Two Republican presidential candidates appeared today at a forum focused on spurring government efforts to fight cancer.
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is a skin cancer survivor and has repeatedly said he wants to set an "American-sized goal" of eliminating deaths by cancer within the decade.
"We can do this and we’ve just got to start believing we can do it and then setting the objective and getting it done," Brownback said.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, the other GOP candidate to appear at the forum, talked not only about improving cancer treatment but about encouraging Americans to live healthier lives. Back in 2003, Huckabee was diagnosed with type two diabetes. He changed his diet, started running and lost 110 pounds.
"The truth is if we don’t use these bodies in the manner in which they were intended to be properly fueled with the foods that are a natural part of our world and with the exercise for which we were created — we were created to be active and energetic, not slothing about — it’ll eliminate a third of the cancers in this country," Huckabee said.
According to Huckabee, it’s time for Americans to think more seriously about the foods they’re putting in their bodies.
"If it wasn’t a food 100 years ago, it isn’t a food today. It’s a food product. It’s in a box," Huckabee said. "You’d be better off throwing the contents away and eating the package because at least you’d get some fiber out of the cardboard."
Huckabee suggested the government’s food stamp program should be reconfigured. He’d give slightly more to those who fresh fruits and vegetables rather than junk food with their food stamp dollars.
Today’s forum was broadcast on MSNBC and co-sponsored by LIVESTRONG, the group founded by cycling champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. On Monday, four Democratic presidential candidates appeared on the same stage to pledge support for expanding federal funding for cancer research.