Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who formally entered the 2016 race Tuesday, responded to allegations that he is a "big government conservative."
Appearing on the Fox News Channel, the Republican hopeful fought back against criticism from the libertarian CATO Institute.
"The Cato Institute says that you are the biggest big government conservative running," host Megyn Kelly said. "Is that true?"
"No, it isn't true," Huckabee answered, contending that think tanks often judge candidates based on a generic template for all 50 states, instead of looking at the unique circumstances each individual faces in office.
"An example: state government only grew half of one percent per year during the 10-and-a-half years that I was governor in the most Democratic state in America," Huckabee added.
"It's a miracle I got elected, even a greater miracle I got re-elected and the greatest miracle of all was that I never got less than 90 percent of my legislative package passed against all the headwinds," the former Arkansas governor continued.
Huckabee entered Tuesday what is already shaping up to be a crowded field to win the Republican nomination. The former Arkansas governor said in the Fox News interview that he is organizationally prepared to win the White House.
"What shocked a lot of people [was] just how ready we were, how detailed our team was," Huckabee said. "We're taking this seriously. This is not some vanity project. I'm planning on taking this all the way to the White House."
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