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Mike Huckabee's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Mike Huckabee has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2016.

  • "I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering. I believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned." (
  • "Life begins at conception. This isn't just a Biblical view - it's affirmed by modern science and every unique human DNA schedule, which is present at conception. As Governor, I promoted and signed a fetal protection act. I imposed a ban on partial birth abortion, established waiting periods, created parental notification requirements, and passed a bill so mothers who brought a newborn to a hospital or fire station would not be prosecuted for child abandonment." (
  • "But I am running to completely eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes. And do I mean all - personal federal, corporate federal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment." (
  • "Instead of tinkering with the tax code, we need a tax revolution that helps every hard-working American and eliminates the IRS once and for all." (
  • "Well, they call it that, but it actually was making sure that we had reasonable, responsible policies and prison terms. We were hard on drug offenders and drug dealers. But here's what we also try to do -- to balance being tough on drug dealers, tough on crime, but also being a little bit kinder to the taxpayers and not putting people in unnecessarily long sentences when there really was no call for it. [...] So we didn't coddle criminals, but what we did do in many cases of nonviolent drug offenders was create drug courts, which created a different pathway so that people who had not committed a violent crime, who were drug users, who didn't have previous offenses went into rehab" (
  • "As Governor, I could not simply print money - I balanced the budget ten years in a row. I will take that experience to the White House and rein-in Washington's reckless, runaway spending." (
  • "I believe that our massive deficit is not due to Americans' being under-taxed, but due to the federal government's over-spending. Achieving and maintaining a balanced federal budget is an important and worthy goal necessary to our long-term economic well-being." (
  • "The FairTax is the only plan that lowers everyone's tax rates, untaxes the poor, broadens the tax base, and helps protect Social Security and Medicare." (
  • "But I am running to completely eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes. And do I mean all - personal federal, corporate federal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment" (
  • "Instead of tinkering with the tax code, we need a tax revolution that helps every hard-working American and eliminates the IRS once and for all." (
  • "When it comes to education, the Obama Administration is lost at sea. We must shift power back to state and local governments. In my ten years as governor, I fought for parents, students and local control. Washington bureaucrats and big-government central planners are out-of-control. Education is a family function - not a federal function. Education decisions are best made by the most local government - Moms and Dads. I believe we must demand results, accountability and success for every child in every classroom. I oppose watering down our education standards or automatically promoting every student. I also oppose Common Core and believe we should abolish the federal department of education. We must kill Common Core and restore common sense. The rising cost of college also threatens middle class families, students and the American dream. For too many, college is where students discover mountains of debt - but not a lifelong career. We must tackle the establishment and reform our colleges and universities so they make sense for the jobs of tomorrow." (
  • "As President, my education agenda will include working towards a clear distinction between the federal role in assisting and empowering states and in usurping the right of states to carry out the education programs for their students. While there is value in the "No Child Left Behind" law's effort to set high national standards, states must be allowed to develop their own benchmarks." (
  • "Some common sense has been in the pipeline for a long time, and it's finally arrived?.For the past five years, President Obama has blocked the Keystone XL oil pipeline. He put environmentalist interest even over unions, who wanted the jobs it would create, even though the environmental argument against it has always been a bit vague [...] if he blocks the pipeline yet again, despite his own department's study, and for no identifiable reason, he just might establish a legacy of fighting common sense." (
  • "We have to explore, we have to conserve, and we have to pursue all avenues of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass" (
  • "We should explore and exploit all forms of domestically produced energy - oil, gas, wind, solar, bio-fuels, hydro-electric, nuclear, coal - anything and everything." (
  • The New York Times "But more recently he has minimized it as a threat, and said he opposes "cap and trade" legisla tion meant to curtail carbon emissions. 'This kind of mandatory energy policy would have a horrible impact on this nation's job market,' he said." (
  • "I believe that we must be good stewards of our environment and support many paths to reducing our emission of greenhouse gases, such as more nuclear power and alternative sources of clean energy. As part of our overall effort, I also support a cap and trade system, which has worked well for reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions. However, I do not agree with those who want all allowances to be auctioned off because I believe that will create too great a burden on businesses. The alternative to cap and trade is a carbon tax, which I don't support." (
  • "The Environmental Protection Agency can't even protect its own environment from outright fraud? Thanks to the Obama Administration's green initiatives, the EPA is now one of the most powerful government agencies. But in Washington, with great power comes great irresponsibility." (
  • "No candidate has a stronger, more consistent record on Second Amendment rights than I do. Our Founding Fathers, having endured the tyranny of the British Empire, wanted to guarantee our God-given liberties." (
  • "The Second Amendment is the last line of defense against tyranny and must be protected. I was the first governor in America to have a concealed handgun license, and I'm a lifetime member of the NRA. As President, I will: Defend the 2nd Amendment Oppose new gun control laws Protect the rights of gun owners from Big Government Oppose new gun restrictions, registrations, regulations & mandates This issue is crystal clear. Abolishing guns because of reckless abusers makes as much sense as abolishing cars because some people drive drunk." (
  • "We don't need universal health care mandated by federal edict or funded through ever-higher taxes. We do need to get serious about preventive health care instead of chasing more and more dollars to treat chronic disease" (
  • "ObamaCare simply doubles down on this backwards, broken, flawed and failing system. We need honesty, leadership and real reform. As President, I will repeal ObamaCare and fight for real health care reform." (
  • "Illegal immigrants already living among us who commit crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and incarcerated or deported. I opposed the amnesty bill that was defeated by the Senate in June. I support the $3 billion that Congress recently appropriated for border security. These funds will be used to train and deploy 23,000 more agents, add four drone airplanes, build 700 miles of fence and 300 miles of vehicle barriers, and erect 105 radar and camera towers." (
  • "As President, I will: Reject President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders. Oppose amnesty. Secure the border now. If you reward people who play outside the rules and punish people who live within the rules, pretty soon nobody is going to play by the rules. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws." (
  • "I may stand alone, but I am absolutely faithful to the issue of marriage. Not because it's politically expedient, but because it's the Biblical position, the historical position and the right position. We must defend, protect and preserve traditional marriage." (
  • "I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life." (
  • "There is a difference between right and wrong, good and evil. I will keep all options on the table in order to defeat the evil forces of Radical Islam." (
  • "It's an enemy conducive to being tracked down and eliminated by using the CIA and the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command. We can accomplish a great deal, we can achieve tremendous bang for the buck, with swift, surgical air strikes and commando raids by our elite units, working with friendly governments, as we've done with the Ethiopians in Somalia. These operations are impossible without first-rate intelligence." (
  • "The reason why we hit such a roadblock (reforming Social Security) is partly because of the word 'privatized' accounts. A better word would be 'personalized' accounts to empower you as a consumer to look out there on the horizon and make some decisions about your life and your money, and the government would be a partner." (
This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.
The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legally available.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
X e) Abortion should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
X f) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories.State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels you will support.

