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Janet Huckabee goes skeet-shooting, talks politics in Washington County

February 12, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HAGERSTOWN -- It might have been the first time a presidential candidate's wife has fired a shotgun in Washington County.

Janet Huckabee, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, was in Hagerstown on Monday stumping for her husband at the North American Rod and Gun Club.

She talked politics and answered questions from a small crowd inside the sportsman's club for about 45 minutes before going outside for a skeet-shooting session with club members.

During her husband's time as governor of Arkansas, she was nicknamed "the first tomboy," but Janet Huckabee was modest about her shooting skills Monday morning.

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"I did OK, but I think I need a little more practice," she said after leaving the skeet range.

Club member and fellow shooter Ron Blitz was more generous.

"She did very well. It's cold, she's looking right at the sun and she's using my gun. But she still broke quite a few," Blitz said.

The stop in Hagerstown was one of several scheduled Monday for Janet Huckabee in Maryland, according to Del. Christopher B. Shank, co-chair of Huckabee's Maryland campaign.

Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are holding primary elections today.

Although Mike Huckabee is lagging far behind Sen. John McCain in the polls, Janet Huckabee said Monday that her husband has no plans to drop out of the race.

"We won't quit until we are totally beaten, we go into debt or Mike is sworn in as president," Janet Huckabee said.

She said the couple has not considered the vice presidency as an alternative to the presidential nomination, noting that "you don't run for vice president until someone asks you to."

Janet Huckabee, 52, said her husband is the only real right-wing candidate left in the race and that the "conservative cause" needs to be an option for Republican voters.

"This needs to be an election, not a coronation," Janet Huckabee said.

She highlighted her husband's plan to replace all federal income and payroll taxes with a 23 percent sales tax, dubbed the Fair Tax. Janet Huckabee said the plan would make U.S. companies more competitive and leave people with more money in their wallets.

"If you earn $50,000, you take home $50,000," Janet Huckabee said.

She also said her husband supports constitutional amendments to ban abortion and define marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

When asked about gun rights, Janet Huckabee said the U.S. Constitution's second amendment is about more than sport shooting. She said the amendment was created to allow people to protect themselves and should remain that way.

"If someone wants to keep an AK-47 in their house, they should be allowed to. I have a .38 (caliber), .40-caliber Sig (Sauer) and a 9 mm Glock," Janet Huckabee said.

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