With a message of faith, hope and freedom, former Gov. Mike Huckabee entertained and inspired a crowd of 1,200 Thursday afternoon at the Hilton Waco hotel.
Chuck Norris and his wife accompanied Huckabee on the campaign stop to endorse their favorite candidate.
"This man has experience, youth and vision," Norris said about the former governor of Arkansas.
With people packed shoulder to shoulder and country music blasting from speakers on the stage, the energetic audience of young and old alike chanted "We like Mike!"
Greeneville junior Jordan Powell, assistant to the Huckabee campaign manager, set the tone for the electric event by leading a 'Sic 'Em' with Chuck Norris on stage. Powell introduced Huckabee, describing the governor's down-to-earth qualities.
"What you see is what you get with Mike Huckabee," Powell said.
When Huckabee took the stage, he opened with a joke. "I know that you came to see Chuck Norris," he said to a laughing audience. "But don't feel bad, I did too. Chuck Norris doesn't just draw a crowd -- he shows up, and the crowd materializes."
He asked how many students weren't studying in order to come to the rally, saying jokingly, "now if Baylor is half the school that I think it is, every professor that you have will certainly say, 'If you were at that Huckabee rally, you definitely deserve extra points.'"
After the comedic opening, Huckabee started his speech, addressing his reason for remaining in the race to become the next president.
"No two television networks have the same numbers for how many delegates have been attained by Sen. McCain or by me. If it's such a perfecting, absolute science, how come no one's numbers match up?" Huckabee asked.
"But here's the number," he said. "Until someone has 1,191 delegates, we don't have a nominee yet. And if we don't have someone who has those delegates by the time of the convention, then the convention decides. And this party has historically been a strong party and wins elections when we hold fast to our conservative principles."
The governor then shifted the focus to moral issues, stating the importance of human dignity. "The principle of life is that whether it is an unborn child or an elderly person with a terminal illness, we treat that person with dignity, respect and honor because that is the way we would want to be treated."
Regarding the fight against terrorism, Huckabee said, "the battleground of the world is really a battleground of whether we will be a culture of life or a culture of death." He denounced Islamo-Fascism as an ideology that commits terror for the "politics of a cause."
The crowd responded strongly when Huckabee elaborated on his FairTax plan. "Let's stop taxing productivity," he said while ripping apart a 1040 form on stage. "Let's kill the IRS before it kills every last business in America."
Huckabee finished his message with a challenge: "Give your heart and your soul and your effort, because if we win Texas, I'll be on my way to becoming the 44th president of the United States of America."
© 2008 The Lariat via U-WIRE