ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called President Obama’s decision on Wednesday to instruct the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act “out of sync with the public.”
“I am deeply disappointed,” Huckabee said of the Obama administration’s newly-announced policy that changes the government's approach to thew law that since 1996 has banned federal recognition of same-sex unions.
The former Arkansas governor, who is considering another presidential bid in 2012, cited legislation and ballot initiatives in dozens of states that have affirmed traditional marriage.
“What does the president believe he knows that citizens in all these other states don’t?” Huckabee asked. “I find it very disappointing in a time when the economy, world affairs are exploding, the Justice Department would decide this is what they are going to put on the plate today.”
Huckabee, who spoke in Washington on Wednesday at an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, also weighed in on the swirling controversy in Wisconsin where the state’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker has been feuding with Democratic lawmakers and protesters over his plan to take away the right of public employees to collectively bargain.
“Hang tough, stand tall, hold your ground,” Huckabee advised Walker but referred to Democratic members of the state legislature who fled to Illinois to block consideration of the governor’s proposal “outrageously hypocritical” and “duplicitous.”
Huckabee was in town to begin the publicity tour for his new book, “A Simple Government,” and although he said he was seriously considering a presidential bid he indicated that he was wary of mounting another White House run, primarily because of financial concerns.
“If I run, I walk away from a pretty good income,” said Huckabee, who hosts his own weekly show on Fox News.
His decision-making process this year, he said, is “based on the personal experience of having been there, done that.”
“If you’ve jumped out of an airplane you have a whole lot better understanding of what you’re going to do the next time you’re going to do it,” Huckabee said, making a case for waiting on an announcement. “The longer your campaign exists, the longer an infrastructure you’ve got to support.”
But even as he spoke, new numbers from a Gallup poll released this afternoon put Huckabee in the lead among other potential 2012 GOP contenders. He garnered 18 percent support among Republicans compared to 16 percent for both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Although Huckabee leveled sharp words at President Obama during his appearance in the nation's capitol, he had nothing but nice things to say about First Lady Michelle Obama and her anti-obesity initiative, "Let's Move."
“I still think that her approach is the right one,” Huckabee said. “I do not think that she’s out there advocating that the government take over our dinner plates.”
Fellow conservatives he said have been unfairly criticizing her “out of a reflex rather than out of a thoughtful expression.”
He added, “We don’t have to believe that everything the other side proposes is immediately and altogether bad.”