Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came to The National Review summit fresh from a stop at Meet the Press, where he announced formation of a presidential exploratory committee. This Hotline On Call account of the day is well-reported, although we add that, as a student of political rhetoric — this is not an endorsement! — we admit to being very impressed with Huckabee’s remarks, his apparent stump speech. Personal, humorous, patriotic, full of telling anecdotes and well-crafted for the audience. How nice to hear the word “freedom.”
Huckabee spent a good portion of his 22-minute speech on health care, casting the issue in terms appreciated by manufacturers — as a competitive and economic crisis. He eschewed the more detailed policy discussion that Romney favored last night, instead making his point in broad and humorous strokes.
Someone has described that the state of health in America is a lot like an NFL football game: 22 people down on the field who desperately need some rest; 70,000 people up in the stands who desperately need some exercise. We need to change not just the health care system but the health, and to focus on preventing the disease, rather than just treating it, because the truth is, we can either keep treating snakebites or we can start killing some snakes. And if we don’t, we cannot economically survive this incredible domestic issue.
Huckabee then turned to issues of infrastructure and energy, top priorities for the NAM. You can read that portion of his remarks in the extended entry below.
We’ve got to be looking at the parallel fact that we’ve got a lot of moms and dads who sit in traffic all day and who never make it to their daughter’s dance recital, never make it to their son’s soccer game, because the infrastructure of this nation has been long ignored and neglected, and the result is, many of you sit on tarmacs as the environment is polluted with extra jet fuel and the fumes of our cars, while we’re stuck in traffic on roads and airports and bridges and overpasses and underpasses that have been long since become overtaxed, overburdened.
We also have a crisis in terms of the issue of energy. I don’t want us to be not just dependent on foreign oil but held hostage by the people who manufacture it. It’s a riduculous position for this country to be in, where we allow ourselves to be held at the mercy of people who hate us, who would destroy us, and who would take away our livelihoods and our lives within a heartbeat, and if we don’t develop some domestic-based, alternative forms of energy, then we are one day going to pay the dearest price possible. (applause)
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