Greatly Increase Funding a) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increase Funding b) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increase Funding c) Environment
Greatly Increase Funding d) Health care
Slightly Increase Funding e) Law enforcement
Slightly Increase Funding f) Transportation and Highway infrastructure
Maintain Funding Status g) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decrease b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Status f) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Maintain Status g) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
h) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Status i) Property taxes
Maintain Status j) Sales taxes
Maintain Status k) Vehicle taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
Yes m) Should Internet sales be taxed?
No n) Should Arkansas institute a state lottery?
Yes o) Do you support eliminating the sales tax on food?
p) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.d) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?

Yes a) Do you support the current two-term eight-year limit for Arkansas governors?
Yes b) Do you support two-term eight-year limit for Arkansas state senators?
Yes c) Do you support the three-term six-year limit for Arkansas house representatives?
Yes 1) Individual
Yes 2) PAC
Yes 3) Corporate
Yes 4) Political Parties
Yes e) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
No f) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
No g) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Yes h) Do you support voting on-line?
Yes i) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
No j) Do you support prohibiting media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in Arkansas are closed?
No k) Should Arkansas recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Yes l) Should Arkansas restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
m) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

X a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
X b) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
c) Oppose the use of the death penalty in Arkansas.
X d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
e) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
X f) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
g) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
X h) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
X i) Support the .08 blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
X j) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
k) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, or disability be prosecuted as hate crimes.
X l) Ban the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officers.
m) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
X n) Increase state funding for additional security of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks.
o) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
c) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
X d) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
X e) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
X f) Support displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools.
g) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
X i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
X j) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
k) Support age-appropriate sexual education programs that teach about abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
X l) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
m) Other or expanded principles

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning employment.Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on:

X a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
X b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
X d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children of low-income working families.
f) Include sexual orientation in Arkansas anti-discrimination laws.
g) Other or expanded principles
No a) College and university admissions
No b) Public employment
No c) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

X a) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
X b) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Undecided c) Do you support energy deregulation?
Undecided d) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
No e) Should state environmental regulations be stricter than federal law?
f) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
b) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
X e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.

X a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care where necessary.
X b) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
X c) Reduce the amount the state pays to pharmacies for filling Medicaid prescriptions.
d) Reduce the number of in-home personal care hours that elderly Medicaid patients recieve, unless additional care is necessary.
X e) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X f) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
X g) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied by their HMO.
X h) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
i) Legalize physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas.
X j) Increase state funding for training health workers to recognize and respond to the release of biological agents.
X k) Use Arkansas's portion of the national tobacco settlement only for anti-smoking and health programs.
l) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.

X a) Support current time limits on welfare benefits.
X b) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
X c) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
d) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
X e) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
f) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
X g) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
X h) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to expand state services to include the working poor.
i) Other or expanded principles
Our primary legislative priorities will be to continue the work to improve the quality of education for all Arkansas children. Our NEXT STEP education program will be a natural continuation of our SMART START and SMART STEP programs that have put an emphasize on reading and math. Nothing we can do is as important as continuing the effort to see that all children have equal access to quality education. Our second priority will be the overall effort to see that we can continue to deliver the fundamental government services offered in the past. Certainly, the delivery of some services is threatened by increasing demand and decreasing revenue projections. The challenges of meeting the needs of all constituent groups who have traditionally accessed services are greater than ever. It will take a consolidated effort by the administration, legislators, and advocacy groups to see that our resources are managed and allocated in the most fundamentally fair way.

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