Thursday, September 6, 2007

Post Debate Bloggers Call

Today I participated in another blogger call. I did get my question answered. It was not the original question I wanted to ask last week. But I felt this was the time to ask this question. No, it was not about what was upsetting me. But I felt that asking this question might help me gauge other things, without Mike Huckabee feeling like I was mentally assaulting him through the phone.
Before I start off on my Q & A with Mike. He said he was glad to join the bloggers. He hoped we all got more sleep then him. He had to be at this mornings interview with FOX News at 2:30am. Obviously he didn't get much sleep. I thought that was nice that he would take the time with us bloggers. He sounded very tired. He's probably telling his staff about a "funny dream" he had about being on a conference call.
Bob Kleg from New Hampshire joined in on the call, to give a New Hampshire perspective. Mr. Kleg said that Mike Huckabee is the Main Street candidate who will stand up for America. He also said that New Hampshirers aren't impressed with wordy rhetoric and slick ads. They are interested in the issues.

Now for the question I asked. I started off with saying, "None of the candidates have talked about welfare reform. What are your thoughts on this issue? If you were president what would you do to help the recipients get off assistance and get jobs?"
He answered, "The reason none of the candidates have not talked about it is cause they haven't been in the position I have." He went on to say that he was governor of Arkansas in 1997 when the welfare reform idea was started. He said that the challenge is to get the recipients proper employment, education and job skills. He said it can be dangerous, because those who have kids still need their kids to receive medicaid. If the parents are off welfare, the kids don't get insurance.
As a pastor, he saw many people who struggled in poverty. They wanted to work. They wanted the dignity that a job would give them. But they also wanted a job that would help them with family expenses. He said that welfare reform should be about not handouts, but handups. He said that it is a myth that assistance recipients would rather receive state money. I agree and disagree with him. I believe there are people who want to lift themselves up. But there are some people who don't care.
When he was governor he implemented a a program called ArKids First. It was a program that gave children of poor working parents insurance. I will research this and get back to ya about it.
He said that there was an irony in when he had to go before Congress, when he was chairman of the governors association, and talk about welfare reform. He had to sit in front of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Nelson Rockefeller. He said, "here I was, being lectured about welfare reform from these three guys who grew up lifestyles of privilege, and I grew up in a life of poverty." Or something to that effect.
In the end, he said people should be given tools for a better life and make more money on a job rather than on assistance. Once people are off assistance they are empowered. They don't have the government telling them what their budget should be. How much or little they should they eat. What they can buy at the grocery store. Nor would they be confined to living in government housing.
I have to add that I like government cheese, though. My great-grandma used to get government rations, and they included the funny looking, funny colored, funny textured cheese. AKA, the cheap Velveeta. Also, one of the older ladies from church gave me some government cheese. It took me back to old memories.

Well, I will get back with more of the questions. Before I go though, I want to say something. One of the questions posed to him was about his views on smoking, from OneMom. I don't know if she has the post about the call up or not yet. But anyways, he went into the issues of the health effects of smoking. He said he is allergic to cigarette smoke.
The reason I want to say anything about it is if ya recall when I went to Iowa I said met him and when he greeted me he gave me a hug. I thought it was nice and he didn't have to. But after hearing that I thought how cool about that hug. I am sure I smelled of smoke. I know people who are allergic to smoke and/or have asthma. They are really sensitive to cigarette smoke. So I am sure he could smell it.

God Bless from the Upper Peninsula in Michigan!

No, I do not look like the girl in the above pic, when I am on the phone. As ya know I am a huge Rockabilly fan. That is the album cover to my JP "Big Bopper" Richardson. I thought it fit for a blogger call.


Kevin Tracy said...

Sounds like the Governor has been wanting to talk about welfare reform for a while! I hope they post audio of the call online.

Michigan Redneck said...

I agree. I wasn't sure exactly how he would answer. I was afraid he would just wave his hand and say something about culture. He acted like he may have wanted to talk a long talk about it. I would like to see him talk a long talk about it. That way he could get out all that he wants to say. Maybe I could try to corner him at the Mac Conf. ;)
Kinda ticks me off that this is the question I sent in to FOX News for the email question. It was one non-war related question and it would have broke up monotony. Even though I didn't direct it at a specific candidate I would like to have seen someone like Romney stumble around. It would have weeded out those who know what many Americans go through.

Kevin Tracy said...

Yeah, regardless of who the candidate is, if we just talk about the war, we're going to lose in 2008. It's as simple as that. We NEED to come back to domestic issues and talk about those.

Larry Perrault said...

Good to see your chin up!

Larry Perrault