Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is still on the fence about making another run for the White House, but said any Republican candidate would have a strong case against President Obama's handling of both foreign and domestic issues.
"This is a government that has spent money we don't have; it's borrowed money we can't afford to pay back," Huckabee told ABC News' Terry Moran. "Its foreign policy has been inconsistent if not naive, and the result is we're not in as good a place as we were and not in as good a place as we must be."
Huckabee, a longtime Christian-conservative voice, is launching a nationwide tour this week to promote his new book, "A Simple Government." He said the book isn't part of a campaign strategy but a plan for applying simple solutions to such problems as the national debt and the budget.
"We're going to have to touch some issues that are untouchable in the past," he said. "Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid. These are issues that heretofore were always, as they say, the third rail of American politics. Well ... it's time to touch the third rail and maybe live to tell about it."
Government spending has taken center stage in the past week in Wisconsin, and Huckabee said he could easily see the battle between state governments and public sector unions over pensions spreading to other states. Huckabee called claims made by the unions that Gov. Scott Walker's actions are an attempt to crush their collective bargaining "absurd."
"This is a responsibility that the governor has, to balance his budget, which under law he has to do," he said. "I think the governor's simply doing what he was elected to do, and the reason that Wisconsin elected a Republican governor, and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, was to get the fiscal house in order."
"The real issue is not between the governor and the unions," he said. "The issue is the taxpayers, the people who pay for it, and the people who are getting it. ... This is really a battle for fiscal sanity."
Huckabee: Administration's Handling of Egypt Crisis 'Shocking'
Huckabee, who was in Israel during the Egyptian uprising, said that while the White House was correct to show public support for the rights of the Egyptian people "to demand the reforms that they believe as the Egyptian people they should have," he was sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of President Hosni Mubarak.
He called the administration's failure to acknowledge the 30-year relationship between the U.S. and Mubarak, and Mubarak's enforcement of the peace agreement with Israel, "a shocking set of circumstances for observers in the Middle East."
"No one expected the United States to come out and say, 'Oh, what a wonderful leader he's been, and what a champion of freedom,'" he said. "But, within the first day, to essentially throw him under the bus, demand publicly for him to resign and praise the protests ... I think it was a shocking set of circumstances for observers in the Middle East. They were stunned and felt, 'We now know how America would deal with its allies.'"
Huckabee said the protests spreading across the Middle East would likely not be a big issue in the upcoming political season but said "it needs to be."
"We live in a very myopic world in America," he said. "The reason that it matters is because there is no longer this sense of isolation where every nation exists in their own little private world on their own island, and what they do has no effect. Globalization has had many positive impacts. But if there's a negative impact it means that something going wrong in one nation has a cascading effect across the rest of the countries."
Mike Huckabee Calls Sarah Palin a 'Significant Force'
The most recent ABC News/Washington Post GOP 2012 poll shows Huckabee as the Republican front-runner, but the 2008 presidential candidate said he hadn't made up his mind about entering the race.
"The honest answer is I'm not sure," he said. "I'm still considering it, absolutely."
"I'm truly trying to make this a thoughtful, methodical decision," Huckabee said of running for president again. "Because I truly believe that if I won the presidency, that I would lead this country in a very different direction than it's currently going."
He said he knew from experience just how rough a presidential primary could be, characterizing the 2008 Republican primary as a "demolition derby."
"There's no prize for second place," he said. "I wouldn't have run if I only thought I was going to make it to second place in the Republican primary. You know, I really thought I was going to go all the way."
Huckabee was also adamant that no matter what the polls said, they wouldn't be enough to sway his decision about 2012 one way or the other.
"I like my life," he said. "I like what I do. I really enjoy it, and part of the issue for me is do I walk away from something that has been a tremendous platform."
While Huckabee said he would announce his decision sometime this summer, a potential 2012 bid wouldn't be without its powerful roadblocks. Speculation continues to circulate around whether or not former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will throw her hat into the ring.
When asked how he felt about potentially facing Palin in a primary race, Huckabee said, "I'm not scared of her, I welcome her."
Huckabee also said that Palin would be a "significant force" if she were to run for president, and that she had already brought enormous energy to the Republican Party.
"[She's] a force of nature within the conservative movement," he said. "A lot of people wanting someone just to sort of speak from the heart and from the gut. That's how people perceive Sarah Palin."
Huckabee on Sarah Palin's Success
While polls show that many voters don't think that Palin is qualified to be president, Huckabee said, "I think she's as qualified as Barack Obama. She's run a state," he said. "You know, Barack Obama had been a state senator and an absentee U.S. senator. I think people have underestimated Sarah Palin all along. She's proven that she's got a lot more savvy than people have given her credit for."
Still, he said, part of what makes Palin "an exceptional success" is the ceaseless media attention on her every move.
"[The media] take her every Tweet, they either blow it up to praise it or tear it down to destroy it," he said. "How many other people get that kind of breaking news for 164 characters out of a Tweet?"
When asked about the continuing debate around the president's U.S. citizenship, Huckabee said it was "ridiculous."
"I find that completely out of the question," he said. "You know why? Because I'll tell you why. If there was any hint of truth to that at all, Hillary Clinton, and her opposition research machine, would've long ago found that in the primary, and I guarantee you they would've used it. For us to even be discussing it, it's a waste of time."
And whoever the Republican nominee turns out to be, Huckabee said the person will have an uphill battle against the incumbent president.
"The idea that running against Barack Obama is gonna be really easy for the Republican nominee, that's utter nonsense," he said. "If it turns out that it isn't me ... I'll have no second thoughts or regrets."