(Photo: The Christian Post/Sonny Hong)
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Gov. Mike Huckabee only had 10 minutes to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, but in that time he described what could be a full platform for the 2016 presidential race.
His 10-minute CPAC speech tackled every issue one would expect from a Republican presidential candidate: healthcare, foreign policy, tax policy, abortion, Israel, parental rights, gun rights, religious liberty and the NSA, IRS and Benghazi scandals.
He also spoke about God.
"I know there's a God. And I know that this nation would not exist had He not been the midwife of its birth. And I know that this nation exists by the providence of His hand and if this nation forgets our God, then God will have every right to forget about us," he said.
Huckabee quoted Ruth Bell Graham, Billy Graham's wife, who said in the 1970s, "If God does not bring fiery judgment on America, then He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."
"I hope that we repent before we ever have to receive His fiery judgment," he said. "... There is no other way to explain our history, other than by His hand of providence. And I hope that is something Americans are never ashamed of, and are never afraid to speak. No, it's not politically correct ... but in the hearts of most Americans, deep down we know it to be true."
There is a "50/50 chance" he will run for president, Huckabee said in December. In his CPAC speech, Huckabee sounded like he was eager to hit the campaign trail again.
Huckabee was the longest serving governor in Arkansas and finished second, behind John McCain, in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. He currently hosts a Fox News show, "Huckabee," which is the network's most popular weekend program.
Here are some other key quotes from the CPAC speech:
Foreign policy: "There is not one country on this planet with whom we have a better relationship today than we did five years ago."
Healthcare: "Republicans have a better idea of an insurance that is in the marketplace and taking those who cannot find insurance and putting them in a special pool that does make it possible for people with severe developmental disabilities and people with extraordinary costs to be covered, but not at the expense of completely changing the insurance market where no one can afford it ...."
Parental rights: "Mothers and fathers raise better children than governments ever will."
Benghazi: "Our government lied to us about what happened and I know it had not one thing to do with some ridiculous video. ... With all due respect to Hillary Clinton, it does make a difference ...."
IRS scandal: "The IRS is a criminal enterprise. ... The best way to get the IRS off our backs and out of our lives is to enact a fair tax ...."
Abortion: "A society that sacrifices its own children is no better than the ancient Philistines. ... Every person has intrinsic worth and value. ... None of us are disposable ... Every life should be treated with dignity and respect."
Veterans: "This nation must make sure that the first fruits of its treasury go to those who serve in uniform and everyone else must stand behind them before we receive anything from this government."
NSA spying scandal: "A government that spies on its people and lies to its people is taking us on a trajectory toward tyranny and must be changed."
Israel: "We spend more time pressuring Israel to stop building bedrooms in the land that was given to them by Abraham than we put pressure on the Iranians to stop building bombs that are pointed toward us."
Military spending: "It is the duty and responsibility of the American government to make us safer and more secure, not less."
Religious liberty: "It's time for the government to scale back, not for people of faith to scale back. Religious liberty should be unimpeded in this nation."