FOX NEWS SUNDAY

Transcript: Mike Huckabee

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.

And

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.

I

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.

For

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.

And

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.

We're

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.

People

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.

We

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

life.

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

nation.

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.

But

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.

And

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.

So

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.

And

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.

It's

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.

And

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.

There's

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.

I

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.

I

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.