August 16th, 2015
10:45 AM ET

Former Gov Huckabee defended his no-exceptions position on abortion today on CNN's State of the Union

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) (1996-2007), joined guest anchor & chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, video & text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Mike Huckabee on State of the Union-FULL INTERVIEW

Mike Huckabee attacks Hillary Clinton

Huckabee: 'When an abortion happens there are 2 victims'

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Huckabee on Trump being a “master of branding”: “I want to salute Donald Trump.  He's a master at branding.  There's no one like him.  He's alone in his class at being able to get attention.  Latest survey showed, Dana, that he's getting 10 times the press coverage than any other candidate. Well, I'm just going to be real clear with you.  You give me 10 times the coverage that any other candidate gets, I will be leading in the polls.  But the point is, at this stage of the game, the polls don't necessarily reflect where things end up.  Otherwise, we would have had a nominee named Rudy Giuliani eight years ago and one named Michele Bachmann four years ago. That's why we're not in a panic.  ”

Huckabee on Hillary Clinton having "things she'll have to answer for.": “I think that there's going to be some things she will have to answer for.  What happened the night of Benghazi?  What about those e-mails?  What about the private server?  What about the fact that she did not follow the law and protocol?  There are plenty of things, including the reset button with Russia. We have got to ask why, after four years of secretary of state, that we had not one country on this planet with whom we had a better relationship than we did when she first took office as secretary of state.  So there's plenty to talk about that's a much more important reason to not let Hillary Clinton be the third term of Barack Obama.”

Huckabee’s response to transgender Navy Seal, Kristin Beck: “…she's entitled to her views.  She's getting a lot of publicity for her campaign. But let me tell you something, Dana.  Before the United States and the taxpayers pay for someone to have a transgender surgery, we need to make sure we're caring for the veterans who come back from Iran and Afghanistan without arms and legs.  And some of them are waiting weeks and months.  We see 22 suicides a day among returning veterans.  That ought to be our priority, not changing the gender of someone in the military.”

Huckabee defending his no-exception position on abortion: “I think what we have to do, Dana, is remember that creating one problem that is horrible - horrible - I mean, let nobody be misled.  A 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible. But does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?  And that's really the issue.  I know people.  I worked for a man for several years, James Robison, who was the result of a rape.  His mother went to three doctors in Houston, Texas, in 1943, begged doctors to abort the baby.  None of them would do it.  They all refused.  Today, his organization feeds, cares for, and brings living capacity for water to hundreds of thousands of people across the world.  That would never have happened, Dana. So, when I think about one horror, I also think about the possibilities that exist.  And I just don't want to think that somehow we discount a human life.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR:  And now we turn to the state of our union, which this morning is deep-fried.  The presidential race decamped to Des Moines this weekend for the Iowa State Fair, where the candidates competed for attention and affection with corn dogs.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump arrived in his helicopter and offered a free ride to the kids, but not before jabbing his rival Jeb Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  ...statement.  He said the United States has to prove to Iraq that we have skin in the game.

We have spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives lost, wounded warriors who I love all over the place, and he said we have to prove that we have skin in the game.  I think it may be one of the dumbest statements I have ever heard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH:  Now, Trump is, as he never tires of pointing out, leading in the polls.

Our latest CNN poll shows him topping the field in Iowa.  But when it comes to the question of who Iowa Republicans think best represents their values, the field chips a bit.

Near the top of that list is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who joins me now live.

Good morning, Governor.  Thanks for coming in this morning.

I want to start with yesterday's appearance by Trump, the spectacle on his helicopter, giving rides for kids.  I spent a lot of time with you back in 2008, when you won Iowa by doing it the old-fashioned way.  You had retail politics.  You had a ground game. Has Trump - Trump changed the game, sir?

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I don't think so.  I mean, look, Donald Trump is a phenomena, and he's doing very well.

I don't have a helicopter.  I don't know that any other candidates will.  But let me tell you what we're doing.  We're organizing the old-fashioned way.  There are 99 counties in Iowa.  We have organized 71 of them.

In South Carolina, there are 46 counties.  We have organized already in 32 of them.  We visited over half of the counties in each of those early primary states.  And we understand that this is like a NASCAR race that's 200 laps.  We're maybe in lap number 10.  We have got a long way to go before anybody's going to see a checkered flag.

And you win by organizing and building structure in those counties, because it's not how many headlines you get.  It's how many voters show up at the caucuses and the primaries.

BASH:  So you're announcing this morning that you do have an organizing team in Iowa and South Carolina, but do you really think that that is the way things are going to happen this time?

I mean, Donald Trump, you know, yes, I understand it's early, and maybe some of this polling might be because he's different and he is a celebrity and all that.  But you never know.  This could be kind of the Kardashianization of the caucuses.

HUCKABEE:  Well, it could be.  But I want to salute Donald Trump.  He's a master at branding.  There's no one like him.  He's alone in his class at being able to get attention.  Latest survey showed, Dana, that he's getting 10 times the press coverage than any other candidate.

Well, I'm just going to be real clear with you.  You give me 10 times the coverage that any other candidate gets, I will be leading in the polls.  But the point is, at this stage of the game, the polls don't necessarily reflect where things end up.  Otherwise, we would have had a nominee named Rudy Giuliani eight years ago and one named Michele Bachmann four years ago.

That's why we're not in a panic.  We're doing what we know we have to do.  And it's been helpful to have done this before.  We're organizing, structuring, building this thing one block at a time.  It's like a LEGO set, and you have to put the pieces together one at a time.

BASH:  Now, Governor, you're originally from Arkansas.  That's, of course, where you served.  You're familiar with the Clinton foibles, if you will.  Donald Trump told Sean Hannity this week that Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and other women involved with Bill Clinton are fair game against Hillary Clinton.  Do you agree?

