Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee centered his campaign on issues of importance to his socially conservative base, including opposition to abortion and gay marriage. Huckabee emerged as a strong candidate late in the campaign season, surprising many with his win in the Iowa caucus.
Huckabee served as chair of the National Governor’s Association, during which time he started the Healthy America initiative, aimed at increasing investment and awareness nationwide in health and prevention. An opponent of universal health care, Huckabee advocates a shift away from employer-based health care programs and calls for refocusing the medical industry on illness prevention, rather than just treatment. A primary talking point of Huckabee’s campaign has been his dramatic weight loss—Huckabee lost over 100 pounds—and has led him to write a book about pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Huckabee was elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas in 1993, and took over the governorship when his predecessor, James Guy Tucker, resigned in 1996.
Huckabee's foreign policy experience is limited. As a presidential candidate, he has detailed an international agenda focusing on building stability and democracy in the Middle East. He has differed from his party on immigration issues, often criticizing measures targeting illegal immigrants.
Huckabee ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on March 4, 2008.