Republican Mike Huckabee was the only presidential candidate in Iowa this past weekend, meeting with influential Christian conservatives in his party on Friday night.
Huckabee says the country is questioning the "competence" of their government on a variety of fronts. "When folks fill out their tax returns and they see how much the government is taking, they’d kind of like to know they’re getting something for it. They want value," Huckabee says. "Whether it’s in the roads they drive on or whether it’s the manner in which the war is being fought or the way in which we take care of veterans, they want to know that the money is not being wasted, squandered or mismanaged."
According to Huckabee, Republicans won’t get elected in 2008 unless they acknowledge government mistakes under the Bush Administration, like the response to Hurricane Katrina or the problems in the veterans health care system.
"Republicans traditionally and historically don’t believe all the answers are in government, but they believe there is a role for government — albeit limited, but when that role comes forth they want it to be a role that is carried out with a level of efficiency and effectiveness," Huckabee says. "If we fail at that, then we have failed in the most fundamental aspect of what we stand for as a party."
On Saturday morning, Huckabee was the keynote speaker at a diabetes education conference in Des Moines. The former Arkansas governor talked about losing over 100 pounds after learning in 2003 that he was diabetic.