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September 5, 2008

Q&A with Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran against John McCain in the primaries, spoke at the Republican Convention shortly before Sarah Palin's acceptance speech Wednesday. I interviewed him Thursday.

How does Sarah Palin’s candidacy change the race?
I think it’s really energized the base of the party and given people a reason to be excited about the ticket. There was a lot of anxiety about McCain picking Lieberman. He really gave people a reason to be not just accepting about the ticket. Everyone I’ve talked to is excited about the ticket. It’s a completely different atmosphere than it was a week ago.

Do you think Palin’s pregnant daughter will change whether people will vote for her?
The way the media went after the daughter is the most shameful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. If anything, it just caused [evangelicals] to run to her. Everyone understands that the basis of being a Christian is that everyone has fallen short of God’s ideal. Everyone understands that. We do understand is that when there’s a problem or failures, the family sticks together. We saw a mother who gave her unconditional love to her daughter. That embodies what Christianity means. We all mess up, the issue is how we respond to it. What she showed us is exactly what we wanted to see in terms of a witness.

The religious outreach is much less public here than it was in Denver. Why do you think that is?

For Republicans to recognize the value voters is nothing new. It’s not out of the ordinary. It’s not just recognizing them as an extraordinary. It represents what’s in the heart in soul of the convention. It’s not like we have to reach to that which is right in the party.

Do you think the issues that evangelicals care about have changed?
I think one of the things that is positive is that while they are still steadfast on life and marriage, but there’s a broadening of the issues. People are care about hunger, poverty, and diseases. It’s one of the things I’m very, very thrilled to see. I’ve advocated for a long time education reform, health care reform, and conservation. Those are issues that touch everybody.

How has your faith affected your policies?
In two ways. I don’t have to wake up every morning and think what do I want to believe today. You sense that public policy ought to be a direct result of your deep convictions, not just trends that you can pick up on through polling. I believe in my heart of hearts that sanctity of every human life is important. I don’t support traditional marriage because polls show I should. It’s the foundation of our society. In that way, I think it’s a part of shaping your views and the priorities you have.

Some have called you economically more liberal.
Totally false. Absurdly false. That was one of the most ridiculous attacks I’ve ever heard.

I cut taxes, balanced the budget, I was one of the strongest supporters of fair tax. When people said those things, they based it not on objective fact finding … they drank the Kool-Aid. But when then they did their own research, they saw I have a strong conservative record on fiscal issues.

What challenges will McCain have to face before the election?
I think he did it with [Palin's] selection. I don’t see any barriers at this point.

Do you think he’ll receive as many votes from evangelicals as President Bush did in 2004?
I’m beginning to believe he is. I’ve heard nothing but excitement and energy. I just really sense that there’s a completely different attitude than there was a week ago.

McCain doesn’t talk about his faith the same way that Sen. Obama does.
Some people eat their soup louder than other people, but it doesn’t mean the soup tastes better.

What about the evangelicals who may be taking a second look at Obama?
I think his appearance at Saddleback really hurt him among people who are looking for a candidate with their values. It was absurd for him to say that the definition of when life begins was above his pay grade.

What are your future plans? Do you have plans to run again?
I have no idea. My own plans are to help Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin get elected.

Comments

Let us not forget that the Republican Party is controlled by those like Dr. James Dobson who want to destroy church-state separation and declare our nation to be a "Christian" nation. They can't be trusted to preserve religious freedom for all Americans. The Texas GOP declares such separation to be a "myth". This is dangerous to all freedom-loving Americans. A theocracy would be disastrous for our faith and our country.

When I see Senator McCain and Governor Palin together I think of one word, Destiny. God preserved John's life when most would agree he should have died during his imprisonment. During the horrible torture his character was being forged into an anvil upon which many issues would be dealt. During his flight training and service as a Naval Officer/ fighter pilot his life was also constantly in harms way. To have survived a high speed ejection from his fighter plane, resulting in terrible injuries and abuse, is even futher proof that God was with him. Sarah Palin is an American hero too to many of us who love God and understand that He has a plan for our lives [Ephesians 2:10]. As we submit to Him as she obviously has there is an exciting future awaiting. If she and John McCain are not elected in November it will be that they were taken up with all the "born again" Christians in the rapture. I supported Governor Huckabee with prayers and money but even though He didn't win it was money and time well spent. He is rasing up support for this ticket and we should support his effort. If Obama/Biden were elected our military would be in a state of depression. May God spare us from that. My grandchildren would be in great danger and our enemies would be determined to kill them along with the rest of us. Go MeCain and Palin!

