“The fact is if you are going to do major surgery on our country, my feeling is you are probably going to want someone who has had some experience in the O.R. Somebody who has actually done this before. I am going to suggest to you that governors are uniquely qualified to become President because they have actually run a microcosm of the federal government,” Huckabee stated. “That is what we do. Every agency that exists at the federal level, we have dealt with it, and there are a lot of good Governors in this race.”
“They have some understanding of what it takes when they walk into that political O.R. and do the job,” Huckabee added.
Huckabee took a similar theme when he talked to Caffeinated Thoughts before the event. In response to a question about the First Amendment Defense Act, he downplayed the role of a U.S. Senator.
“Yeah, I would sign it, but I think it’s important for us to note that when people file a bill, that doesn’t mean it’s gonna become law. A lot of people say I’m gonna file, I’m gonna introduce an amendment — what’s important is when does it get signed? When does it become law? We need a President who can shepherd legislation through. It’s one of the reasons that I think, somebody who has been a governor, who has understood the process and the role of getting a piece of legislation — not introduced, heck, anybody can do that — can you get it delivered all the way to the point of signature and law?” Huckabee said.
He said what sets him apart from other governors is his ability to govern in a state that was mostly blue, and his ability to beat the “Clinton machine.”
“There is no one on the state that has consistently fought the Clinton political machine, beat it, and lived to tell about it,” he joked.
Huckabee spoke for over 26 minutes and then took questions from the room.
See his full remarks:
Huckabee was asked to address increasing college debt that young Americans face.
Huckabee was asked about reforming Social Security. He said he did not support raising the age on working Americans as that would represent a broken promise.
Huckabee was asked about the national debt.
He was asked about how he would approach budget cuts.
Huckabee was asked how he would offer 5th and 14th amendment rights to the preborn that he mentioned during last week’s debate.
Someone in their question called the Supreme Court ruling on marriage the “law of the land.” Huckabee took time to correct her and discuss the proper role of the judiciary.
The same questioner asked what he would do to protect religious liberty and free speech.
The last question he received from the room was on the Iran Deal.
Caffeinated Thoughts asked Huckabee about the First Amendment Defense Act prior to the event on behalf of The Pulse 2016, and then followed up with questions about how he would protect religious liberty and whether he would investigate Planned Parenthood. You can watch the entire press avail here.
Caffeinated Thoughts: “Religious liberty has been an issue that’s been coming up often in this campaign. I was wondering, there’s a bill that’s being considered this fall called the First Amendment Defense Act. Is that something, as President, you would sign?”
Huckabee: “Yeah, I would sign it, but I think it’s, uh, you know, important for us to note that when people file a bill, that doesn’t mean it’s gonna become law. A lot of people say I’m gonna file, I’m gonna introduce an amendment — what’s important is when does it get signed? When does it become law? We need a President who can shepherd legislation through. It’s one of the reasons that I think, somebody who has been a governor, who has understood the process and the role of getting a piece of legislation — not introduced, heck, anybody can do that — can you get it delivered all the way to the point of signature and law?”
Caffeinated Thoughts: “And are there any other things that you feel that you as a President can do to defend religious liberty?”
Huckabee: “Well, there are several things a President can do. Number one, a President could and should — and will if I’m the President — make it very clear that we will protect religious liberty of every citizen, of every institution, every agency, hospital, school, church, and individual business whose owners have religious convictions. Second thing, you would task the attorney general with the vigorous defense of people whose religious liberties are being trampled upon. Instead of going out to Oregon and trying to hurt people like the Kleins, you would send the Justice Department out there to protect them. And the third thing is to make it clear to the Secretary of Defense that you expect that religious liberty of every chaplain, and every airman, soldier, marine, and coastguardsman to be fully protected. And if a chaplain wants to read his bible, counsel people according to his faith, pray with them, whatever he would wish to do, that would be honored and nobody would be able to interrupt that.”
Caffeinated Thoughts: “My last question: Speaking of investigations, would you order the Department of Justice to investigate Planned Parenthood?”
Huckabee: “I think they should be criminally investigated, and based on what we’ve seen, criminally prosecuted. What they’ve done is — apparently from all clear indications — an absolute violation of federal law to sell the body parts of a human being for gain. And what they’re doing is indefensible. And even if somehow somebody can say that it’s not illegal, it’s immoral. It’s unconscionable. And it’s the kind of thing that you would expect out of a barbaric society, you would not expect that out of civilized people.”