Huckabee on 2nd Amendment, liberty

In keeping with his recent liberty-centric rhetoric that seems tailor-made for New Hampshire, Mike Huckabee told more than 400 people in a Windham school gymnasium today that he's for states' rights.

"The pursuit of happiness for many Americans is being diminished by a government that's thought that it's our nanny," Huckabee said to cheers. "It's not just our Uncle Sam. Now it wants to be our mommy and our daddy. We need to tell the government, 'We'll raise our own kids, thank you.' "

When asked how his promotion of limited government squares with the social programs he implemented as governor of Arkansas, Huckabee said education programs actually save money.

"Education is a lot less expensive than incarceration," Huckabee said. "What would you rather have: a kid that makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and pays taxes or one that's in prison?"

***

Huckabee made some new veiled jabs at Mitt Romney, who openly attacked Huckabee in Iowa and who is polling second behind John McCain in New Hampshire. Huckabee, a pro-gun hunter, chastised other politicians for talking about the Second Amendment and hunting when they "haven't been." His comment was likely a reference to a Romney gaffe: Romney said in April that he's been a hunter "pretty much all my life" when he'd actually only hunted twice, including once when he was 15.

"A lot of times, politicians running for office who are asked about the Second Amendment start talking about how they like to go hunting," Huckabee said as the crowd started to laugh and clap. "They like to hunt without having a hunting license or a gun. That's an amazing way to go hunting."

Huckabee also painted himself as more experienced. Huckabee served 10 1/2 years as governor of Arkansas; Romney served four years as governor of Massachusetts. Huckabee implored voters to vote for the candidate "who didn't just get elected one time in his state, but kept getting elected."

***

Ever wondered what Chuck Norris's inner sanctum looks like? Donate $10 to Huckabee's campaign and you'll find out Jan. 20.

To raise money for his candidate, Norris and his ex-model wife, Gena, are hosting a "virtual barbecue" at their Texas ranch. Norris himself will give an MTV Cribs-style tour of his digs, complete with the 2,000-square-foot workout room where he and Huckabee lifted weights earlier this year.

No word yet on the menu.

- Melanie Asmar