Mike Huckabee is the former governor or Arkansas, not Alabama.

Mike Huckabee was the governor of Arkansas not Alabama.

My goodness. How soon we forgot that this great war hero was also an adulterer. Where is the morality there? And he admits to "numerous extramarital affairs" as well as his pursuit of his current wife while he was still married to and living with his first wife. Shameful.

Whew Debra!!! I'm so relieved to know that there is a perfect person on this earth. sounds like you have that wrapped up!!
I know that is sarcasm, but your attack is ridiculous. Jesus asks us to repent but don't forget that then He offers forgiveness. Obviously, you forgot that part.

It's great that Obama finally acknowledged the importance of the surge to Oreilly. He said, paraphrasing, no one could have imagined. The following day (today) Palin reminded everyone that McCain predicted the surge to be the success that it was. Hands down, McCain has far more experience than Obama. Palin has more executive experience than Obama! Both are tough and don't take any crap from liberal double talkers. I'm proud to support these two for President and Vice President of these United States of America!

It's great that Obama finally acknowledged the importance of the surge to Oreilly. He said, paraphrasing, no one could have imagined. The following day (today) Palin reminded everyone that McCain predicted the surge to be the success that it was. Hands down, McCain has far more experience than Obama. Palin has more executive experience than Obama! Both are tough and don't take any crap from liberal double talkers. I'm proud to support these two for President and Vice President of these United States of America!

Kathryn and Capt Marler - thank you. You sum up all the various sides of me. I agree wholeheartedly. McCain-Palin - a gift from God. Centered - GOD-centered - and part of the Lord's amazingly creative plan for our struggling, dysfunctional world.

I particularly agree with Kathryn. We have a GREAT country - let's preserve it with ALL of its freedoms. The "free-er" we keep it, the more God can work His miracles in our midst.

Destiny. The Lord's very own. And we're a part of it - how blessed are we!

So Mary Beth, does that also apply to President Clinton? I'd guess not, for you.

If it were not for the campaign of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, there would not be a Palin on the ticket. The last primary candidate standing with McCain, Mike Huckabee engaged and enthused the value voters of America. With over a decade of being a governor, I would have preferred his selection as VP. Nevertheless, Palin sharing his values will energize millions of voters.

On McCain's adultery...as Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" to those that were willing to stone an aduteress to death. All of her accusers put the stones down and walked away. Also, on adultery, I think former President Clinton put that word into the proper perspective when he committed adultery on the First Lady while still living under the same roof with her.
At least, McCain has ADMITTED it. Clinton lied about it. Hmmm. does a double sin make for a better president?
Regardless, let's quit playing the game of politics and just pick the candidate by your own qualifications. Mine happens to be based on my Christian beliefs and values. If you're not a Christian, of course, all of this is foolishness to you (the Bible tells us that).

Regarding the Republicans trying to make this a Christian nation...excuse me...a nation cannot be Christian only its foundation can be based on Christian values and faith. Our founding fathers built America on the Christian faith, never making anyone believe what they didn't want to believe, only stating that America would hold Christian values. Our money even says, "In God we trust." Take away God's law, and you have a lawless nation where anything goes. Hmmm...that is exactly where it is going. Christians are not trying to establish a national religion, only, through freedom of speech, speaking what they know to be truth. Christians are not preaching anti-government, anti-morality, gender and race discrimination; no,Christians preach the love of Christ and only want others to experience this love and know the Savior. But,the Republicans are not made up just of evangelical Christians. It is also made up of good hardworking people that represent all beliefs and faiths.
McCain and Palin are the ticket that the Republicans have chosen. Respect this. We respect your right to choose Obama and Biden as your conscience.

Huckabee had the best message of the entire election. He had a clear vision of the direction the Republican Party needs to take if we are to survive. Authors of the new book "The Grand New Party" said Huckabee was the one of all the candidates who had the right direction. It's a shame that money controls the elections. The internet is helping change that and I believe Huckabee is destined to be president....2012? 2016?

Sarah Pulliam,
May I state the obvious for you? "Religion" will ALWAYS be reflected in the culture. If it is not Christianity, then it will be Islam. If it is not Islam, it will be Buddhism. Look around you at the whole world. EVERY culture has a religion. And, if there is no declared "state" religion then ATHEISM fills all the voids. Just look at our educational system. The fear over church/state relationships has garnished a history void of half the story of America. Why is this? Because God made us to be a people who need to believe in something. If it is not God, then it will be false gods of which humanism (crafted in the framework of atheism) is the ultimate false god. And as a side note, if America was going to be a Christian theocratic state, it would've happened long ago.

