George Stephanopoulos' Interview with Former Gov. Mike Huckabee

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are back now with the Republicans beginning with the big winner this week in Iowa, Mike Huckabee. Welcome back to "This Week," Governor.

HUCKABEE: Thank you very much, George. Good to be with you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's pick up on the debate last night. Charlie Gibson asked you about the foreign affairs article where you wrote the Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. In your answer you didn't repeat that and your opponents pounced. Take a look.

THOMPSON (from debate): I think that maybe the governor's rethought his comments that he made about an arrogant foreign policy.

ROMNEY (from debate): The president is not arrogant. The president is not subject to a bunker mentality.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So do you believe what you wrote or not? Has the Bush?

HUCKABEE: Of course I believe what I wrote. That's why I wrote it and let me correct what Mr. Romney said. I did not say the president was arrogant. I said some of the administration's policies?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Wait. You said the Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality.

HUCKABEE: Policies.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's pretty much the same thing.

HUCKABEE: No, it's not. What I specifically pointed out last night was that when Donald Rumsfeld said we weren't going into Iraq with more than 180,000 troops even though every department of defense estimate said we needed at least 400,000 to bring stability, we had the attitude that we're not going to really listen to what the generals are telling us we need to do. We're going to have this arbitrary figure based on a finite budget. We're going to have as the secretary called it a light footprint, which is really the complete opposite of the Powell Doctrine, and it really goes back, I would say, to the Weinberger Doctrine of the Reagan administration that says you don't go in with a light footprint, you go in with a very heavy footprint. You go in with irresistible force when you engage and that when you engage you don't let the politicians interrupt and interfere with a battlefield command decisions that are being made by the people who have blood on their boots?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, but your indictment of the Bush administration foreign policy was much broader than that. And the last time you were on "This Week," you said they had an us versus them mentality. I'm just trying to say do you still believe that or are you backing away?

HUCKABEE: No, I'm not backing away. I've been more supportive of George Bush than several of the people who criticized me on that program, but what I have also said is that, look, if you're running for president, you need to not only say, here's where I agree, and there are many areas with which I agree with the president, I've stood by him when others abandoned him, but I also think that if you're running for president, you need to distinguish yourself in what will you do and how will your administration be reflected in policy, both domestically and in foreign policy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You also - you and Mitt Romney went at it on the surge as well. Here's what you said last night.

HUCKABEE (from debate): I supported the president in the war before you did. I supported the surge when you didn't.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But last January when you were asked on another program whether you agreed with Mitt Romney and John McCain on support of the surge, you said this.

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