Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says now is a "good time" for the "Grand Old Party" as Republicans reevaluate and retool the party’s message after its losses in 2008.
"I think it’s a good time for us. A lot of people are wringing their hands and acting like it’s the end of the world. I see things quite differently," Huckabee says. "I think there’s a lot of excitement. People are reminded that when we stand for something, we win. It’s when we get mushy and squishy — that’s when we lose, and people are beginning to realize that."
Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, but he dropped out of the race a few months later. Huckabee’s in Iowa today for two appearances in northwest Iowa. During a telephone interview this afternoon with Radio Iowa, Huckabee stressed his desire for "clarity" among Republicans about what it means to be a conservative.
"I was just stunned when I saw many people who pretended to be conservative who went out there and supported everything from the TARP bill to the bailouts. There’s nothing conservative about that," Huckabee said. "It’s absurd to think that the government should get involved in picking the winners and losers in the marketplace and micromanage major companies."
Huckabee speaks this afternoon at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s annual convention in Okoboji. He’ll headline a fundraiser early this evening for likely 2010 gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats.
Vander Plaats endorsed the former Arkansas governor’s bid for the White House and campaigned with Huckabee in the weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucuses. According to Huckabee, Huckabee organization assembled for the Iowa Caucuses is no longer intact, but he’s hoping to revive it for 2010 — for Vander Plaats.
"Anything I can do to help Bob Vander Plaats in his race for governor I’m certainly going to do," Huckabee said. "And I think that we’ll certainly see many of the people who helped us prepare to get back into the fray for him and I’m certainly hoping that."