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Sunday Show Wrap-Up

Meet Mike Huckabee.

7:52 PM, Jan 28, 2007 • By SONNY BUNCH
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Meet the Press featured an interview with Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. As a southern governor, Huckabee deserves special attention. Though not terribly well known at this point, Huckabee scored a prime spot: leading off Meet the Press and getting a half hour of face time with the public.

Though he has no foreign policy experience, Huckabee said that he would oppose any nonbinding resolution that would condemn the president's new Iraq strategy, telling Tim Russert "I think that's a dangerous position to take, to oppose a sitting commander in chief while we've got people being shot at on the ground. I think it's one thing to have a debate and a discussion about this strategy, but to openly oppose, in essence, the strategy, I think that can be a very risky thing for our troops." On taxes he took a fairly conservative stance, saying that he would like to lower taxes, but won't necessarily rule out raising them in some form should the need arise. "I was the first governor in the history of my state to ever lower taxes, the first one in 160 years. We lowered a total of 94 different taxes and fees. . . . I think you got to be very careful. I wouldn't propose any new taxes. I wouldn't support any. But if we're in a situation where we are in a different level of war, where there is no other option, I think that it's a very dangerous position to make pledges that are outside the most important pledge you make, and that is the oath you take to uphold the Constitution and protect the people of the United States."

On gay marriage, Huckabee did not come out and directly state his support of an outright ban on the practice. Instead, he focused on the problems facing straight couples. "I have a problem with changing institutions that have served us. And I think I would rather characterize not what I'm against, but what I'm for. Before we change the definition of marriage to mean something different, I think our real focus ought to be on trying to strengthen heterosexual marriages because half of them are ending in divorce. That's a real problem in this country." Two things might hurt the governor with Republicans: He's the second man from Hope to hold serious aspirations for the presidency (the first was, of course, Bill Clinton). The other? He's the official Republican pick of the Daily Kos.

Fox News Sunday was the latest stop for the Sam Brownback presidential campaign. The senator from Kansas made his first appearance on the show since announcing his candidacy for the nation's highest office, and spent part of the show defending his credentials as a social conservative. "I've been standing for life all along, and I'll continue to," Brownback told Chris Wallace. "And I think other people in this race have not stood for life all along. I've been standing and fighting for marriage as a union of a man and a woman bonded together for life. I've fought for those in the Senate, and others have voted differently on those. . . . At times, [Romney]'s stated that he's pro life, and at times he's stated differently." Wallace confronted Brownback on claims that his own views on abortion and other issues have been evolving, and the Kansan replied that the record is clear: "My position has become more clear, but it's not evolved. Look at the record. Look at how I've voted. Those votes are clear. I have a 100 percent pro life record."

Joe Lieberman was also a guest, and said that he was saddened by his party's reluctance to deal with the president. "I was really disappointed with the reaction of Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to the president's offer, or invitation, to have essentially a bipartisan war council." He also explained what it meant to be an "Independent Democrat," as Lieberman now refers to himself. "I consider myself today an Independent Democrat, and I'm staying in the Democratic party because I believe in the historic principles and commitments of the party, to be both progressive here at home and muscular, strong, and principled in the world. I'm a Harry Truman, JFK, Scoop Jackson, and Bill Clinton Democrat."