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MSNBC "Morning Joe" - Transcript

Interview

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MSNBC "Morning Joe"

MR. SCARBOROUGH: Here now, live from Dallas, Republican presidential candidate, Governor Mike Huckabee.

Governor, thank you for being with us. What's it looking like in Dallas?

MR. HUCKABEE: Well, it's kind of nasty weather out here, but enjoyed the Ted Nugent music coming in from the bumper.

(Laughter.)

MR. HUCKABEE: That's pretty good, Joe.

MR. SCARBOROUGH: Well, we played that just for you.

MR. HUCKABEE: At least you're getting some good conservative rock music going to get things started right.

MS. BRZEZINSKI: That's right.

MR. SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it. When we think of "Cat Scratch Fever" - when Mika does - she thinks of you, Governor.

MS. BRZEZINSKI: Well, I think of Governor Huckabee all the time.

MR. SCARBOROUGH: Do you know the Dallas Morning News, Mika?

MS. BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

MR. SCARBOROUGH: They're sticking with Governor Huckabee.

MS. BRZEZINSKI: Well, I understand why.

MR. SCARBOROUGH: Good for them.

MS. BRZEZINSKI: Absolutely.

MR. SCARBOROUGH: So, you think you can have a good showing tomorrow in Texas?

MR. HUCKABEE: We think we can. And, of course, you're looking there at the world's greatest newspaper, the Dallas Morning News. We were very pleased with the endorsement; timing was perfect for us.

And one of the things that we appreciated was, in the article, they mentioned talking about the future of the Republican Party; something that I've been trying to say for months. This party has got to reach out to voters who are 18 to 30 years old. We've got to show that we're relevant; that we're not just a stuffy party of people who are concerned about looking over their portfolios; that we need to be looking at people who are driving trucks and carrying bags and serving tables. We need to be looking at those folks who are out there scratching out a living every single day.

And there are a lot of younger voters who are concerned about the environment, hunger, poverty, disease, education, healthcare; and if we're not addressing those issues with real plans of how we're going to deal with them, we're not going to be able to attract those voters. And once we lose them, we may never get them back.

MS. BRZEZINSKI: Well, if you look at what's happening on the Democratic side with, really, a battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and voter turnout looking very high in both states - which is great. You see voters getting engaged. And on the Republican side, you're still in, you're saying, because also you want the conversation to continue and, hopefully, more voters will hear more about the issues because of it.

But, what is your strategy from now on? I mean, is it still to try and somehow pull this out?

MR. HUCKABEE: Well, one of the things, Mika, we've got to able to do it keep the conversation going, but until somebody gets the 1,191 delegates, we don't have a nominee. And I know everybody seems to be in such a rush, and all these people lining up to make endorsements and saying, oh, it's time to close the gap.

I guess I'm asking: what's the hurry? We're six months away from the convention; we're eight months away from the election. What's the hurry? Why is it that Republicans are so afraid to continue talking about the things that once gave us a strong sense of majority in not only governorships, but statehouses, Congress and the White House. Are we afraid of our message? We shouldn't be. The conservative message wins. It's when we deviate from it is when we get beat.

MR. GEIST: Governor Huckabee, it's Willie here. I'm reading a report in Politico that says, "Huckabee's advisers have intimated that Texas would be his last stand. Yet Huckabee appears intent on going forward."

Are you getting pressure from inside your campaign to withdraw from the race?

MR. HUCKABEE: No, there's no pressure from within the campaign to drop out. I think we all believe that our message has been clear: 1,191 is what it takes for somebody to become the nominee and, you know, we've had people - for example, last week at Texas A&M, we had over 1,000 people get into the building until the fire marshal closed. We had 1,500 that couldn't even get in; enthusiastic people still coming out. People who is unapologetically pro-life, wants to solve the immigration problem, actually believes in getting the fence built and, also, a person who says, look, we've got to have a totally new tax system that doesn't punish the daylights out of working people and folks who are trying to go out there and put food on their family's table. And we have a tax system today that penalizes people's productivity. It's crazy. We've got to make some changes and do it quickly.


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