ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Straight off the plane from Michigan, Mike Huckabee spoke to a crowd of around 300 enthusiastic supporters about his leadership and outside the Beltway experience.
"A lot of people have been in Washington a while," said Huckabee. "The question is, if they haven't gotten it done now, what makes us think they'll get it done when they get another chance?"
"We need leadership that actually has been able to be effective. As a governor for 10 1/2 years in my state, I wouldn't have been continually reelected if I hadn't been able to get the job done."
At the beginning of his speech, Huckabee launched into a list of his achievements as governor: improving education, roads and creating jobs.
"I'm not telling all of that just to pat myself on my back. I want you to understand that its important that you elect somebody president who understands the job is not just making a few speeches, serving on a few committees, making a few trips overseas -- it's sitting at that desk everyday and saying what are we going to do to improve life for the next generation of Americans."
In a veiled jab at John McCain, the only Republican frontrunner with years of experience on Capitol Hill, Huckabee repeatedly emphasized the failure of leadership in D.C.
"We're in trouble now because people sitting in Washington had a long time to fix some of these problems and they have not done it. I don't have any confidence that suddenly, they're going to light up like a bulb and figure it out after years and years of not getting it done."