Big Story Exclusive: Janet Huckabee Weighs in on the New Hampshire Primary

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This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," January 7, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN GIBSON, "BIG STORY" CO-HOST: He took the lead in last week's Iowa caucuses but GOP contender, Mike Huckabee says he is not counting on a win in tomorrow's New Hampshire primary. Polls show he's coming in a distant third in the state. The candidate acknowledges that if he slides into third or fourth, his campaign is doing just great. Huckabee is out and about in New Hampshire today with actor Chuck Norris and he's encouraging voters there to pick him.


GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I need you tomorrow. Not just to go to the polls and vote for me. That's important, by the way. I need to you take friends and relatives and neighbors and people you work with and go with us also to the polls.


NAUERT: Mike Huckabee's wife, Janet Huckabee, now joins us in "The Big Story" Exclusive: Janet, you're up there in New Hampshire and you know, to a lot of our viewers where they're getting to see you for the first time. We have not had a chance to get to know you yet. So, let me go to the politics first before we go to the personal.

So let me ask you, why is it that your husband should be the next president of the United States?

JANET HUCKABEE, MIKE HUCKABEE'S WIFE: Well, pretty much because what you see is what you get, and Mike is very much the same if he is in front of a group of a thousand people, if he's at home in the backyard grilling burgers or if he is at the our family dinner or if he is at the White House, and he's very genuine. He loves life. He loves America, and I think the people are seeing that.

GIBSON: Janet, let me ask you about this there is a— your husband says Americans relate more to the guy they work with than the guy who laid them off. So, what does he mean by this idea that he's not a "corporate Republican"?

J. HUCKABEE: Well, I think it means that he's one of basically what mid-America is all about. The people that discuss at their dinner table whether or not they're going to have enough money to get through the month, whether or not if their child breaks their arm, can they pay for that? Are they going to have enough money to pay the electric bill? And I think that's what you know, the people are seeing in Mike. He is really one of them. He's been there. He understands it. You know, I was out washing my clothes this afternoon and people think that's kind of strange, but it has to be done, and we still feel like that we are part of what most of America is really all about.

NAUERT: Janet, if your husband were to go on and win the Republican nomination, some people have said there's no way that he could beat a Democrat in the general election. What's your reaction to that? What do you say to people who are concerned about that?

J. HUCKABEE: Well, I think you can look back in January when they said there was no way he would even be in the caucus. They said there was no way that he would even make the straw poll. There is a way, and the people of Iowa showed that, and I think the people in New Hampshire are going to give us a great victory tomorrow. We don't have to be first to have a victory.

NAUERT: Well, Janet, some people would say he is just too conservative and doesn't represent all of the people here in America.

J. HUCKABEE: I think that's very interesting, because most people say he's not a fiscal conservative, which I believe he is. So, it depends on which group you're talking to.

Mike Huckabee is a man of great character. He's a man that wants to lead America in an upward motion. He's tired of what we call "horizontal politics." He's not wanting to fight with the Right, the Left, Republicans, Democrats, male, female, rural, urban. It's time for us to join forces, its' time for us to cross all aisles and break all lines.

GIBSON: Janet, you don't seem like a very much of a Hollywood lady to me, and that's a compliment, so what's it like hanging out with Chuck Norris all this time?

J. HUCKABEE: You know, win, lose or draw of what we're doing right now, there has not been a greater friendship with Chuck and Jeena Norris. And that's something that's going to last after the campaign is over. And I am so thrill that we had the opportunity, through this campaign, to meet them, to get to know them. And it's a relationship that's been forged and will last us the rest of our lives. — Great people.

GIBSON: Janet Huckabee on an exclusive interview here on The Big Story. Janet, come back, will you?

J. HUCKABEE: I sure will and remember, it's not my fault you didn't get to know me before this.

GIBSON: We'll get busy on that. Thanks, Janet.

J. HUCKABEE: You're welcome. Thanks Heather, thanks John.

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