Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A phone conversation with Mike Huckabee

Today I was heading back from town to the farm when I got a call on my cell phone from none other than Mike Huckabee, Republican candidate for President. I had contacted the campaign staff about doing an interview with the former governor, possibly by submitting questions via email and getting a reply. I wasn't expecting a phone call, but I was glad I was able to take it.

I asked the governor primarily about agriculture policy and trade, two issues that affect what we do here in The South of Iowa. After getting home to the computer, I was able to record some of his responses.

Huckabee said there were three things that must be produced at home in our country if we are to maintain our country: The ability to feed ourselves, the ability to fuel ourselves, and the ability to protect ourselves (i.e. domestic defense production).

Governor Huckabee is a supporter of free trade, but our trade policy is not free because it is not fair. In regards to China, Huckabee would want to see that country start to adopt similar safety, health, labor, and environmental standards that we have in this country. They are basically on a different playing field, and because they can skirt standards that we have to live by, they can exploit those differences and produce cheaper products.

Governor Huckabee is also a support of Country of Origin Labeling, or COOL, for food products. This is especially important in light of contaminated feed and food products brought in from China.

Relating specifically to farm policy, Huckabee did not have a specific comment about farm program payment limitations. Here in the northern states, payment limitations are favorable, as they would only affect the very large farms. Medium sized farms in the South, however, would be affected quicker by payment caps due the high level of subsidies for cotton and rice. Huckabee did say he did didn't want drastic changes to be made to the farm policy that would potentially put farmers out of business overnight. When I suggested that we should have a regional farm policy, with different caps and programs for different regions, he was favorable to that.

Huckabee also had much to say about his proposed FairTax program. He cited this as a way to bring our national debt and foreign trade deficit in line by eliminating barriers to internal investment.

I would encourage everyone to take a serious, hard look at Mike Huckabee for our President. He has a solid message to get across, and one that I believe can cut across party lines. Support for COOL and for fair trade is not something found often in the Republican party, but it shows that Huckabee does see how so called "free trade" policies have hurt our nation, not only its people but its sovereignty.

Mike Huckabee is the real deal, folks. Check him out at www.explorehuckabee.com.

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