(CNN) – If the Republican Party wants to get back on track, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says GOP leaders must first restore voters' confidence in the government.
"People will forgive you for being a little left or a little right, but they won't forgive you for not taking them up instead of down," he told CNN in between appearances on his 56-city tour to promote his new book, "Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America."
Huckabee said Republicans have lost their reputation as people who believe in curtailing spending and attempting to balance the budget and have a new label: the "budget busters," who spend more than they can pay back while priding themselves on not raising taxes.
Watch a post-campaign Huckabee on the road
"But it's not that they do it by curbing spending, they just kick the can down the road and put the burden on our grandchildren," he said, adding that he considers it "morally wrong" to indebt future generations.
Following big losses in the 2008 elections, the former Arkansas governor is urging Republican leaders to get back to the party's core values and "govern well" if they hope to win back the trust of voters.
Those in office, he said, "have to show that they are competent to lead," whether at the governors' level or city council. That way, Republicans can point to those people as examples to justify why they should be given a chance in the future.
Related: I'm not settling scores, says Huckabee
"If we don't live up to our own principles, then we can hardly criticize the other party for not living up to our principles either," he said.
It would help enormously if the Republicans would start acting like a political party and not like their version of the Protestant church. Regardless of party affiliation, I will never vote for anyone who thinks they have the right to inflict their version of Christianity (or Islaam) on anyone else. I am also a Christian, and i strongly disagree with most of their positions on social issues.
I think Huckabee is a nice guy but I believe he would force his religion down people throats. I feel religion should be separate between states!! Also, I can't put my finger on it but it is something about Huckabee that makes me uncomfortable. I really can't take him serious because he seems to be too much of a comedian but he is not funny!!
Huckabee's ideology is one if not the major problems with him and the Republicans. Our Founders were smart and knew the consequences therefore they put in to the constitution separation of state and church. As Long as the Republicans are run by this ideology and the right wing single minded agenda (IE no abortion/ gay rights) they will continue to be the party of division not uniting.
Huckabee is awesome. He has his own views which I for the most part disagree with, but he discusses and considers other views with much thought. He is a great face for the Religous Right.
Oh Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob!!!!!!!!!!!!!............... I guest you are one of those people with an IQ of 5 or less........ that would be the only reason for you to make such an absurd comment. Sarah Palin, the lady who can't put a Coherent sentence together, is the dumbest politician to set foot on national stage in modern history. She makes George Bush looks like Albert Einstein!!
Please stop lying to yourself and don't try to stifle your conscience. If you don't have anything sensible to say, just SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!
I am an independent voter who voted for Obama and didn't really like either McCain or Palin. I really like Huckabee, though. I think he is smart (not as smart as Obama, though) has some really good policy ideas, is very fiscally responsible, isn't so far right that he scares me, has a likable personality.
His party should listen to him rather than treating him like an outcast and they might just figure out how to win some of us back in 2016.
Funny how by reading these comments that if those of us in the middle like someone, those who are either far right or far left don't like him/her at all.
Bob, you're Sarah Palin in disguise
The Republicans are unchanged from the past. No one can run against a 95% racist vote and bloc voting by the young/stupids. Our country will pay a price for this, and the voters will run back to the Republicans for sanity as soon as possible.
Huckleberry reminds me of Gomer Pyle.
Listen Mr. Wannabee;
You won your 6 or 7 states, ok? Why couldn't you have used some of your rhetoric to help you back then?
I have no problem with you and Alaska Sue capitalizing on your 15 minutes; but please do me a favor and stop trying to sound like Moses all of a sudden! What burning bush did you listen to?
Notice that Huckabee did not mention anything about working WITH the Dems to make things better.
It is all about getting and keeping power with these old guard, ultra conservative Republicans. Then ramming their programs down the people's throats. They still don't get it.
This is why the GOP desperately needs new blood and new ideas.
Can we really afford for the republican party to have a future?
These are the people who believe free markets with monopolies in them are perfectly healthy... We've tried that (at least twice), IT DIDN'T WORK!
The GOP has only one hope, and Mike it is not going to be you.
Ron Paul is the only voice of Freedom and Liberty left...
Does anyone really care what this idiot thinks?
i'll never vote republican again, thank God for obama.
Everyone is always talking about the "separation of Church & State". I don't think it has ever been separate. The Church does not want the government to be able to tell it what to do. Did you ever think about your taxes you pay? Every time someone counts as a deduction the money they tithe to their church means they pay less in taxes. Technically, what you don't pay to the government regarding tithing, means the government GAVE that to your church. Now, does the church really want the government to have nothing to do with them? Guess not, when it comes to getting money. Just a thought.
I can hardly wait to hear the whining people that voted Democrat this election.The same people are going to give up on the Democrats faster than we gave up on the war against terrorism...They are a fickle bunch .
"Mike Huckabee says GOP leaders must first restore voters' confidence in the government."
In other words, completely reverse the platform they've had since Reagan.
Huckabee will say anything to sell his book.
His ideas are so outdated it is unreal. We are in the 21st century not the 19th century.
He basically said GOP lost because they weren't sticking to Republican principles which means he says they need to be more conservative. Being more conservative is one of the reasons they lost. America is NOT a center-right nation like the Republicans claim, we are a moderate nation. They need to be reaching out to independents and democrats because there are a lot more of them.
You must be high on something – It's called bad air!
I thought Huckabee was a bit better than the rest that were given attention until I watched his program on Fox...
He featured Joe the Plumber... and anyone who thinks Palin was ready to run anything important in our country, I don't know what to say to you.... It takes my breath away...
Wow, ever notice that 95% of the posts on these boards are from Democrats? Makes me wonder if we still have actual voters with knowledge that is unbiased by political party. You all post about hating Huckabee and hating Romeny and hating Bush. You voted Obama in simply because he promised "change" and all you are getting is recycled Clinton appointees. Your own party promises drastic changes during this term and getting America back on track and the very first press job after Obama wins is that it will take more than 4 years to get things together. Funny how they didn't tell you that during the election process.
Well, alas, you wanted change and you have it. The Democratic party will have complete and total control of the country. But if they fail, who gets the blame? Oh yeah, blame Bush or maybe Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity...lol
Can't these people just SHUT UP??!! Every time they open their Repug mouths...they create more disdain for the GOP. I used to be one of them...gladly chaged to an Obama/Biden supporter this year...and in 2012!
Huckabee go home. The only people coming to your book signing are the retired holy rollers. Intelligent people are at work and school.