George Stephanopoulos' Interview with Former Gov. Mike Huckabee

HUCKABEE: Well, people are going to go through a nitpick. And that's fine but I'll tell you why we won Iowa. We won Iowa because people believe that there was a need for somebody who had clarity in his positions and I have and I've stuck by those positions. I haven't had big changes in positions on my view in the second amendment, on the sanctity of life, on the role of the traditional family, on the idea of the Bush tax cuts. I haven't had a big change of position when it comes to energy independence, on health care. Those are issues that touch Americans every day. And, you know, there's always going to be somebody that says, oh, he made this statement here and he, you know, had a verbal gaffe. Look, I have some verbal gaffes. I think most of us do especially if we talk as much as politicians do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Or television anchors. But let me push one more issue on clarity?

HUCKABEE: Okay.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ?positions because the Terri Schiavo case, it seems as if you've been on both sides of that issue. Let me show you.

"HUCKABEE ON SCHIAVO"

STEPHANOPOULOS: On May 19 of this year, you said "I had no problem with the state getting involved because it's one of their citizens but I wasn't sure how the federal government had a role in all that." Yet, in September of this year you were asked should the federal government should have gotten involved, and you said "it's always safe if you can to side on the side of life."

STEPHANOPOULOS: Was it right for Congress to get involved or not?

HUCKABEE: The statement I made was the right one and that is if you're going to do something, always side on the side of life.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So that means the federal government should have gotten involved?

HUCKABEE: Now, from a legal and a constitutional perspective I'm not sure that this was anything other than a Florida issue. But if the federal government is going to weigh in, weigh in on the side of life. I think?

STEPHANOPOULOS: But should the federal government have weighed in or not?

HUCKABEE: They shouldn't have to.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's a clear yes or no question.

HUCKABEE: No. I'll tell you where they should weigh in. They ought?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well they did. Was it a right thing to do or not?

HUCKABEE: In that case I believe it ultimately was because anything to do that will help save a human life and at least show the importance of the imperative of valuing life, I think is a good thing, George. And I'm - one thing, if anything, and that's consistent on the fact that every human life has dignity and intrinsic worth and value, and I think it's fundamental to the very essence of our civilization that we treat each other with that sense of dignity. If we don't and violate the idea we're all of equal worth, I think we've lost something more than a political debate. I think we've lost our moral center. Because if one person is more valuable because of IQ, ancestry, net worth, if one person is more valuable than another because of ability or disability, then we really have redefined what it means to be not just a human being but specifically what it means to be an American.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You had a big win in Iowa this week. The question is, where do you win next? You're fighting from behind here in New Hampshire. What's the path to the nomination for Mike Huckabee?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think we're going to do better than expected in New Hampshire. I think when we get to?

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