HUCKABEE:  I don't know that we have to go there because there's plenty about Hillary's record that gives us all the ammunition we need.

I do understand the Clintons very well.  I fought against their political machine every time I was on the ballot.  That's what a lot of Republicans have not yet figured out when they say, my gosh, who can we put up against Hillary?  Well, there's only one candidate on that stage among Republicans who has effectively and successfully and repeatedly challenged the Clinton political machine, and that's me.

BASH:  So, stay away - stay away from the Bill Clinton...

HUCKABEE:  To get into the personal lives, I don't think that's necessary.

BASH:  Interesting.

HUCKABEE:  Yes.  He's not on the ballot.  Hillary is.

BASH:  That is true.  That is true.

HUCKABEE:  But, look, Dana, let me mention this.

I think that there's going to be some things she will have to answer for.  What happened the night of Benghazi?  What about those e-mails?  What about the private server?  What about the fact that she did not follow the law and protocol?  There are plenty of things, including the reset button with Russia.

We have got to ask why, after four years of secretary of state, that we had not one country on this planet with whom we had a better relationship than we did when she first took office as secretary of state.  So there's plenty to talk about that's a much more important reason to not let Hillary Clinton be the third term of Barack Obama.

BASH:  Speaking of relationships with other countries, we have a little scoop here on STATE OF THE UNION this morning.  You are planing to leave the campaign trail and make a trip to Israel this coming Tuesday.  We talked about Iowa and organizing.  Why is it more important to be in Israel than in Iowa right now?

HUCKABEE:  Well, there's several activities.  So, I will only be there a couple of days.

But, as you know, I have been going to Israel for 42 years.  My first trip was in 1973.  I have been dozens and dozens of times.  I have got a lot of friends there.  And a lot of Americans live there.  We're doing some fund-raising, but, more importantly, I will also be visiting with a number of officials and discussing the Iranian deal, because I think it's the most dangerous situation that we face, not just for the Middle East, but for the rest of the world, in a long time.

This is essentially arming and equipping a terrorist state.  The Iranian government is not to be trusted.  And for 36 years, they kidnapped Americans.  They have killed Americans.  They hold Americans hostage right now.  And we're being pushed to get into a deal that gives us nothing, but gives the Iranians the capacity to ultimately end up with a nuclear weapon, and that's just insane.

BASH:  Governor, I want to bring it back home and to an issue that's really been percolating in the Republican race, the issue of abortion.

Now, you oppose abortion even in cases of rape and incest.  I want to ask about a story, because it's really getting a lot of attention from our readers on CNN.com.  A 10-year-old girl was raped by her stepfather in Paraguay, and the government wouldn't allow her to have an abortion, because that's the policy there.  The girl, who is now just 11, had the baby.  If you're president, and you have your druthers, that would be the policy here.  Some of your Republican opponents say it's too extreme.  What do you say?

HUCKABEE:  I think what we have to do, Dana, is remember that creating one problem that is horrible - horrible - I mean, let nobody be misled.  A 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible.

But does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?  And that's really the issue.  I know people.  I worked for a man for several years, James Robison, who was the result of a rape.  His mother went to three doctors in Houston, Texas, in 1943, begged doctors to abort the baby.  None of them would do it.  They all refused.  Today, his organization feeds, cares for, and brings living capacity for water to hundreds of thousands of people across the world.  That would never have happened, Dana.

So, when I think about one horror, I also think about the possibilities that exist.  And I just don't want to think that somehow we discount a human life.

BASH:  And that's understandable, but the flip side is, looking in the eyes of a 10-year-old girl, saying, you know, you had this horrible thing happen to you, and you're going to have to carry it out for the next nine months.  That's also not easy.

HUCKABEE:  No, it isn't easy.  And I wouldn't even pretend that it's anything other than a terrible tragedy.

But let's not compound the tragedy by taking yet another life.  And I always think we sometimes miss the fact that, when an abortion happens, there are two victims.  One is the child.  The other is that birth mother, who often will go through extraordinary guilt years later, when she begins to think through the – what happened with the baby, with her.

And, again, there are no easy answers here.  And I realize there are some people that will be very different in their view of this than me, and I respect that.  I don't want to get into a shouting match with people who think I'm wrong.  I respect that.  But I just come down on the side that life is precious, every life has worth and value.  I don't think we discount the intrinsic worth of any human being.  And I don't know where else to go with it, but just to be consistent and say, if life matters and then that's a person, then every life matters.

BASH:  Governor, before we go, I just have to ask you quickly about something you said in the last debate.  You said that the military is not a social experiment, talking about the idea of transgender or so forth going into the military.

I want to read for you a tweet by Kristin Beck, who is the only transgender Navy SEAL.  She's challenging Steny Hoyer in a Democratic primary, I should say, for Congress in Maryland.  She hit back, saying about you on Twitter: "I am twice the man you could ever be." Do you want to respond to that?

HUCKABEE:  No, because she's entitled to her views.  She's getting a lot of publicity for her campaign.

But let me tell you something, Dana.  Before the United States and the taxpayers pay for someone to have a transgender surgery, we need to make sure we're caring for the veterans who come back from Iran and Afghanistan without arms and legs.  And some of them are waiting weeks and months.  We see 22 suicides a day among returning veterans.  That ought to be our priority, not changing the gender of someone in the military.

BASH:  Governor Huckabee, we are going to have to leave it there.

Thanks for joining us this morning.  Appreciate it.  And have a safe trip.

HUCKABEE:  Thank you, Dana.  Great to talk to you.

###END INTERVIEW###

 


Topics: CNN • Dana Bash • State of the Union
tmpl
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.