Daily Revolt

January 04, 2008

Huckabee on Larry King after Win

LARRY KING, HOST: Republican Rudy Giuliani and an outstanding panel standing by to sort through tonight's outcome.
As promised, though, we're going to start with the Republican winner, Mike Huckabee. Were you surprised, governor?

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Larry, I really wasn't. I know I surprised a lot of people but I wouldn't have worked this hard and stayed this long in this race if I didn't think we can get here. I believe the message was resonating. I could sense it in people. And I just believe that the Republicans needed to start talking about issues that people were discussing around their kitchen table.

Well, tonight I think we found out that our party is sort of getting its groove back. We're finding out how to talk to the middle class. Finding out how to talk to people in small business that make up 80 percent of the jobs in this country. To speak up for the folks that felt like maybe nobody was talking for them and to them in the Republican Party.

This was not just an Iowa deal. I think it was an American deal.

KING: Strategically, Mike, how did you do it?

HUCKABEE: We just went to voters one-on-one. We focused on a positive message. We did not strike out at our opponents. And believe me, it was tempting. As you know, I got real close to doing it. In the end, I decided people were sick of it. There was so much, I call it political dumpster diving where all people wanted to do was say, here is all that is wrong with my opponent. Everywhere I went in Iowa, if I said, we are going to keep our campaign positive, the audience would break out in applause. And sometimes you think they applaud, well, but they really want to know, what are you going to do to beat up this other guy. In the end I believe a positive message did work. They want a more civil discourse. They know this country has some real problems. They have got to be fixed. And they are not going to be fixed if all we can do is tell you what's wrong with the other guy who wants to be president.

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