Mike Huckabee: Republican Party has to be "realistic"


(CBS News) As Republicans are still reeling over the party's loss, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said the the party has to tailor its message to voters.

It's "as if we're talking to a bunch of people in a corporate boardroom," Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, said on "CBS This Morning." He said the "real Republican Party" consists of average Americans trying to raise a family.

"(W)e have failed to explain how a good conservative economic policy helps that person live his or her dreams," Huckabee said.

Huckabee didn't advocate altering their policy platforms, but rather, doing a better job of disseminating the message. The party can't be "wimpish," he said, but has to "explain how their policies empower people, rather than how it pushes people down."

Huckabee defended his decision to stand by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin after he made comments about "forcible rape" during his failed Senate campaign. The former governor said he continued to back him while many in the Republican Party withdrew their support because he's "a team player."

"The party's going to have to decide that it stands with its people and it rehabilitates them when they say stupid things or it doesn't," he added.

He also said Republicans need to be "realistic" when speaking about immigration and that it is not possible to deport 12 million undocumented immigrants. He added, "We can't punish people for something their parents did."