AUGUSTA, MICH. -- "Amen" is usually the word of choice murmered in Mike Huckabee religiously-overtoned crowds. But the phrase of choice at this early morning rally of approximately 100 was "That's right."
Coming to the event with a working-class pitch that resonates well with his crowds here, Huckabee, in a veiled jab at his multimillionaire rival Mitt Romney, listed off the folks for whom the economy is not working.
"For those for whom summer isn't in a verb. For those of who didn't get the finest education at finest boarding schools on the East Coast. For those of us who didn't grow up with a silver spoon -- we were just happy to have a spoon. Those of us who never really entered the country club -- we were just hoping to just be able to play basketball at the Boys Club. For those us who didn't have silk stockings but cotton socks were nice to have... for people waiting the tables and handling the bags and driving in the front seat of cabs, not riding in the back of the cab. Ask those folks and the economy is not doing all that great for them."
In a implicit rub at John McCain, Huckabee offered himself as a Washington outsider: "Lot of people thought 'where's this guy been living?' Well, I've been living in real world while some are living in that insular bubble called Washington, D.C."
"I know that there are some candidates out there saying Michigan's lost jobs you will never see them again," he said, referring to a McCain comment from last week. Huckabee argued that it was time for the U.S. to save Michigan after all that it had done to boost the country's economy.
In this election, Huckabee said, "You'll have to decide, do they represent the values and the views that you think about, you worry about when you sit at your dinner table tonight? Do they understand your family? Have they ever, for a moment, really truly known what happens when you lose your paycheck?"
"The only hope they've really got is the Lord and hope for some people in the government who have the good, decent common sense to understand that if we can't protect the American workers and the American people, if we're more interested in outsourcing our jobs and our freedom, we aren't making sure Americans have some stability, then we need some different people running the government," said Huckabee.
"I'm not going to ask you to go vote, and not care who you vote for. I want you to vote for me. And I'll hope you want to, and I hope you'll not only go, but you'll get on your phone and you'll get on your email list, and you'll start going door to door, do whatever you gotta do, call radio stations and get on the talk lines. Let's burn this state up over the next 30 hours."