News9.com and the Associated Press
Republican Mike Huckabee touted his conservative credentials and his bass guitar skills during a campaign stop Friday in Oklahoma City.
Huckabee spoke at a Bricktown restaurant in an effort to capture Oklahomans votes and convince people he's not out of the running for the nomination.
"People say it's a two-man race," he told the crowd of about 600. "If it is, I'm one of the people in it, so just remember that."
Huckabee told the crowd of about 600 that he has a strong faith, a strong belief in the Second Amendment, a desire to completely reform the tax code, and leadership skills honed during his 10 years as a governor of Arkansas.
The former Arkansas governor said his anti-abortion beliefs and his "fair tax" proposal are resonating with voters in states in the South and Midwest.
He has proposed shutting down the Internal Revenue Service and funding the national government with a 23 percent national sales tax.
Huckabee said the country's tax structure isn't working because it is too confusing and penalizes hard work. He quipped that people in Arkansas like to say that "if you can't fix it with duck tape and WD-40, partner, it can't be fixed."
He said the tax system does not capture money made by illicit activity by "drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, gamblers -- you know, those folks who pile in on you on Christmas. Just kidding."
Huckabee, who hasn't won a state since Iowa's caucus on Jan. 3, said he was campaigning hard and that it remains early in the delegate selection process.
In appealing for Oklahoma votes, Huckabee said: "It's a natural fit that a governor from Arkansas understands the problems of Oklahoma better than a governor from Massachusetts and a senator who has spent 25 years in Washington."
Huckabee, who planned to visit Tulsa later Friday, said he was also targeting states like Arkansas and Missouri as fertile ground for his campaign.