoning nuclear power that didn't, as the Soviets, say "we might defend ourselves in a war." What the Iranians have said is, "we will wipe Israel off the face of the map, and we will bring death to America." When someone points a gun at your head and loads it, by God, you ought to take them seriously, and we need to take that seriously.

Supreme Court

TAPPER: Governor Huckabee, I want to bring you in very quickly if you could. Will you have a litmus test when it comes to appointing Supreme Court nominees? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: You better believe I will, because I'm tired of liberals always having a litmus test and conservatives are supposed to pretend we don't. Well let me tell you what mine would be. Number one, I'd ask do you think that the unborn child is a human being or is it just a blob of tissue? I'd want to know the answer to that. I'd want to know do you believe in the First Amendment, do you believe that religious liberty is the fundamental liberty around which all the other freedoms of this country are based? And I'd want to know do you really believe in the Second Amendment, do you believe that we have an individual right to bear arms to protect ourselves and our family and to protect our country? And do you believe in the Fifth and the 14th Amendment? Do you believe that a person, before they're deprived of life and liberty, should in fact have due process and equal protection under the law? Because if you do, you're going to do more than defund Planned Parenthood. One final thing. I'd make darn sure that we absolutely believe the 10th Amendment. Every governor on this stage would share this much with you. Every one of us -- our biggest fight wasn't always with the legislature or even with the Democrats. My gosh, half the time, it was with the federal government who apparently never understood -- that if it's not reserved in the Constitution, then the 10th Amendment says it's left to the states. But somebody forgot to send a memo to Washington. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


REGAN: Should America open its doors to accept any refugees in this country? If so, how many? (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Sandra, I've been concerned that this administration has not done anything to help stop the slaughter of Christians. We didn't help the Kurds, we said we would. But, the idea that we're just going to open our doors, and we have no idea who these people are -- what we do know is that only one out of five of the so called, "Syrian Refugees", who went into Europe were actually Syrian. Many of them, we had no idea who they were. They weren't Syrian. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Are we going to open the doors so that the ISIS people will come on in, and we'll give them a place to say, and a good sandwich, and medical benefits? My gosh, we have $19 trillion dollars in debt, we can't even afford to take care of Americans. ...If we're going to do something for the Syrians... ...let's find out who they really are, and the ones that are really in danger, let's help build an encampment for them, but closer to where they live, rather than bringing them here when they don't know the language, the culture -- and, frankly, if we've got as many homeless people as we have, I'm not sure this makes any sense.

HUCKABEE: So, let's do it where we can best help them. Send them some food. But, let's ask the Saudi's to step up. I'm really tired of Americans being the only ones asked to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to charity, and, quite frankly, my number one concern right now is taking care of the fact that Americans are taking it in the gut without jobs. Many of them working two and three part time jobs. And, if America wants to do something great, let's get our economy growing again, stabilize the dollar, and we'll be in a much better position to help people around the world.


TAPPER: Coming up -- I'm sorry, Governor Huckabee, please. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: I think we need to remember that there are maybe some controversies about autism, but there is no controversy about the things that are really driving the medical costs in this country. And I would really believe that the next president ought to declare a war on cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, because those are the four things that are causing the greatest level of cost. John Kennedy said, "we'll go to the moon in a decade and bring a man back," and we did it. I grew up in the '50s. I remember the polio vaccine. We saved billions of dollars since that time, because we haven't had to treat for polio. Why doesn't this country focus on cures rather than treatment? Why don't we put a definitive focus scientifically on finding the cure for cancer, for heart disease, for diabetes and for Alzheimer's, a disease alone that will cost us -- $1.1 trillion by the year 2050. We change the economy and the country. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


SMITH: Governor Huckabee. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, I think thanking our veterans is a wonderful thing to do, but, they sure appreciate a better paycheck. They'd appreciate the fact that we kept our promises to them. The men and women in uniform put on the uniform of our nation, they went halfway around the world, they face dangers on our behalf, and we promised them if they did that, when they came home we'd take care of their medical care, we'd make is possible for their kids to go to college, and they'd be able to bind to a home. (fourth GOP debate, Nov. 10, 2015)

They kept their promises to us. We have not kept our promises to them, and today, less than one percent of Americans go to the military for service. We're fighting wars with other people's kids in large measure because we've not taken seriously the moral, not the monetary, the moral obligation to take care of the veterans and to keep America's promise to the ones who kept their promise to America.

Vision For America

TAPPER: Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, used the plane behind you to accomplish a great many things. Perhaps, most notably, to challenge Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall, and ultimately, to make peace with the USSR. How will the world look different once your Air Force One is parked in the hangar of your presidential library? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: At the end of my presidency I would like to believe that the world would be a safe place,and there wouldn't be the threats. not only to the U.S., but to Israel and our allies, because we would have the most incredible well-trained, well-equipped, well- prepared military in the history of mankind.And they would know that the commander-in-chief would never send them to a mission without all the resources necessary, but people wouldn't bully us anymore. Because they would know that that would be an invitation to their destruction. Domestically, we would be operating under a tax system that eliminated the IRS. People wouldn't be punished for their work, and for what they produced. And life would be really deemed precious. Abortion would be no more. It would be as much of a scourge in our past as slavery is. And we would have a peaceful country, where people respected each other and people respected law enforcement. And we would focus on cures. And we would make this country not only safe from our enemies without, but safe from the enemies within. And it would be a good place to raise our kids and our grandkids. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)


QUINTANILLA: Governor Huckabee. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

HUCKABEE: Well, John, I don't really have any weaknesses that I can think of. But my wife is down here in the front, and I'm sure, if you'd like to talk to her later, she can give you more than you'll ever be able to take care of. If I have a weakness, it's that I try to live by the rules. I try to live by the rules, no matter what they are, and I was brought up that way as a kid. Play by the rules. And I'll tell you what a weakness is of this country: there are a lot of people who are sick and tired because Washington does not play by the same rules that the American people have to play by. (third GOP debate, Oct. 28, 2015)

Woman On Dollar Bill

TAPPER: Earlier this year, the Treasury Department announced that a woman will appear on the $10 bill. What woman would you like to see on the $10 bill? (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)

HUCKABEE: That's an easy one. I'd put my wife on there. (second GOP debate, Sep. 16, 2015)