Former Gov. Mike Huckabee
Conservative Political Action Conference
Gaylord National
National Harbor, MD
March 7, 2014

[transcript © DEMOCRACY IN ACTION / video]

Thank you very much.  Thank you.  What an honor to be here and I want to say thanks to a dear friend James Robison who is more than just a friend and an employer but a true mentor to me at a very important part of my life.  Now I've been given ten minutes to get this done.  Let me just tell you something. There's a lot more in my wagon than I'm going to be able to unload.

Typically news breaks on Fox are longer than ten minutes and it takes Barack Obama longer than ten minutes every day just to complain about Fox News every press conference he has.

So here's the thing.  I'm not going to be able to take the time to tell you the things that I think or believe, but I want to share with you some things that I feel like I can say these are the things that I know. 

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 that if this nation forgets our God, then God will have every right to forget us.

Ruth Graham Bell, the wife of Dr. Billy Graham, back in the 1970s made a profound statement, and she said – forty years ago – that if God does not bring fiery judgement on America then he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.  Now she said that a long time ago.  I hope that we repent before we ever have to receive his fiery judgment, but I know that he is, and I believe that a nation that can remember him is a nation that will be remembered by him.

And there is no other way to explain our history other than by his hand of providence.  And I hope that is something that Americans never are ashamed of, and never afraid to speak.  No it's not politically correct and no it's not necessarily always embraced by those who control the megaphones, but in the hearts of most Americans deep down we know it to be true.

Here's what else I know.

I know that there is not one country on this planet with whom we have a better relationship today than we did five years ago.  And for all of the bluster that our president gave when he ran for president, telling us how he would play the flute and the snakes would be charmed back into the basket and the world would be a happy and safe place, the snakes are running all over the world today, and there is not one country anywhere with whom we have a better relationship than we did before.  And that is not where America needs to be and it is not where the world needs to be.

Here's something else I know.  I know that you can't keep your doctor, you can't keep your health insurance, and your insurance is not $2,500 less for family than it was before the implementation of Obamacare.  And I believe that 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, people with extraordinary medical costs, to be covered, but not at the expense of completely changing the insurance market where no one can afford it and where all the part-time workers stay part time and full time workers become part time and people who used to try to grow their businesses past fifty [employees] now do everything they can to keep their businesses under fifty.  That's not how to build a healthy economy.

I know this.  I know that mothers and fathers raise better children than governments ever will, and we need to make sure that we tell the government "thank you, we had the children and we'll raise the children and we don't need you picking everything from their menu all the way to where they go to school."  And in the case of the young lady in Massachusetts, what a shame when the government thinks that it knows better to take care of the medical treatment of the daughter than the mother and the father do.  There's something wrong when the government kidnaps children from their own families.

I also know that four Americans were murdered at Benghazi and our government lied to us as to what happened.  And I know it had not one thing to do with some ridiculous video.  And I know something else, with all due respect to Hillary Clinton, it does make a difference why they died and who did it. 

I thank you for that but don't clap all my time away.

Here's something else I know.  I know that the IRS is a criminal enterprise, that it has become a matter of cancer in this country, and that the best way to get the IRS off our backs and out of our lives is to enact the FAIR Tax which will eliminate the IRS once and for all, and no longer will they be intimidating Americans who are conservative.

I know that life begins at conception.  And I know that a society, a society that sacrifices its own children is no better than the ancient Philistines.  And I know that our country was built on the notion that all of us are created equal, and that every person has intrinsic worth and value, and that no person is worth less than another and therefore no person is worth more than another.  That we all have value, and none of us are disposable, none of us are expendable, and every life should be treated with dignity and respect.

I know that people in uniform deserve better than to come home from fought the wars that we've sent them to fight and then to be told that they have to wait in line for months before they're going to be able to receive the treatment that they were promised, whether its for PTSD or whether its for a physical ailment that has visible scars.  But I tell you that this nation must make sure that the first fruits of its treasury go to those who have served in uniform and every one else of us must stand behind them before we receive anything from this government.

I also know that freedom is better than tyranny, but I also believe that a government that spies on its people and lies to its people is taking us on a trajectory toward tyranny and must be changed and changed now.

I know that the only time that Vladimir Putin shivers is when he has his shirt off in a cold Russian winter, that he's not the least bit worried about what we think of him or what we may pretend that we're going to do to him.  The fact is we have unloaded our own guns, and across the world no one trusts us, no on listens to us, no one respects us and no one fears us. 

And I tell you this.  I know that our treatment of our one true ally between all of Africa and Asiaxxthe land of Israelxxhas been incredibly mistreated by this government, and we need to change the policy that has made it so that 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 towards us.  That my friends is insanity.  I know it, and you know it as well.

I know that peace is not the result of a military that is dismantled, that peace is the result of a military that is so absolutely awesome in its capability, in its readiness and in its sheer force that no one on Earth dares to poke it.  And I know that a military like that is one that we will probably will never actually have to use because it provides a fearsome inhibitor to those that would ever seek to provoke it.  And that the particular projections of our government in taking down the military, away from a point of readiness, I know this, that does not make the world a safer place.  And it is the duty and the responsiblity of the American government to make us safer and more secure, not less.  This I know and this you know as well.

And I know this.  I know that the First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech, that it guarantees the right of a free press and that it guarantees religious liberty for every person.  And I know that it was prohibited of the government to ever dictate how much faith a person can have, and to what extent a person can believe.  And when the government begins to say it's okay if you have faith, but you can only have this much of it because when you have this much of it and it may some how conflict with something the government has passed, here's what I knowxxit's time for the government to scale back, not for people of faith to scale back. Religious liberty should be unimpeded in this nation. 

And I know this.  I know that the Second Amendment is the only last resort we have in this country to protect all of the other freedoms that we enjoy, and God help us if we ever forget that. 

And I know this.  I know that this is a time when conservatives need to focus on how we will lead America, not just how we will bleed each other in the context of our conservative world.  Too much is at stake, the future of our country, the future for our children and grandchildren is far too important for us to spend our time fighting with each other when the real battle is not even a fight against liberals or a fight against Democrats, it is a fight for the soul and the future of this great republic of ours, the United States of America.  This is a fight to which all of us must know we have to engage and we must do it now.

And this one thing I also know.  My time is up and I must go.

This I know.  Thank you and God bless you.

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