Mike Huckabee on Iowa Polls, U.S. Economy and Taxes

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," November 21, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: To the campaign trail right now, where there is big news today, as a big poll putting Mike Huckabee just four points behind Mitt Romney in Iowa, already passing Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani.

Reaction now from the former governor himself.

Governor, I know it's just a poll. You always remind me they are just polls. But that's a pretty good poll for you. What do you make of it?

MIKE HUCKABEE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, they are just polls until they show us doing well, and then they are phenomenal, of course.


HUCKABEE: We're thrilled. Obviously, it's a great, great sign for us.

I have been saying all along the people of Iowa auction their cattle, but not their candidates, and, you know, that these are folks who walk around feed lots enough to know when to avoid the manure and when to recognize what it is.

So, I think what's happening, you're seeing people who are coming around and looking at the substance of the message. We're excited about what's happening, not just there, but across the country. There have been a number of polls today released nationally showing us ahead of some of the folks that have been called top tier for the previous 11 months.

And our campaign is poised to do exactly what we had hoped, and that is make the move just at the right time.

CAVUTO: You must be registering, Governor, if all, of a sudden, other candidates who dismissed you or — or were polite to you are now targeting you, from your positions and fiscal stewardship of Arkansas, to whether you're a true conservative.

But the guns are a'blazing.

HUCKABEE: Oh, sure.

CAVUTO: What's the next six weeks going to look like ahead of Iowa?

HUCKABEE: Oh, there will be a lot more of the attacks. That's part of politics 101. And that's what it is. It's sheer politics. They are throwing stuff at me that was thrown at me in a state for 13 years as an elected Republican in a highly Democratic state.

But you have got to remember that, you know, my first day in office, my door was nailed shut. That was my sort of initiation into politics here. So, it's not something I'm ill-prepared for. It's one of the reasons I think I will be able go through the distance of the campaign.

More importantly, you know, it was Gandhi who said, first, they ignore you. Then, they laugh at you. Then, they attack you. And, then, they attend your swearing-in. So, we're looking forward to January '09.

CAVUTO: All right.

Now, you know how these cycles go, Governor, on — and, particularly when it comes to Iowa, sentiment can sometimes radically change, actually within just a few days of the vote. So, are you afraid — I know this is always risky to ask — of peaking to soon? In other words, you have got another six weeks to go. And hell and earth can move in that time.

HUCKABEE: Well, I don't think we have peaked out yet.

You know, my campaign is the only one that has continued to move upward. Every other campaign either has had a point at which they started slipping backwards or they have stalled at the numbers where they are.

They have already had their peak. We haven't yet. We're pleased with the progress we're making, the momentum that we're gaining. And I think, if you look at the — the fervor of the people who are supporting me, that's what's impressive.

These are folks who aren't just casually saying, OK, of the four or five guys that, you know, I might consider, I might as well pick him.

These are people who know why they are supporting me. And all the attacks in the world, these are folks who have done a little investigation. They know the truth. And, as it says, the truth shall set you free.

CAVUTO: But, Governor, could it be something else, and that is frustration with the other candidates, not so much praise for you, but concerns about the electability of Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney, and that you're just kind of benefiting as the latest flavor, not necessarily the latest love?


HUCKABEE: Well, I mean, I will let all the pundits try to describe it.

I just know that the people who are really supporting me — if you go to our Web site, MikeHuckabee.com, and read the blogs, read what our supporters are saying...

CAVUTO: Yes, but are they giving you money, Governor?

HUCKABEE: Yes, they are.

CAVUTO: I mean, normally, with this attention...

HUCKABEE: Oh, yeah.

CAVUTO: ... you see an increase in...

HUCKABEE: But we are.


CAVUTO: What are you seeing lately?

HUCKABEE: We have raised more money the first 20 days of November than we did any of the quarters we have had. You know, our money is now beginning to come online. People are — are finally believing that this is an investment that actually may work. And...

CAVUTO: Yes, but you know what happens, Governor? You know this better certainly than I do, but it's a chicken-and-egg thing, right?


CAVUTO: I mean, they need to see proof that you are registering.

HUCKABEE: Well, they're seeing that.

CAVUTO: And then the money comes.


CAVUTO: But the money holds back, sometimes thinking, all right, he's peaking, but maybe he is not peaking. There is some — some lasting nature to this. There is not.

What are you hearing?

HUCKABEE: Well, here's what I can always go back to.

In 1979, at this stage of the game, Ronald Reagan's campaign was flat broke. And they were staying three to a room in a cheap hotel in New Hampshire, eating peanut butter sandwiches. Everybody had written him off, no way he can win, wasn't the establishment candidate, made all of them mad. A lot of the major establishment Republicans wouldn't even be seen with him.

It's — it's similar to what we're experiencing here. I'm not the establishment candidate. I have made a lot of them mad. But the ordinary people out there, you know, like the — the flight attendant that I talked to today when I was flying home, one of the reservation agents that I talked to, just ordinary people coming up to me in the airport in the line at Starbucks and saying, hey, I just want you to know, you're speaking for me.

That's why our campaign is doing well. I'm not speaking for the people on Wall Street. They have got plenty of money, lots of voices. Somebody has got to speak for the folks that they are not sure there is a candidate that even understands.


HUCKABEE: That's why we're doing well.

CAVUTO: Governor, I think all this started when you lost all that weight, but that could just be me.


HUCKABEE: Governor, best of luck to you. Congratulations. We will see if it continues.

HUCKABEE: Happy Thanksgiving, Neil.

CAVUTO: To you as well, sir.

All right, Governor Huckabee.

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