Mike Huckabee Calls Himself 'Paradoxical Republican'

Huckabee: Well, you know, when people say we shouldn't have any taxes, you know what? When you dial 911 and your house is on fire, you want a fire truck to come. Guess what pays for it? Taxes. What Americans don't want is unfair, unnecessary, exceptionally high taxes where the money is wasted. But Americans understand that, if you have the garbage pickup, or the fire trucks and police cars out there, or for that matter if you have a highway, then it's got to be paid for.

Stephanopoulos: So how does that extend, then, to the job you'll have to do as president? You know, a lot of your opponents in this race are signing this pledge -- the Americans for Tax Reform taxpayer protection pledge -- basically saying we're going to oppose any effort to increase the income tax.

You haven't signed it. Do you think it's a gimmick?

Huckabee: It's not necessarily a gimmick, and I may decide I will sign it.

But, right now, what I want to make sure is that I don't assign something that says that if we had a catastrophic incident, a world war, which I think we're in the middle of or at least in the beginnings of already, I don't want to put myself in a box and make a pledge to an interest group that isn't really as sacred as the pledge that I would make to the people of the country to uphold the Constitution. Stephanopoulos: You talk about the fact that you believe we're in World War III right now...

Huckabee: I do.

Stephanopoulos: ... in your speech earlier.

[Clip of Huckabee: We do have a war -- a world war that is on fire and we have to recognize that the next president must face that and must face it clearly and must understand its theological base.]

How do you fight a worldwide religious war without turning it into a 21st century crusade?

Huckabee: I think you have to be very careful that we don't think that our goal is to take our religion and impose it on somebody else.

That's not what this war is about. But we have to understand it from the point of the Islamic fascists who really would like to annihilate us.

I think you have to take seriously that this is, at heart, an effort where they believe that God has put them on this planet so that they will bring a complete cleansing of all the infidels -- which they consider us to be.

And the only cleansing that can really be done is not to isolate us to our part of the world, but is to annihilate us.

That's why this is such a more dangerous situation.

Stephanopoulos: So how does the president combat that?

Huckabee: Well, I think part of it has to happen from that we don't combat it by ourselves. There's got to be a sense in which the balance of moderate Muslims will have to take a more visible and, frankly, vocal role in bringing a sense of balance and sanity within the Islamic community.

Stephanopoulos: But how do we encourage that?

Huckabee: We encourage it by the same way that we saw a lot of things happen that changed to Soviet Union -- when they realized we're not monsters, when they realized that we really aren't out to destroy them. There are many of the true Muslim people that don't want a world war. They don't want a war -- a war in a world where, every day, somebody has to just be vaporized.

We have to hope that that takes hold within those communities themselves.

Stephanopoulos: George Will says voters this year are going to hold candidates to what he calls the seven-minute test.

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