WASHINGTON — Gov. Mike Huckabee encouraged pastors to speak out on political issues and for social conservatives to get more fellow adherents registered and to the polls.
Social conservatives are not in trouble because of the actions of government, they are in trouble because social conservatives are not speaking out and are not voting in large numbers, Huckabee said Friday at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit.
Huckabee estimated that there are probably over 100 million social conservatives in the United States. Using just the example of Evangelicals, he said there are about 80 million, but only half of them are even registered to vote, and of those who are registered, only 20 million actually vote in a presidential year.
An even smaller number, about 10 million, vote in midterm elections and an even smaller number than that vote in the primary elections that determine who the major party candidates will be.
"What would happen," he asked, "if, instead of half of those voters being registered, 75 percent of them were? And what would happen if, instead of half of them voting, 75 percent of them voted? If 10 percent more Evangelicals had voted in the last presidential election, we would have a different president than the one we have right now."
Huckabee also cited research conducted by George Barna, a Christian pollster, showing that 90 percent of pastors believe that the Bible speaks to the important issues of the day, but only 10 percent of pastors say they preach and teach on what the Bible says about the important issues of the day.
Politicians will listen to the concerns of social conservatives if they speak out more and vote in higher numbers, Huckabee explained.
The audience laughed as he said: "That great theologian, Woody Allen, once said this, success is 80 percent just showing up. And frankly, if we don't show up, then I'll tell you what happens. Government does whatever it wishes to do. When we show up, government does what we send it to do."
Huckabee was formerly the governor of Arkansas and ran for president in 2008. Currently, he is the host of Fox News' "Huckabee." He is considering running for president again in 2016.
In a press conference before his speech, Huckabee said he will likely decide on whether or not to run in the early Spring of next year. The key factors in his decision, he added, would be whether he has financial and political support. His decision will not be based upon who else is running, however.
You can watch the whole speech below: