Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee released his “Pledge to the People” today and said he would not sign any other pledge during his 2016 presidential campaign.
“Today I signed a ‘Pledge to the People,’ to defend our Constitution and founding principles, and not just speak to Americans, but for them, so that every American can go from Hope to Higher Ground,” Huckabee said in a released statement.
Huckabee’s pledge can be read below:
I, Mike Huckabee, pledge allegiance to God, the Constitution, and the citizens of the United States:
- I will adhere to the Constitution of the United States.
- I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.
- I will advocate for a complete overhaul of our tax system. This means passing the FairTax and abolishing the IRS.
- I will support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
- I will now, and will for the duration of my presidency, promote and sign all measures leading to Obamacare’s defunding, deauthorization, and repeal.
- I will oppose amnesty and government benefits for illegal immigrants who violated our laws, repeal President Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders, and secure our borders.
- I will stand for the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception until the grave. Taking this unequivocal stand includes fighting to defund Planned Parenthood.
- I will stand for the Institution of Marriage and vigorously oppose any redefinition.
- I will defend our 2nd Amendment rights and oppose gun control legislation.
- I will fight for the United States military to be the most feared, respected, and capable fighting force the world has ever known. I will restore our military infrastructure after years of abuse and neglect.
- I will stand with our friend and ally Israel in our shared fight against Radical Islam.
- I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capability.
- I will end the national disgrace of failing to properly care for our veterans.
- I will protect Social Security and Medicare and never rob seniors of the benefits they were promised and forced to pay for.
- I will fight to kill Common Core and restore common sense. Education is a family function – not a federal function.
- I will support the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices. They must be committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench.
- I will fight for term limits for members of Congress and judges.
Huckabee’s pledge is pretty comprehensive and outlines his priorities, but doesn’t include every issue such as the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. Restoring common sense in education doesn’t necessarily mean reducing or eliminating a federal role in education. He has said he would do that in different speeches and interviews however. This pledge also doesn’t include specific bills.
Needless to say, some groups won’t be happy, but on the other hand Huckabee avoids the pitfalls of having his name attached to poorly worded pledges that could end up bringing bad PR. He can also claim independence from special interest groups.
I’m also not a fan of pledges per se because I believe one’s yes should be yes and no be no. If a candidate says in a speech, policy paper, issues page, etc. that he or she will do something they shouldn’t have to sign a pledge or take an oath (beyond the required oath of office to uphold the Constitution) as proof they will keep their word. Also these pledges are often nothing more than PR or email collection for organizations anyway.
It will be interesting to see if other candidates follow Huckabee’s lead here.