His statements are among 229 answers Huckabee offered as a 36-year-old Texarkana pastor during his first run for political office in 1992. In that unsuccessful race against Sen. Dale Bumpers, Huckabee offered himself as a social conservative and listed "moral decay" as one of the top problems facing the country.
Now that he's a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, he's being asked anew about some of the views and comments he expressed in the survey by The Associated Press. Over the weekend, he said he wouldn't retract answers in which he advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased funding for finding a cure and said homosexuality could pose a public health risk - though he said today he might phrase his answers "a little differently."
Some of the words in his answers to the questionnaire are indeed strong.
Asked about gays in the military, for example, he didn't just reject the idea but added: "I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."
Earlier this year, Huckabee said, "Nobody's going to find some YouTube moments of me saying something radically different than what I'm saying today."
The full questionnaire offers in written form a chance for voters to see what he was saying as he bagan his political career.
In the questionnaire, he:
As Arkansas governor, Huckabee formed a political action committee based in Virginia to raise money for non-federal candidates that allowed him to travel and raise his profile for a potential presidential run. The Hope for America PAC shut down earlier this year as Huckabee entered the White House race.
Huckabee's vocal opposition to gay marriage and abortion have attracted evangelical Christians' support and vaulted him to the top of the field in Iowa.
But some of his earlier comments offer a harder-edged presentation of those stances than he has presented as he's tried to portray himself as a conservative who won't "scare the living daylights" out of moderates and independents.
"I think the model he saw that had been successful in other Southern states was this very hard right message and that's what seemed to be the most natural for him," Hendrix College Political Scientist Jay Barth said when asked about the AP questionnaire.
"He's become much smarter about successfully using language that expresses views without being hard-edged," Barth said.
Now that he's a front-runner, Huckabee himself said Tuesday he expected more attention to be paid to his years in Arkansas.
"When you're a governor for ten and half years you make thousands of decisions every year," he said. "In office that long you're going to have a lot of decisions people can pore through. The good thing for me is a lot of campaigns instead of spending money on advertising or even campaigning, since they don't seem to have a lot of activity, are spending an enormous amount of money hiring researchers to dig through every piece of paper that was filed in Arkansas."
Huckabee's 1992 comments on isolating AIDS patients run counter to a statement he released last month calling for increased federal funds to find a cure. Huckabee says the earlier remarks came at a time when there was confusion about how AIDS could be transmitted.
He said Tuesday he would be willing to speak with the family of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who died of AIDS in the 1980s and whose mother has objected to the 1992 Huckabee comments.
"It's so alarming to me," Jeanne White-Ginder said in an interview with the AP.
Huckabee said when asked about the family on Tuesday, "I would be very willing to meet with them. I would tell them we've come a long way in research, in treatment. I certainly never would want to say anything that would be hurtful to them or anyone else. I would have great regret and anxiety if I thought my comments were hurtful or in any way added to the already incredible pain that families have felt regardless of how they contracted AIDS."
On other subjects in the questionnaire, Huckabee: