The following is a transcript of Mike Huckabee’s speech to supporters after the Florida primary, as provided by CQ Transcriptions via The Associated Press.
MIKE HUCKABEE: Well, folks, I wanted to tell you what we’re doing. We are rehearsing for the victory speech we’ll be able to give about Missouri next week.
(APPLAUSE) I was kind of hoping for a warm welcome in Missouri and there’s about 50-mile-an-hour winds and snow out here. I wish that I had brought the Florida weather with me today. I think we would have all enjoyed that very much.
Well, I think we’re all aware that the situation in Florida is that we’re going to be in a position looking at either third or fourth. Now, for those of you that think I should be discouraged, let me just remind you that going into tonight, we were second in delegate count and, more importantly, we’re playing all nine innings of this ballgame.
Even the Cardinals occasionally have a rough inning, but they know how to win championships.
What I want to express to you is next week, when we are going to be in Missouri and Oklahoma and Arkansas and Tennessee and Alabama and Georgia and all of these states where we’re leading in the polls, and we’re still going to be leading next week, we’re going to have a great opportunity to start taking it all the way home to the nomination and to the White House, and it’s going to happen a lot because of Missouri next week.
And we appreciate the great support we’re getting. I want to say thanks to the people of Florida. There’s going to be probably, before it’s over, maybe up to 300,000 people down there who worked their hearts out for us and those people, I can’t tell you how proud I am of them, because they had no resources.
Others have spent millions and millions of dollars. We knew that we wouldn’t have those kind of resources to play there. So we went out there and just worked with people who would come out, put their own signs out, buy their own t-shirts and hats.
A lady in Pensacola, she and her daughter put out 700 signs, just the two of them, in one day. Unbelievable. And that’s the kind of thing that’s happening across this country with our campaign that a lot of people still haven’t figured out.
And when you look at what we have done with what we have, it’s a remarkable story that is not even close to being over. In fact, we like to believe we’re just really getting started.
There are some great folks down there. Our chairman, Senator Daniel Webster, and our co-chairman, House Speaker Marco Rubio, and a host of great Floridians who have been extremely dedicated to our task.
I don’t want them to feel discouraged. I want them instead to feel very proud of their effort and be as half as proud of their effort as I am of them and the wonderful work that they’ve done for us.
I know it’s a little tight in this room. We really anticipated that we might have 100 people. We thought that about half of this would be enough, and we did not expect the weather to be this bad.
And I don’t know if you’re coming here because you’re escaping then cold and the heat is out in your house, but because of the weather, we’ve got to get to California tonight. So our exit will be a little quicker than we had wanted it to be, and I apologize in advance for that, but I’m sure you understand that we’ve got to be at the Reagan Library tomorrow night.
So we’re flying out as soon as we leave here, headed to California, because I’m going to be on that stage tomorrow night. I’m not sure everybody’s going to be there, but I will be.
And I need you here in Missouri to join with us in being a part of a wonderful volunteer army across this country who believes that it would be a better America if we did not have the IRS making it…
… and that believe that it would be a better America if we did stand up for human life and traditional marriage.
And that it would be a better America if we actually sealed our borders and became energy independent within 10 years.
And that it would be a better America if we had a country that once again believed in its future and believed that it’s not so much just about Democrats versus Republicans and the left versus the right and liberals versus conservatives, it’s about Americans building a better future for their kids and their grandkids and taking this country up and not down.
And that’s why people are with us and across this country, we’re finding homemakers and truck drivers and people who wait tables, as well as folks who work in the lines at the factories, and people who run their own business, and I want to be the president who reminds America that that small business owner out there, every day, working hard and taking a risk is the person that ought to believe that his government is going to be out there to under-gird him, not undermine his every move, and we’re going to make sure that happens in this country.
And you’re going to help be a part of that.
I wish we had cooked food for all of you. I bet right now you’re wishing it, too.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fried chicken.
HUCKABEE: Fried chicken. I gave it up a few years ago. But I do know how to eat it if I ever get it, that’s right.
I want to, again, express my thanks to Ray Wagner (ph) and all of the folks here in Missouri who have been working with us, Jeff Rowe (ph) and so many others who have just helped us have great confidence that between now and seven days from now, there’s going to be something that we’ll all be shouting about.
And it won’t just be a Missouri victory, but also, that same night, there’ll be one in Georgia and Alabama and Tennessee, and there’ll be one in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and maybe a few other places that people aren’t even expecting it to happen.
Thank you folks for being here. God bless every one of you. Pray hard, work hard, get the votes out. Remember this — if they’re going to vote for me, make sure they come. If they’re not, don’t let them out of their driveway.
Thank you, folks. God bless you. Thank you.