MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA –- An audience member pointed out to Mike Huckabee during a Q&A session this morning that there was a percentage of Americans who are not religious. "What do you have in mind for us?"
Huckabee responded, "The same thing I have for every Americans. We are all created equal. You don't have to be religious to be in America. The beauty of America is that it's a nation where the Constitution prohibits government from picking your religion, giving preference to one, or prohibiting one….I said on national television, because I was asked by a reporter who thought I was going to try and impose my faith on somebody else, and I said I have more respect for Pete Stark who is a member of Congress from California who is an atheist…I have more respect for him who openly says he is an atheist but doesn't pretend to be something he isn't, than someone who says he is a Christian but won't live like it."
The man, who wouldn't give his name but was visibly upset, told reporters afterwards that he was "worried" that Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, was going to "make me follow his beliefs." Although he was leaning towards Romney as the least unappealing of the candidates, he said he saw no candidate that was satisfying in the GOP field.
"I've been a lifelong Republican, ever since I was in high school," he said. "I'm getting increasingly disenchanted with my traditional party and I don't like the Democrats either – they're wild-eyed spenders and socialists. I'm an economic conservative and social conservatives are coming on stronger and stronger…I thought that they had sorta given up and gone away, go back to their revivals or whatever they do, but now they are trying to take over the country. That's bad."