CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After an early morning fund-raiser, Huckabee held a press conference where more than a hundred homeschooling parents and their children packed into a room behind him. Many of the children carried signs scrawled with their own handwriting and pictures.
Before addressing the press, Huckabee turned his back to the media and thanked the families for turning out. Huckabee was the first governor to appoint to appoint a home schooling parent to the state board of education.
The first question from the press was once again about religion and whether it was overshadowing everything else. Huckabee said religion was an "important" part of what a candidate stands for but said it did get a little "laborious" when people started asking "intricate, nit-picky" questions about church doctrine, which are not relevant to being president.
Asked about Romney's speech for the second media avail in a row, Huckabee said he had only been able to see excerpts but reiterated it was a "good thing"
"You know, I got to thinking about it and as I've said, if someone will give me free network time across America, I'll make one too and even make an alter call to take an offering," joked Huckabee.
On Bush's mortgage freeze plan, Huckabee said that it was still a private transaction to freeze rates in the subprime market so people could stay in their homes. Huckabee said it was a "good move" and he was glad Bush did not take taxpayer money to fix this because "this is not a taxpayer's obligation."
"People have to take responsibility for financial decisions they made," said Huckabee. "That's tough. Its hard. But the reality is if I go out and buy more car than I can afford, I either have to get rid of that car or find a way to pay for it. If I buy more car, should I aske those who had bought less of a car to make their car payments and mine too? Nobody agrees that makes a good idea."
Asked about how much money he has raised, Huckabee estimated he had about two to three million dollars in the bank.
Re: his rise in the polls, Huckabee added, "Did we do it because we bought our way into it? No, we did it because there are a whole lot of American people that do not want to put the presidency up for sale."
"Maybe my mistake was at the beginning I prayed 'give us this day our daily bread.'"
"I should have prayed give us this day all the bread we need for the rest of the campaign. And then everybody would assume we would make it all the way."
"Now there were a lot of days where I wasn't sure if we would make payroll on Friday and that was on Wednesday. But by Friday, we had the money to make payroll. A couple of things you may not know about my campaign that you need to know. We never borrowed a dime and we won't go into debt for the campaign. If we can't pay for it in cash, we won't go."
Huckabee said, "I would suggest that the discipline that we've learned by not having a lot of money is exactly what a lot of Americans want to see not just in a candidate, but a president who would lead this country to the same kind of frugal budget management that they have to. In their own homes. And when they see people running for president throwing money at everything and everybody, they're saying, if they'll do that with a campaign, what on earth would they do if they had the federal treasury to spend."