Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said today that he thinks 24 million people tuned in to Thursday’s debate because Americans are desperate to see the country get back on track.

“America’s in trouble,” he said. “People know that. People across this country are being just punched in the gut by the economy.”

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Huckabee said that the nation’s unemployment numbers don’t tell the real story, adding that many people are working two or three jobs and can still barely feed their families.

“As a result of that, people are saying, ‘Does anybody understand who we are? Does anybody care who we are? Does anybody have an answer to how to get this country back on track?’ I think the interest in the presidential campaign is largely about people desperate to see America get back on track again and be able to be the country that lifts people up and gives them a real chance for hope and higher ground,” he said.

Thursday’s debate was the most-watched cable news program ever.

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