DES MOINES, IOWA -- A slightly under the weather - and perhaps, slightly under the gun - Mike Huckabee was quizzed last night on his seemingly less-than-perfect word choice earlier in the day when he remarked it was unclear whether martial law Law would be "continuing" in the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto's death.
Like a front row student ready to show off, Huckabee interjected he was aware martial law had been "suspended two weeks ago" – before the reporter could even finish her question.
"What I said was, you know, it was not that I was unaware
that it was suspended two weeks ago, or lifted two weeks ago. The
point was continued… would it be reinstated? Would it be placed back
"All aspects of martial law have not yet been lifted even now.
There is a still a heavy hand I think Musharraf has used. One thing I
hope we will do is to put a great deal of pressure government to fully
pursue I hope that he will be open to participation of other nations
to find out who is behind it. And certainly calls once again into
question that we have put now over ten billion of assistance into
Pakistan since September 11th," he continued.
"It also points out something weshould do domestically and that is we ought to have an immediate, very clear monitoring of borders. And particularly to make sure if there is any unusual activity of Pakistanis coming into the country we just need to be in a very, very thorough in looking at every aspect of our own security internally because again we live in a very, very
Beyond what Huckabee meant by the word "continuing".... It is worth noting the candidate's hard turn from Bhutto to border security.
Huckabee was also asked for a reaction to John McCain's implication
that Bhutto's death highlights Huckabee's weakness of foreign policy.
"You know I don't think it's appropriate to respond in political way," Huckabee said.
"I think what we need to do is just maintain our focus on the fact
that it's just a real tragic day in the world when a significant
political leader, a person of great courage, and I think, former Prime
Minister Bhutto is a person of great courage. And she was able to
knowingly risk her life to go back into Pakistan to lead her country
once again, knowing full well the dangers of it. But also showing
remarkable sense of fortitude in pursuing it."
"She represents a threat to Islamic fundamentalism in that as a woman, and an educated and sophisticated strong capable woman leader, that does pose a threat to those who don't think women should be given that platform and that
level of equality."
"I think that this is not a time to play political games with it. It's a time to express our outrage as well as our sadness and sympathy for the
people of Pakistan and for the rest of the world."