Huckabee's 1992 words get new attention
By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press Writer 22 minutes ago
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -
"The U.S. shouldn't try to kill Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Mike Huckabee declared when he first ran for office. No women in combat anywhere. No gays in the military. No contributions in politics to candidates more than a year before an election.
"His statements are among 229 answers Huckabee offered as a 36-year-old Texarkana pastor during his first run for political office in 1992. In that unsuccessful race against Sen. Dale Bumpers, Huckabee offered himself as a social conservative and listed 'moral decay' as one of the top problems facing the country.
"Now that he's a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, he's being asked anew about some of the views and comments he expressed in the survey by The Associated Press. Over the weekend, he said he wouldn't retract answers in which he advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased funding for finding a cure and said homosexuality could pose a public health risk — though he said today he might phrase his answers 'a little differently.'
"Some of the words in his answers to the questionnaire are indeed strong.
Asked about gays in the military, for example, he didn't just reject the idea but added: 'I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.'
Earlier this year, Huckabee said, 'Nobody's going to find some YouTube moments of me saying something radically different than what I'm saying today.'
"The full questionnaire offers in written form a chance for voters to see what he was saying as he began his political career.
In the questionnaire, he:
• Called for the elimination of political action committees and campaign contributions from lobbyists. He also said candidates should not be allowed to receive contributions until one year before an election and said there should be limits on the amount of out-of-state money they could accept. As Arkansas governor, Huckabee formed a political action committee based in Virginia to raise money for non-federal candidates that allowed him to travel and raise his profile for a potential presidential run. The Hope for America PAC shut down earlier this year as Huckabee entered the White House race.
• Said he would not support any tax increases if elected to the Senate. Huckabee's record of raising some taxes as Arkansas' governor has drawn fire from fiscal conservatives in the presidential race.
• When asked whether the U.S. should take any action to kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Huckabee replied: 'The U.S. should not kill Saddam Hussein or anyone else.' The U.S. military captured Saddam, an Iraqi court convicted him and he was hanged last December."
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