ABC News’ Kevin Chupka Reports: Though GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is being noticed tonight for participation the PBS debate on minority issues (in a forum conspicuously absent of the party frontrunners), tomorrow morning the former Arkansas governor will spend time in Washington presenting a platform on Iraq and the war on terror
The speech before the Center for Strategic and International Studies marks one of Huckabee’s first opportunities to speak at length to a large group about one issue – arguably THE issue — in the ’08 campaign cycle.
Entitled ‘Paths and Priorities in the War on Terror’ Huckabee’s speech is expected to continue speaking to necessary success in Iraq. He has long argued that Democrats “deny that the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror even as we fight Al Qaeda there”; Huckbee charges that the only way out is honorable victory.
In addition to military might, Huckabee’s position also supports a “regional summit” to help bring about a peaceful resolution in the region.
His campaign’s website doesn’t mince words.
“Withdrawal would have serious strategic consequences for us and horrific humanitarian consequences for the Iraqis. If we leave, Iraq’s neighbors on all sides will face a refugee crisis and be drawn into the war: Iran to protect the Shiites; Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan to protect the Sunnis; and Turkey to protect its control over its own Kurd population.”
While his war rhetoric may sound strikingly similar to fellow Republicans, Huckabee supports a energy independence solution that, to some, leans left.
In an August debate moderated by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Huckabee said “Every time somebody in this room goes to the gas pump, you’ve helped make the Saudi royal family a little wealthier and the money that has been used against us in terrorism has largely come from the middle east” and “if we can feed ourselves, if we can fuel ourselves, if we can manufacture the weapons to fight for ourselves, we’re a free people. If we can’t do those three things, we’re not free.”