Gov. Huckabee at SNAXPO 2012: About Snacks and Politics

March 20, 2012

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, speaking Monday at SNAXPO's closing general session in Phoenix, AZ, talked a lot of politics, but he gave a nod to snack foods, too.

Admitting that he eats more than his share, Huckabee told the sold-out crowd, "You're in an industry where, no matter the price, people love what you make. It's as simple as that."

Focusing on the current primary campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, Huckabee called for reform of the system that allows the Super PACs to use "vast, obscene" amounts of money contributed by undisclosed donors to fund vicious negative ads against candidates who have little ability to respond.

But, he said, "As frustrating as it is, as maddening as it can be, as corrupt, unholy and vicious it can be, it is still a far better system that we select our leaders by ballots rather than bullets as they do in so many places across the globe."

He said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a perfect right to stay in the race until someone achieves enough delegates to wrap up the nomination. Huckabee noted that four years ago when running against Sen. John McCain for the 2008 GOP nomination, there were those who urged him to step aside. But Huckabee said the nominee should be forced to win it, not have the party's nod handed to him. But once the candidate is decided, he said, the Republican party and unsuccessful candidates need to rally around and support that nominee.

"A brokered convention would be a train wreck," he said. "You're day dreaming to think somebody would ride in on a white horse and get the nomination. You would get a guy who hasn't been vetted, and he would only have two months to prepare. That would re-elect President Obama."
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Noting that he served as governor for 10.5 years in Arkansas, with Democrats controlling both houses of the state legislature, Huckabee called for a more conciliatory approach to solving the big national issues. Referring to the Rolling Stones song, "You Don't Always Get What You Want," he said lawmakers should seek to accomplish what they can and seek to find ways to accommodate those with contrary views. "Get what you can get done and live to fight another day," he said.

In the photo at right, Gov. Huckabee (center) is shown with Tom Bryce and his wife, Mary Beth, of Bryce Corporation, which sponsored his adddress.

Huckabee said the election will turn on how well the candidates understand the problems facing individual voters as they seek to cope with today's challenges. He told a story about watching a young mom with two children in her car put $5 worth of gas in her tank and then pull away, and how he realized she could not afford to fill her tank.

The winner of the election, he said, will be the one who does not just promise lower gas prices but who understands the challenge facing that young mother, driving her kids to day care, then going to work to earn enough money to put another $5 worth of gas in her car in a couple of days. "Whoever understands her, whoever inspires her, that's who is going to win. I hope it's one of our guys, but if it's the other guy, I hope he actually means it this time," said Huckabee.

He urged the audience not to be discouraged, but to participate in the process. "Contribute generously to candidates you believe in and contribute generously against those you believe are dangerous," he advised. "Elect people not to campaign, but to govern."