Where does faith drive Huckabee?

He's asked for specifics, but he doesn't seem to have them.

By Tim Grieve

Published December 12, 2007 8:49PM (EST)

As we've argued a couple of times over the past two days, if Mike Huckabee is going to say that his faith "drives" his decisions, voters are entitled to know a little more about what that means.

It seems we aren't the only ones who think so.

At the GOP presidential debate in Iowa this afternoon, Des Moines Register editor Carolyn Washburn asked Huckabee to give "two examples you've not previously given, one in healthcare and one in education, where your faith would define change you want to see in policy."

Did Huckabee answer the question? You be the judge:

"The two overriding principles are, you treat others as you wish to be treated," he said. "As it relates in healthcare, that means that we recognize that a person who is sick shouldn't be treated differently, because they're in poverty, than a person who has extraordinary wealth, that we have some sense of balance in how we approach that. That's the essence of what America is about.

"The second basic principle is that, inasmuch as you've done it to the least of these, my brethren, you've done it unto me. As it relates to both health, education, or any policy, what it really means is that you go back to what the Founding Fathers said: All of us are created equal and endowed by our creator with those rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Yes, Washburn pressed, but what about those "two specific changes in policy"?

"Well," Huckabee said, "I think I just tried to give them to you. Both in education -- that everyone has an opportunity, you give education and healthcare, that you don't have some that are more equal than others. So there has to be a sense in which you have opportunity, whether it's through choice and charter schools in the education field, you have a curriculum that touches every child, not just a few, and in healthcare, you don't have a healthcare system like Congress has that is incredibly -- almost platinum, but there are a lot of Americans who can't even go to the doctor and find out if they're critically ill or if they have a terminal disease."

Asked a few minutes later to name a New Year's resolution, Huckabee said: "I'm going to be a lot more careful about everything I say, because I find that it gets amplified to a new level, so that's my resolution."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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