Young Voters Might Like Mike Huckabee's Stance on Student Loans

May 5th 2015

Laura Donovan

At first glance, presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee seems like a candidate opposed to many of the values that young people care about: The Hope, Ark., native is against gay marriage, marijuana legalization, and he's wishy-washy on the existence of climate change. But when it comes to student loans, young voters should take a second look at Huckabee.

In 2012, Huckabee went on Fox News and spoke out against the prospect of doubling student loan interest rates.

"It should not happen, because it would be the essence of a tax increase," Huckabee said on the program. "When the economy is in the kind of shape that it is in right now and particularly when it is very difficult for a lot of people to get to college and more importantly to get a job when they get out, the worst thing you can do is to say while you are down, here is number 13 shoe, let me put in your back side. That is just not going [to] happen."

Huckabee insinuated that conservatives ought to push for Bush era tax cuts in exchange for student loan rate freezing, which The Huffington Post labeled a "political bargaining chip rather than a sincere belief."

The former Arkansas governor also praised President Barack Obama for announcing an "all-out push" for federal student loan interest rates to stay at low levels that day, adding that Republicans could really learn something from the move as well.

"[The GOP should] get out in front of the issue. Congratulate the president for bringing it up," Huckabee said.

Huckabee is also good on arts education.

In addition to supporting affordable higher education, Huckabee has long been a champion of fostering artistic creativity in schools. As governor, he required all schools to have credentialed instructors teach music and arts courses. In 2007, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) awarded him the Music for Life Award because of his dedication to music education. On his Fox show, he often played guitar alongside musical guests:

In September 2008, he visited the Center for American Progress (CAP) to highlight the importance of arts education and even performed the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” alongside Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.):

"One of the few things that can build bridges is the arts," Huckabee said, according to CAP. "The future economy is a creative economy. We’re going to have a strong economy if we have a strong arts emphasis ...It’s an essential program we can’t afford not to have​."