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MadMo Likes Mike

Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008 | 6:47 PM ET
Gov. Mike Huckabee
Mad Money host Jim Cramer interviews Republican presidential candidate and former AR governor, Mike Huckabee

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee agrees with Cramer: A $600 tax rebate isn't going to do much for the millions of Americans in danger of losing their homes.

In fact, the former Arkansas governor said, most of that money will probably be spent on cheap imports, stoking China's economy and not ours.

Huckabee said blame for the housing crisis rests on both borrowers who overextended themselves and less-than-honest lenders. His solution, rather than a government bailout, is to force lenders to renegotiate these mortgage rates to levels that are more fair.

A point he wants people to keep in mind: A government bailout would mean "all the other taxpayers who carried out prudent fiscal policies are going to be paying their own house payments plus somebody else's," he said, "and I'm not sure that's going to go over real well with the American public."

Cramer offered Huckabee his own plan, calling for more rate cuts so homeowners can refinance and the intervention of the Federal Housing Authority to guarantee -- and resecuritize -- the loans of the least credit-worthy borrowers.

"That is a better solution," Huckabee said. The FHA's job is to help Americans buy homes and keep them there, he continued, and that mission is "very important to the overall economy." If the 2 million people at risk of foreclosure end up homeless, the "domino effect is going to have a devestating impact upon the American economy."

The bottom line is that the problems with the U.S. economy are related to housing, Cramer said, and "we have got to solve it if we're going to get any further and go any higher in this stock market."

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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