Huckabee speaks to LC gathering about economy, religion, politics

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said the most important thing Republicans need to do to win elections is make sure the

American people understand that the “message of conservatism is a policy that helps create jobs.”

“There are a lot of ways in which we can help build a great economy and make it possible for people to reach the next rung

on the ladder,” he said Tuesday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Huckabee served as the keynote speaker

at the President’s Dinner, which was sponsored by the Calcasieu Parish

Executive Committee

of the Republican Party.

“When government gets so big that government is bigger than the brains of the people running it, something is dramatically

wrong,” he told the crowd of about 500 people.

He said the problem with the GOP is that “Republicans have sometimes talked as if we’re talking to a group of people in the

corporate boardroom.”

“We’ve got to make sure that people

understand it’s the working-class people who benefit from an economy

that doesn’t punish

the productivity of hardworking people,” he said. “In Louisiana,

you are proving that a smaller, more limited, more locally

focused government really does work to help bring jobs too, as you

are seeing here in Southwest Louisiana.”

Huckabee has ties to the area. His wife, Janet, is from Lake Charles. They married in 1974.

He said one of the most important things that must happen in 2014 is that across the country Republicans need to make sure

that Republicans regain control of the U.S. Senate.

He said that when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 he was willing to be optimistic.

“I wanted to believe the things he said

in the campaign about bringing the country together, about governing it

in a different

way, about putting aside partisan difference to lift up America,”

he said. “I wanted to believe that, and I still want to

believe that’s what this country desperately needs. Sometimes we

put the politics above the principles and when that happens

we’re in trouble and that’s what’s happened over the last six


He said he has seen God raise up leaders and more importantly raise up people “who refuse to let this country die.”

“What I believe more than anything else

is that those of us in this room tonight have to be a part of that

great American

awakening,” he said. “We have to recognize that America and its

comeback is first and foremost not a political platform but

a spiritual platform. If we once again humble ourselves before a

holy God and acknowledge that if it were not for his providence

we would never have existed.”

He said the country needs leaders who will unapologetically articulate their faith.

Huckabee, 58, made a failed attempt at winning the Republican nomination for president in 2008. He told the American Press before his speech Tuesday that he is “keeping an open mind” about the possibility of running for president in 2016.

“The election that is before us is

truly about saving the very principles and bedrock understanding of who

we are as a great

republic where people are a people of law — not of simply the

personalities of individual men,” he said. “We have to see the

tide turn — not for the Republican party’s sake but for the

country’s sake.”

Huckabee hosts the Fox News Channel talk show “Huckabee.” He also has a syndicated radio show and has written more than 10