The following is a rush transcript of the June
27, 2010, edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy
may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: This week the New Yorker, of all magazines, raises the possibility that
former governor Mike Huckabee is the GOP's best hope for the 2012
presidential nomination, so it seemed like a good time to have him on
the program to talk some politics.
Mike Huckabee, a Fox News contributor, joins us from our New York studio.
And, Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
FORMER GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE, R-ARK.: Thank you very much, Chris. Good to be with you.
WALLACE: Before we get to 2012, let's talk about the election this November. How
much trouble do you think the president and Democrats are in right now?
HUCKABEE: I think they're in a lot of trouble. The latest poll this week showed
that there's a 60 percent dissatisfaction rate with the American people
feeling we're on the wrong track. And when you have that overwhelming a
number and the Democrats on the White House, the House and the Senate,
that does not bode well for the elections.
this year Republicans have a real opportunity if they put forth a good
message and remind Americans they're not the party that is in power
that's led them to that 60 percent wrong track answer.
think it's going to be a terrific year. I think the Republicans get the
House back and get real close if not overtake the Senate.
WALLACE: Well, let's take a look at that poll you're referring to. This is the
Wall Street Journal poll that came out this week that indicates big
problems for the president and Democrats. Take a look.
the first time in this poll, more people disapprove of the job Mr.
Obama is doing than approve. As you pointed out, 62 percent now feel
the country is on the wrong track. That's the most since the 2008
election. And only one third think the economy will get better over the next year.
Why do you think, Governor, that people are losing faith in this president?
HUCKABEE: Well, they continue to look at the reality of numbers. Every month our
job numbers continue to hover with about a 10 percent unemployment. We
were told that if we did this ridiculous stimulus package and spent
nearly a trillion dollars that we were going to keep unemployment below 8 percent. Well, that didn't happen.
I think it also is indicative of the fact that people have lose
confidence that this president is capable of the kind of executive
leadership that we need in a crisis.
seeing what's happening on the gulf coast. It's not a pretty sight, and
in part because there's no real clear command, control and
communication going on. Those are the three fundamentals you've got to
have in the midst of a crisis and a disaster. None of those things are
really in clarity at this point.
see that. They've watched this government take more than 60 days and
still don't have a solid game plan of protecting the coast, which
involves both the environment and the economy of the gulf.
WALLACE: Now, you just said a moment ago that Republicans have to remind the
voters the fact that they're not in charge of the White House, the
House and the Senate. Is that enough? Or do they have to affirmatively
say, "We offer something different," and also that they have learned
their lesson from the mistakes of 2006 and 2008?
HUCKABEE: Well, I think Republicans need to walk the sawdust trail. They need to
repent for the spending that they were responsible for. They need to
apologize and repent for the TARP bill which I still believe was a big huge mistake and only set up the
further bailouts that happened when Barack Obama and the Democrats did
take full power.
The Republicans can't
rely on "we're not the other guys" as a reason to get elected. They do
have to say that they will focus on getting rid of these runaway
deficits, that they will begin to trim down the debt and not put so
much of a burden on future generations and grandchildren.
can't be the generation that does the polar opposite of our parents'
generation, that we call the greatest generation, and we call them that
because they sacrificed themselves so their kids would have a better
We're the generation that looks like
now are sacrificing our kids so that we can have the best life and not
have to pay for our own sins. That's just recklessly irresponsible and
it's certainly un- American from the standpoint of our history as a
WALLACE: Governor, let's turn to your political future. Where are you on the idea of running for president in 2012?
HUCKABEE: Well, as I've said to so many people — and I get asked the question —
it doesn't matter where I am. I was even asked in Taiwan a few weeks
ago when I was over there making a speech, and they said, "Are you
running for president?" And I said, "Well, if I was, I wasn't going to
announce it in Taipei." The fact is — I've said this repeatedly...
WALLACE: Yeah, but this isn't Taipei. This is "Fox News Sunday."
HUCKABEE: And if I were going to announce it today, I can't think of a better place to do it, Chris, than with you on the Fox network.
having said that, I have been very adamant that no decision like this
would be, should be, or could be made until after the 2010 elections.
That's where our focus needs to be. What happens after that, God only
knows and He hasn't told anyone yet.
WALLACE: But you — clearly, you're leaving the door open.
HUCKABEE: I haven't closed the door. I think that would be foolish on my part,
especially when poll after poll shows that there is strong sentiment
out there. I end up leading a lot of the polls. I'm the Republican that
clearly, at this point, does better against Obama than any other
Republican. You know, I'm not totally unaware of that.
