I had the opportunity to catch up with Gov. Mike Huckabee yesterday in Iowa:
ThePulse2016: Religious liberty has been an issue that’s been coming up often in this campaign. I was wondering, there’s a bill that’s being considered this fall called the First Amendment Defense Act. Is that something, as President, you would sign?
Gov. Mike Huckabee: Yeah, I would sign it, but I think it’s, uh, you know, important for us to note that when people file a bill, that doesn’t mean it’s gonna become law. A lot of people say I’m gonna file, I’m gonna introduce an amendment — what’s important is when does it get signed? When does it become law? We need a President who can shepherd legislation through. It’s one of the reasons that I think, somebody who has been a governor, who has understood the process and the role of getting a piece of legislation — not introduced, heck, anybody can do that — can you get it delivered all the way to the point of signature and law?
ThePulse2016: And are there any other things that you feel that you as a President can do to defend religious liberty?
Huckabee: Well, there are several things a President can do. Number one, a President could and should — and will if I’m the President — make it very clear that we will protect religious liberty of every citizen, of every institution, every agency, hospital, school, church, and individual business whose owners have religious convictions. Second thing, you would task the attorney general with the vigorous defense of people whose religious liberties are being trampled upon. Instead of going out to Oregon and trying to hurt people like the Kleins, you would send the Justice Department out there to protect them. And the third thing is to make it clear to the Secretary of Defense that you expect that religious liberty of every chaplain, and every airman, soldier, marine, and coast guardsman to be fully protected. And if a chaplain wants to read his bible, counsel people according to his faith, pray with them, whatever he would wish to do, that would be honored and nobody would be able to interrupt that.
ThePulse2016: My last question: Speaking of investigations, would you order the Department of Justice to investigate Planned Parenthood?
Huckabee: I think they should be criminally investigated, and based on what we’ve seen, criminally prosecuted. What they’ve done is — apparently from all clear indications — an absolute violation of federal law to sell the body parts of a human being for gain. And what they’re doing is indefensible. And even if somehow somebody can say that it’s not illegal, it’s immoral. It’s unconscionable. And it’s the kind of thing that you would expect out of a barbaric society, you would not expect that out of civilized people.
As far as we can tell, this is the first time Huckabee has clearly endorsed FADA.