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, 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."