Senator H,

As a Black Evangelical I would like to challenge you on your assertion that the "attacks" on poor Sarah/Bristol Palin for her sinful behavior was the "most shameful thing I’ve ever seen in my life." It reminded me of when the Duke Lacrosse players attorneys accused Nifong of the worst abortion of the US Justice system in History.

I think you are old enough, and honest enough to admit that the words, however distastful -- don't compare to some the actual violence and racial hatred you have witnessed in your lifetime.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

In Him

I agree with Debra that it is Mike Huckabee who ignited the passion in the Republican base. I also prefer Mike as vp with his many years of executive experience, the way he can reach into the minds of the average American and understand where the ordinary American is coming from and his vison for getting our country back on track. This man is the best speaker I have EVER heard...period. He inspires, motivates, and just as Reagan did makes us feel good about ourselves and proud to be an American. McCain/Palin today....Huckabee tomorrow!!! Huckabee 2012/2016

Let us remember the United States Constitution says "Freedom OF religion", not "Freedom from NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS". That means that Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and even the Jewish faith are able to practice their religion FREELY AND UNHINDERED AND PROTECTED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!! I have personally heard some televangelists say that some Christian denominations, such as Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, among others, are also in jeopardy because they are not "Spirit Filled" Churches. Which way do the Evangelicals want? Are they adhere to the Constitution that they say is the "Bible" of the United States or are they going to throw it out the window ?

The word Poverty is not even mentioned on John McCains issues page....

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/

2000+ verses in scripture confront us on poverty and yet McCain gets the evangelical vote, without even mentioning the word.... RACCA!

Dale Fitzpatrick said:

"If it were not for the campaign of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, there would not be a Palin on the ticket. The last primary candidate standing with McCain, Mike Huckabee engaged and enthused the value voters of America. With over a decade of being a governor, I would have preferred his selection as VP. Nevertheless, Palin sharing his values will energize millions of voters."

I say:

Absolutely right! He helped kickstart the movement that is now backing Palin. That's one reason why Huckabee and Palin are two of my favorite conservatives!

McCain/Palin 2008!

Palin/Huckabee 2012 (or 2016)!

Ben, thanks for mentioning the poverty issue. I'm also waiting for the Reps to mention homelessness, injustice, mercy, generosity, the widows, children and sick. More children die in this country every year under the age of 5 from starvation, illness and accident, than from abortion. I'm pro-life but ashamed of our government for the fact that they argue to save the unborn, but abandon the infant. We will be held accountable for this in eternity. Oh, by the way, speaking of poverty, Cindy McCain spent over $300,000 on ONE outfit for one night of the convention. Not much in the way of poverty there............

Kurt,

You completely missed the point on Iraq surge! Anywhere there is gang or criminal activities on the streets, when you put in more cops on the streets, gang or criminal activities drop.Simply, because the criminals do no want to be visible.It doee not mean that crime has been eradicated. Reduce the number of cops and crime goes up. Same phenomenon is what is happening in Iraq.Violence has gone down because there are more soldiers on the streets.It does not mean that anti-American sentiments in Iraq has dropped.It does not mean that the number of insurgents have dropped.Reduce the number soldiers on the streets and you have pre-surge violence again. The only way to keep violence down after reduction of troop levels, is to engage the people politically so that the mindset will change, anti-American sentiments will drop.That way when the troops are gone there will not be a resurgence of violence. It is that simple and not difficult to understand.That is the point Sen.Obama made.The surge is an interim thing and will not change anti-american violence.Look at Libya today.Could an American citizen visit Libya in the 80's, I think not.But today the case is different, because Libya was engaged in overt and covert political discussions.
The fact remains that the Iraq was an ill-conceived war and Obama was bold to tell Bush so, while the "maverick" McCain pallied with Bush and wants to keep our troops in Iraq for another 100 years!Senator Obama has been consistent in this and so many foreign positions on which Bush has turned around to support.This include more troops to Afghanistan, A time-table for Iraq,Assistance to distressed home owners.Blind partisanship should not let us take away Obama's statesmanship and fortitude.

I have posted on several forums in Christianity Today that the McCain campaign maked no mention of a plan to address Poverty on their website. Matter of fact the word "poverty" is not even on their issues page at all. With 2000+ verses in scriptures confronting us with the call to take care of the needy without condition I find it appalling that McCain/Palin are winning the evangelical vote.

