Huckabee Won't Say If Teacher Raises Should Be Put Before Voters

By Nicholas Ballasy | February 25, 2011 | 4:41 PM EST

( - Former governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) said he is "not going to try to evaluate" Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to put pay raises for teachers and other public employees to a vote of the people.

During a press conference at the National Press Club on Thursday, asked Huckabee, "In Wisconsin, the governor wants all teacher salary increases above the rate of inflation to go before the voters. Do you support the idea that states across the country should put pay raises for teachers and other public employees to a vote before the people?" 

He responded, "I'm not going to second guess Governor Walker. You know, each Governor has to govern his own state. One of the things that I used to hate the most is when people wanted to take a state and what they did, and then take that as a template and lay it across all 50 states because theres no such thing as two states that are identical."
He continued, "That's why I hate the report cards grading a state or grading a governor because they're meaningless and let me tell you why, if you dont analyze that through the lens of each states constitution, and each state's statutes and each state's political environments and each state's priorities and how many people are in poverty, how many are unemployed, there are a whole lot of factors."

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (AP Photo)

Huckabee elaborated on how he handled teacher pay as Governor of Arkansas.

"I'm not going to try to evaluate Governor Walker's decision. Let me tell you what I believe was important in my state. We had very low teacher pay," he said.
"If you look at the record, we had the highest increases in teacher pay during my time as Governor. We also made major changes in teacher pension and retirement plans but I knew that we could fund them and we did and we went from some of the worst pay in the country to some of the best in our region.