This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Does President Obama want a few of your dollars to give someone else? Does he think you might have a few too many dollars? Well, now, this one might really appeal to you. Does he think you don't have enough? Does he want to give you someone else's dollars?
Former governor Mike Huckabee has something to say about that, host of Fox News show "Huckabee" and an author of "A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories That Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit."
Governor Huckabee joins us live. Good evening, Governor.
MIKE HUCKABEE, HOST - "HUCKABEE": Hi, Greta. Good to be with you tonight.
VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, what's this story about redistribution? Because I'm taking that from you, that you seem to think that that's what the president is doing.
HUCKABEE: Well, on my show Saturday, I talked about the fact that I think that there is a distinct difference between what the president's priorities are and what they ought to be. And while we really wish they were recovery, getting jobs back -- that's the number one thing we ought to be focused on -- but it appears to be redistribution. That's what's going on in the health care world, where we're trying to make sure that we've redistributed health care, taking it from people who have it, taking from them, giving it to people who may not even desire to have it, and forcing people into an unconstitutional system where they're going to have to virtually pay into a private marketplace in order to get full rights of citizenship. It's the equivalent of a poll tax.
But we're also seeing this whole idea of redistribution, even in terms of world power, the United States no longer really intent on being a superpower but spreading the power around. We have a president bowing to Japanese emperors, dismantling our missile forces in Eastern Europe. There are many signs of it. And a friend of mine in San Francisco said that the difference is redistribution versus recovery. I think she's right, think she's on to something, and it's probably not in the best interests of the people of the United States.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let's just take one of these categories, getting jobs back. I believe that President Obama wants this country to have full employment. Do you believe that? I mean, I think he may not have a method that you -- that you think is the right method or I might think is the right method to achieve it, but I'm convinced he wants people to have jobs. Agree or not?
HUCKABEE: Oh, I agree with that. I think he really wants there to be peace on earth, good will toward men. But the fact is, you don't create jobs by putting the government in a position where it starts picking winners and losers in the marketplace, anymore than you have a good football game when the referees start deciding the outcome, rather than just simply making sure that game is being played fairly.
Small business owners across America, Greta -- and believe me, I'm on a 64-city book tour in three weeks. I'm talking to thousands of people firsthand, face to face. Every small business owner says, I'm laying people off. I'm hunkering down because I have no idea what the government is about to do to me.
That is the kind of action on the part of the government, whether it's fear of more taxes, fear of greater regulation, fear of the lack of credit so they can't put a floor plan together and stock inventory -- this is the kind of stuff that kills jobs, it doesn't bring them back. Now, do I think the Obama administration wants to do good things? I really do. But I just think they're going about it in the worst possible way if they're really serious about recovery.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, we don't have a lot of time, so I must get to this other topic. You mentioned the word peace on Earth, which is the greatest -- it's a good segue for me. Peace on earth reminds me of Christmas, and you have this new book out. And I must ask you about your Christmas 1964, when you got a guitar.
HUCKABEE: Well, that was the greatest Christmas gift I ever got. My parents bought an electric guitar from the JCPenney mail-order catalog. They paid $99 for it. I didn't know they really couldn't afford it. It took them a year to pay it off, a little bit each month. But that was a life-changing gift for me, and that gift really got me out of my basic shyness, which I'm sure you'll find hard to believe. But if it weren't for that electric guitar that my parents sacrificed to give me, I assure you I wouldn't be on the FOX News Channel, wouldn't be talking to you, would never have run for anything except run to hide.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, I don't know if many of the viewers know, but you've had a band for years. So it's not something that was just sort of a passing fancy. I mean, you actually took it and ran. But then there's on sort of the other side of the spectrum is 1975, when -- a Christmas that you note in your book. Tell the viewers about that one, why that one is so important to you.
HUCKABEE: Well, Greta, that was a tough year. That was a year -- barely a year into my marriage. My wife and I were both just turned 20 years old, and she was diagnosed with cancer of her spine. The original prognosis was she probably wouldn't make it. And if she did, if they could surgically remove the tumor, they told us to expect her to be paralyzed from the waist down.
Now, that's not the kinds of news you're expecting when you're still a college student, newlywed and 20 years old. But we were hoping that some miracle would happen and everything would just turn out great. Well, she went through surgery, radiation therapy, learned to walk again. It was a very tough time in our lives.
And the Christmas of 1975, the first one that we had after going through all of this cancer experience, frankly, was a pretty simple one, and so simple, we didn't have really gifts for each other. But you know, it was the best Christmas we ever had, Greta, because we had life, we had each other.
And so the theme of the book, "A Simple Christmas," is that in this time when there's a downturned economy, a lot of people are hurting this year, maybe have lost their job, it doesn't mean they can't have a great, great Christmas because Christmas is not so much about what we have, it's about the relationships, who we are and who we have a relationship with. And I hope that people will find that truer meaning through all of it.
VAN SUSTEREN: And indeed, the book -- Mike Huckabee's brand-new book -- here it is. I'm holding it up. And also, I should add, selling like hotcakes. All the books are selling like hotcakes tonight. Anyway, Governor, always nice to see you, sir.