Republican candidate Mike Huckabee kicked off a two-day tour of Iowa this afternoon, about 24 hours after officially entering the 2016 presidential race.
“We’re going to go out to every little village, hamlet, town, city in Iowa — all 99 counties — and try to win votes one at a time,” Huckabee told reporters today in Oskaloosa. “I don’t know there’s any other way to do it in Iowa other than the old-fashioned way. Retail politics: it still works.”
Huckabee won Iowa’s 2008 Caucuses and, while many polls showed him a leading contender in 2012, he decided not to run. Today, Huckabee said the 2016 Iowa Caucuses are not a make or break prospect for his second try at the White House.
“We want to win Iowa,” Huckabee said. “We plan to win Iowa. We’re going to do everything we can to win Iowa, but if we don’t, I’m not going to go ahead and announce now that we’re done.”
Huckabee’s first stop today was in the south central Iowa city of Oskaloosa where he toured Clow Valve Company and focused on his call for Americans to acquire the education, training and skills to earn a “maximum wage” rather than settle for a minimum wage job.
“Here in Iowa there are still things being manufactured, being manufactured by people who live here, who work here, who get a good wage here, who get great benefits here,” Huckabee said. “And more companies, I hope, are going to be able to manufacture and make that kind of job available for its people.”
The company makes fire hydrants and other products for water utilities.
Huckabee will hold a rally tonight at Living History Farms in Urbandale. Tomorrow he will make stops in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City.
(Reporting by Emery Songer, KBOE, Oskaloosa; additional reporting and editing by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)