Huckabee: Bush Should Be Commended for Iraq Surge

From CBS News' Joy Lin:

SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Mike Huckabee stood by comments he made yesterday that despite his criticism of the Bush Administration's manner of conducting foreign policy, he had respect for President Bush and Condoleezza Rice.

He added today the president should be commended for the progress that's been made since Defense Secretary Robert Gates took over at the Pentagon.

On his criticism of the Bush Administration's actions, Huckabee said, "It goes back to the heart of the Rumsfeld doctrine of simply ignoring what his best military advice was telling him – that we needed up to 400,000 troops on the ground and we limited the number at 180,000 and dismissed those military commanders who didn't go along with the number and had that number in mind and stuck with it."

"I think under Secretary Gates, we've seen a much more open mind and cooperative spirit that's worked much better. The surge is working. Under General Petraeus, we have the right strategy, and the President should be given all the credit for that as well."

On a political note, Huckabee tried to answer for a comment his new campaign manager made to CBSNews.comthat "we think we're going to win Iowa."

"We've never said we had to win Iowa," Huckabee told reporters when they asked him about campaign manager Ed Rollins' comment.

"We've certainly said we need to be in one of the first three seats out of there – either first class, business, or coach. Now that Ed is wanting to upgrade us to first class automatically, I better call Ed and ask him does he have the frequent flier miles to make sure we get there."

"We'd love to win here obviously. We're playing to win, we're not playing just to show. But as far as, are we out of the game if we don't win? Of course not, cause we're looking at the other polls. We're doing okay in New Hampshire, not great. But we're overwhelmingly leading in South Carolina, we're actually leading in Michigan, and we're leading in Florida."

"We just know this, if we do win in Iowa, it is a true upset of the classic form to have been outspent like this and outmanned, to win here is huge and it would give us a great momentum going into the next several contests."