Huckabee expects Biden to be tough in VP debate, says GOP will return to Akin in Mo.

10/09/2012 06:49 AM

While Vice President Joe Biden might be occasionally gaffe prone, his GOP debate opponent Paul Ryan shouldn’t underestimate his knowledge or ability to speak plainly to the American people, said former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee, who was in Kentucky on Saturday to headline a fundraiser for state House Republican candidates, spoke with Pure Politics about his expectations for Thursday’s vice presidential debate in Danville at Centre College (4:00)

“Joe Biden knows how to connect with people. I, personally, like Joe Biden,” Huckabee said. “Paul Ryan is brilliant. He can stand on the stage with anybody … What Ryan has to do is be careful not to get too deep into the policy and sound like he’s talking to a congressional committee.”

Also on the political front, Huckabee said he was disappointed that Republican leaders, including U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell , urged Missouri Republican candidate Todd Akin to get out of the race after saying women’s bodies can reject a pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”

Huckabee said he expects Republicans to get back on board with Akin and said it wasn’t cynical for the GOP to return to Akin’s side just because poll numbers show the race close. (5:30)

The interview began with a discussion of what government should do to help improve the health of people in states like Kentucky and Arkansas, where Huckabee served as governor from 1996-2007 — two states that are comparatively poor and struggling with chronic health problems.

Arkansas and Kentucky have something else in common this fall. Republicans in both states are making major pushes to take control of Democratic state legislative chambers.

The Kentucky House and Arkansas House and Senate are the only state legislative chambers in southern states currently controlled by Democrats.

Democrats have 58 seats compared to 41 for Republicans in the Kentucky House. And Democrats control the Arkansas House 55-45 and the Senate 20-15. Huckabee talked about that at 7:00 in the interview.

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