So far not a single McCain supporter has responded to this?

I am not one for brimstone but Jesus says in Matthew 25:41-46

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Fonzi,

I believe you missed some of the message that McCain is giving us. Did he not say he would bring jobs home and provide an education for people?

Poverty is not always taken care of by hand-outs. Remember, this is a land of opportunity. Give a man a fish, and he eats. Teach him to fish, and he can get his own food. Obama is an example of this. What exactly is he going to do for poverty? Do you see him in poverty now, even though he once was?

Too many hand outs kills the incentive to care for self and family. I know people who have gotten their education and a job. They did not get as much on the job as they did on welfare. They quit their job and went back to welfare. Does that picture seem right? They sure do know how to work the welfare system, too!

JM,

FYI my job involves social services and I am one strongly against "handouts" so does Obama. He has said he will help students finance their education but they will have to put back something to the society.Everyday I see frivolous claims for "handouts" believe it or not, it knows no party affiliation,religious beliefs, race nor gender.

McCain so far continues to show that he just does not get it.He says he will give more tax break to the wealthy so that they can use their wealth to create more jobs.Just yesterday it was announced that unemployment is at an all time high,despite Bush tax breaks to help companies create more jobs.Banks, Oil companies, etc are posting billions in profits. What to they use their profits for? To CREATE MORE JOBS ABROAD.How patriotic, indeed.This is not putting country first.Yet McCain wants to give them more tax breaks to make more profit.Bush all ready did it and we see the results.The rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer.No wonder RNC has the largest donors amongst the wealthy.We do not want the same thing Bush did, from McCain.It has not worked and will not work.
Obama on the other hand will tax incomes above $250,000.00,give tax breaks to companies investing in the USA, cut down tax for lower middle income bracket.This is putting country first.People make up the country...the country is known by its people...the country is nothing without its people.Obama is putting country first and not McCain with due respect.If jobs are created in this country there will not be need for the so called "handouts".Let us get this right for once.

Another typical mean-spirited conservative answer by JM on the answer to poverty........you are making a JUDGEMENT based on your experience--and I'd bet you are a white male--and not based on compassion. There are thousands of people in this country who cannot, by trying hard enough, pull themselves out of poverty. They first need an education, next good teachers, ofcourse enough food, next a chance at a good paying job, and the stability of family support. A good education and good teachers is not always available in poor cities and neighborhoods and is therefore, not equitable. Tell me, how is a family supposed to move to a "better" neighborhood when they can barely afford food, childcare, medical treatment, or housing as it is? Get your head out of that hole in the sand and take a good, compassionate look at those less fortunate.

Gov. Huckabee spoke of a mother's love for her pregnant-out-of-wedlock teen daughter. I think true love would have been a mother choosing to protect this daughter by not accepting the VP nomination with all of the media attention that entails. As a mother of a teen daughter and son and an evangelical Christian, I cannot imagine putting my ambition above the needs of a child who is facing such a crisis. Not to mention a 5 month old special needs child facing possible life threatening issues. She kept her own pregnancy a secret until the third trimester. Perhaps she thought she could do the same with her daughter, who strategically held her brother in front of her belly on the RNC Convention stage. She is using both children to further her political ambitions and that is reprehensible. "Country First" is not the cry of a born again Christian.

As I read the comments on here, a great deal of them remind me of why I question the level of involvement Christians should have in politics.

By their very nature, political campaigns are divisive, pulling apart families, communities, and the church. Yes, it is important to vote for the candidate and party which you feel most aligns with your personal convictions, but it is MORE important to maintain unity within the body of Christ and within the community at large. For this very reason I do not ever put a political campaign sign on my lawn for fear it will isolate me from my non-Christian neighbours. It's more important that they know Christ than that they vote for the 'right' party. And if my support of one side or the other becomes a stumbling block, then I have put my politics ahead of my faith instead of being all things to all people.

Hi All

I am a Christian from India and i had special Interest in this US Election and was badly disappointed when Gov.Huck bowed out of the Election on March 4th.I really lost interest afterwards becoz McCain was never vocal about the Values and related issues.But As soon as Gov.Palin came in to the picture i felt so happy and i am closing this comment with a strong Hope and Desire that Gov.Huckabee will be the Prez of the united States in 2012..

2008 ----- McCain/Palin
2012 ----- Huckabee/Palin or Huckabee/Jindal

GoD Bless America