Irish Trojan has lots of links
), including video of his thrashing of Mike Huckabee.
The LA Times has a complete transcript
of the debate. This is what Fred said:
It's an important issue, because I think it demonstrates what we're about here today. I think that Governor Huckabee's campaign manager said it accurately in terms of what they believe. They believe that it is over.
This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future. On the one hand, you have the Reagan revolution. You have the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national security.
On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in. He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies.
He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy and the tradition of, blame America first.
He believes that Guantanamo should be closed down and those enemy combatants brought here to the United States to find their way into the court system eventually.
He believes in taxpayer-funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas.
He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers.
He said he would sign a bill that would ban smoking nationwide. So much for federalism. So much for states' rights. So much for individual rights.
That's not the model of the Reagan coalition, that's the model of the Democratic Party.
Huck also noted that Reagan raised taxes during his first year as governor.
What this banter doesn't reveal is the net change in tax rates and spending under either Huckabee or Reagan. Not sure where to get that information. I did find a snippet of Huck's fiscal record, via the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration's Office of Budget figures on Actual Agency Expenditures. Unfortunately the data go only as far back as Fiscal Year 2002; Huckabee was governor from mid-1996 to January of this year. Here's the state spending totals for the last five fiscal years of Huckabee's governorship:
2002 - $ 12,243,863,785
2006 - $ 15,608,496,087
Over that period actual state spending rose 27.48%. Not good.
Huckabee should not have opened this Pandora's box:
What I did was I governed. And the people of my state must have liked the way I did it, because they kept re-electing me.
Dude, this is the state that keeps re-electing Democrats to fill both its US Senate seats and three of its four US House seats. On top of that, Dems have a super-majority in the Arkansas General Assembly. You gotta come up with a better endorsement than that, at least when you're addressing Republicans.