Ex-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee talks economy, state of the US and its politics


You'll find few people who disagree with the notion that Washington is gridlocked and people are fed up. President Obama said as much Thursday in his press conference. And so did Governor Mike Huckabee in a quick visit to southeast Texas.

The former Arkansas governor was the star attraction at a fundraising event for the Kingwood Christian School, hoping to raise money in this tough economy -- an economy Huckabee says isn't getting any help from Washington.

"I think the political environment has sort of degenerated to a point where people aren't talking about solving problems. They just want to make sure the other guy doesn't win," Huckabee said.

Huckabee was a leading presidential candidate just three and half years ago. He won Iowa and did well in New Hampshire, but lost the nomination to John McCain. Now a political analyst, he says things inside the beltway have only gotten worse.

"The atmosphere in Washington is such that the toxicity, I think, is just almost lethal," Huckabee said. "The two parties are out of touch with people. They both think that people want them to beat the other side down. No they don't want that."

He says both parties are guilty of failing to act. And the president isn't helping either.

"The president I think is one of the reasons we're not getting anywhere. He's the one who's said we're not gonna make any compromises with these guys," Huckabee said.

It's not just the politicians who are the problem, he says, it's the process creating an unresponsive capitol. It's also the media and the presidential primary schedules, which are more condensed than ever.

"Once Florida decided to jump up and take a place they weren't supposed to take, all the other states are going to move forward. You may have -- it's amazing but it's possible that New Hampshire could have their primary December 20th. They're actually talking about that," he said.

Huckabee says the way we pick party nominees is horrible and way too expensive, jokingly suggesting that an American Idol format where people phone in their picks would be better than what we have now.

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