Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was back in Iowa Wednesday, helping raise campaign money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats and raise funds for a group that has endorsed Vander Plaats.

During a meeting with reporters in Cedar Rapids, Huckabee said Vander Plaats and other Republican candidates should benefit from the so-called “Tea Party movement.”

“I think the Tea Party has energized a whole new political group of people,” Huckabee told reporters in Cedar Rapids. “I think it’s been 100 percent positive.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Huckabee was the headliner for an Iowa Family Policy Center fundraiser and Huckabee brought up the Tea Party during his remarks.

AUDIO: Huckabee speech 16 min

According to Huckabee, this is a time of political “revival” in America and he linked the Iowa Family Policy Center’s work against same-sex marriage with the Tea Party movement.

 

“The Tea Party activists for the most part are not the traditional political operatives who have signed up to be committee workers and normally go to the political party events.  They historically are not the ones who have been lined up with candidates and their involvement in politics is not about getting appointed to some board or commission or some agency.  They’re not interested in being an ambassador somewhere,” Huckabee said. “These are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, small business owners, self-employed people who woke up to a rapidly changing country and said, ‘Enough.'”

Huckabee spoke to an audience of about 100 people — pastors, home-schoolers, self-described “born again Christians” and others who oppose same-sex marriage and who’ve signed onto the Iowa Family Policy Center cause.  Before Huckabee arrived, Iowa Family Policy Center board president Danny Carroll told the crowd it was time to draw a line.

“We can change it today with events just such as this where we support men and women who are willing to run for public office and will stand up and unashamedly, without apology, assure us that they will be guided by absolute and timeless Christian morals that come from a regular reading of God’s word,” Carroll said.

Carroll’s group wants to elect more state legislators in hopes of getting enough supporters in the legislature to set up a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in Iowa. Mike Hartwig, Iowa Family Policy Center vice president, told the crowd it takes a “huge amount of money” to run a legislative campaign.

“The purpose of this event is quite frankly to raise money,” Hartwig said. “Iowa Family Policy PAC is really trying to put enough funds to support Godly men and women of character to run for political office.”

The group’s president said church-going Christians, as a group, had for too long been AWOL in giving to conservative political candidates and he urged the crowd to help elect “missionaries in the statehouse.”