Huck Comes Out Swinging

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from MSNBC,

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee from his hometown Tuesday announced his second run for president, declaring to an auditorium of cheers that he is ready to help take America “from hope to higher ground.”

“I am a candidate for president of the United States,” he said.

t’s a second trip into the ring for Huckabee, a Baptist preacher who plays the bass guitar and relied on down-home charm, retail politicking and evangelical appeal to win a surprise victory in the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses.

And his announcement makes him the third 2016 GOP hopeful to announce a bid this week; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced their presidential bids on Monday.

This time around, Huckabee has said, he won’t have the same problem he faced in 2008: He didn’t have enough money to sustain his campaign past Iowa, or to answer tough ads criticizing his record as governor of Arkansas.

Still, his familiarity could cut both ways. Polls show Republican voters are looking for a fresh face, and Huckabee will face plenty of competition for the conservative evangelicals who backed him in 2008. Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are all running or expected to run for the first time. Former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who won the caucuses in 2012, is also expected to run again.

If his recent book tour is any indication, Huckabee’s humble roots will be at the center of his second campaign.

“When I hear all these people talking about poverty, sometimes, I’m amazed that they act like they know what that means. They don’t know what that means,” Huckabee said earlier this year during an appearance on msnbc’s “Morning Joe.” And the theme featured prominently in his first video, which shows him declaring: “I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich, I’m a Republican because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.”

But Huckabee has sometimes raised eyebrows in the process.

In a speech last year, Huckabee said Democrats insult women “by making them believe that they are helpless without ‘uncle sugar’ coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.”

As he was promoting his new book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” he decried Beyonce’s music as “mental poison” – and, in an interview with People magazine, criticized President and Michelle Obama for letting their daughters listen to it.

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