Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee visits Lake Charles - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee visits Lake Charles

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Former Arkansas governor and possible presidential contender Mike Huckabee was in Lake Charles Tuesday night where he addressed a packed house of Republicans at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Huckabee came close to becoming the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, so many wonder if he could be the Republican choice in 2016.

"It's something I'm keeping an open mind about and I'll think through it, but I just feel like we've got to get through the 2014 elections.  To try to jump ahead two years is inappropriate and getting a little ahead of the game,"said Huckabee.

So, Huckabee is campaigning for Republicans--and, against some who are not.

"Across this country republicans need to make sure that Harry Reid is moved to the back of the room after November and we have a Republican majority in the United States Senate and might I mention that it wouldn't hurt at all if Louisiana were one of those states in which its Democratic senator were to retire and a Republican were elected to that post," said Huckabee.

Incumbent U.S. Senator,  Mary Landrieu, faces opposition in her bid for re-election.

Huckabee says Louisiana and its leadership is an example of why other parts of the country should vote Republican.

"When government gets so big that government is bigger than the brains of the people who are running it,  something is dramatically wrong.  In Louisiana you are proving that a smaller, more limited and more locally focused government really does work to help bring jobs as you're seeing here in Southwest Louisiana," said Huckabee.

While Huckabee says he has confidence in the country's resilience, he has harsh words for the Obama presidency, out of control spending and says we cannot continue down that road.

"If the people have to go out and work.  If people go out and work, and  if they're lifting heavy things all day and coming home bone tired, the government needs to get out of their pockets.  The government needs to leave them alone and let them put that away for their families rather than to continue to raise taxes and regulate the cost of everything to the point that they can't get ahead. And that's the problem. a lot of people are working harder than they've ever worked before, but they're not getting ahead.  That has to change," said Huckabee.

The evening had lighter moments as local singer Judd Bares and the governor had a brief jam session.

Huckabee's wife Janet is originally from Lake Charles.  For more on that, check out our web extra interview and look for more excerpts of Huckabee's speech in which he talks about health care, immigration and his local connection.

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