But that's a long way from making a decision to run for president. You know, I've been there, done that, have a whole warehouse full of T-shirts to prove it. So it's not like I don't understand something about what this endeavor would take.
just because some polls a year and a half out show that there's some
strong support and there would be, you know, maybe some momentum,
that's not reason enough. I still have some debt left from the last
campaign that I didn't even know I had till it was well over.
there's just a lot of considerations. But for me the focus is doing
what I'm doing, trying to do it well. And one of those things is to
enjoy what I'm doing, which I am wonderfully enjoying, doing television
and radio and commentary. And that may be where I have (sic). But I'm
not ruling anything out at this point.
WALLACE: In the aforementioned New York — New Yorker magazine article, you got
into something of a dust-up with the gay rights community. In the
article you say this about gay marriage,
"We can get into the ick factor but the fact is two men in a
relationship, two women in a relationship — biologically that doesn't
work the same."
A group called the Human
Rights Campaign responded, "Ick is certainly an appropriate way to
describe Mr. Huckabee's mind going into sex when all that we're asking
for is our equality."
Your response, sir?
HUCKABEE: Well, that term actually comes from a gay magazine called The Edge in
which the author, Joseph Erbentraut, interviewed Professor Martha
Nussbaum from — one of Barack Obama's colleagues, University of
Chicago. She uses a term projected disgust. He, in the interview,
coined this phrase. It's in the article that he wrote in the interview
with her. That phrase was not mine. It actually is a phrase that exists
within the gay community. But somehow it's OK if they talk about it,
but if someone else talks about it, it's off bounds.
it's interesting. The American Spectator — I thought Joseph Lawler this
week did a wonderful analysis of the hypocrisy and the duplicity of
those who want to, on one hand, push this issue, but then they really
don't want their own discussion to be brought into the public square.
It's a little bit disingenuous on their part to make it.
not the big issue for me. But if I'm asked about it, I try to be honest
that I'm standing where most of the American public stands, and that is
for traditional marriage of one man, one woman.
by the way, Chris, that's been on the ballot in 31 states and in every
one of the states, including left-wing states like Maine and
California, it's been affirmed when the people themselves had a chance
to vote for it.
WALLACE: Governor, we've only got a couple of minutes left, so let's do a
lightning round, quick questions, quick answers, about some of the
other potential Republican candidates out there. Mitt Romney — you said
recently he's always trying to figure out where he stands on issues.
HUCKABEE: Well, what I mean by that is even on the health care bill - - I mean,
the Massachusetts health care bill essentially is the blueprint for
"Obamacare." That's going to be an issue he'll have to confront.
no doubt in my mind that he's running, and I think he's a formidable
candidate. I don't think anybody can dismiss him because he has the
organization. He's got the money. He's got sort of the inside track with a lot of the Republican establishment.
WALLACE: Sarah Palin — and again, lightning round — does she have the experience, does she have the knowledge, to be president?
HUCKABEE: She's got the fire, the energy, and I think there are a lot of
Republicans who love her, would support her, and she would be a very
strong presence in a presidential primary.
WALLACE: Indiana governor Mitch Daniels — you didn't like it when he proposed recently a, quote, "truce" on social issues.
HUCKABEE: I'm a big fan of Mitch Daniels, and I don't want anyone to interpret
that statement that I made is that I somehow think that he's lacking in
presidential timbre. I think he could be one of our most qualified
potential candidates. He's a great manager.
just don't want him to back away from issues that will energize and
have energized 40 to 50 percent of the Republican base. You can't do
that and win the primary and win the general election.
WALLACE: And finally, Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, this week
blasted President Obama for always blaming Bush's brother, President
George W. Bush for all problems that Obama, quote, "inherited."
HUCKABEE: I love Jeb Bush. He's one of the smartest. He's one of the most
articulate. If Jeb decided to run, I think it would be hard for anyone
to overwhelm him. He is, in many ways, one of the best, most talented
people we have in the Republican Party.
don't know that Jeb wants to run. But I'll tell you this. If Jeb wanted
to run, he's one of those people that rise to the very top because of
his sheer brilliance and his ability to communicate it.
WALLACE: Governor, we're going to have to leave it there. Thanks for your
comments about this November and November coming up in a couple of
years. It's always a pleasure to talk with you, sir.
HUCKABEE: Thank you, Chris.