Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee gave a foreign policy speech in Washington, D.C. on Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called Pakistan the "corporate headquarters" of al Qaeda and criticized President Bush for ignoring the terrorists' safe haven along the country's borders Friday, in his first major foreign policy speech of his campaign.
"Now I disagree strongly with the Democrats who claim that we are fighting on the wrong battlefield," Huckabee said to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "I am convinced that our focus on Iraq at the expense of Pakistan or Iran is like dealing with a neighbor's house which is on fire, while ignoring the house on the other side of the street that's filled with carbon monoxide."
Huckabee, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, said that in order to avoid another terrorist attack at home, America needs to learn to understand Islamic culture and work to improve its image in the world. He compared the United States to "that one kid who was just exceptional at anything he did" that you wanted to "have some blundering calamity."
"The matter in which we handle our power is critical," Huckabee said. "And the more that we can do not to weaken ourselves but to strengthen our neighbors and to give them encouragement rather than to simply show them our muscle is an important part of rebuilding America's national prestige."
Huckabee also pledged to make America completely energy independent by the end of his second presidential term, if he wins the race to the White House.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich