President Trump is being accused of being cruel, when in fact, what he’s trying to do is to create a legal way in which these 800,000 people can actually be protected. But that’s not how it’s been portrayed. The media has been very dishonest, incredibly dishonest, about that. They should be thanking him, because he could’ve ended it abruptly or he could’ve waited until the courts decided on it.
My gosh, I was governor for nearly 11 years. I wish I could just bypass the legislature and sign into being what I wanted rather than having to work with it.
And then on women, I mean—I’m not sure when people say it’s not been clear, whatever, on sexual assault. What has he said, as president, what has he done as president, that has been anything other than respectful of women? I don’t know.
Green: Well, to be fair, I think there were many people—and this is not just liberals or the media, it’s many prominent Christian leaders—who were shocked by the comments that came out in the fall of 2016 about grabbing women. These were comments he seemed to make in a blasé way in private.
Huckabee: Let me just point out that those statements were not made recently. They were made like 12 years before. Did he defend them? No, he didn’t. He apologized for them. That was 12 years before.
Green: The question that I’m asking is less about defending President Trump and more about actual people. When you look out at your flock in your church, people who share your same conviction and your same faith, who feel troubled and hurt by our political climate and specifically by the actions and comments of the president, are you concerned for your church?
Huckabee: You know, I’m concerned when a pastor of a church is called an adulterer or is found to have an alcohol problem, because he’s pretending to be something in the pulpit that he’s clearly not. When Donald Trump was a private citizen and said things 12 years ago, when he was out as a business person, saying some things that I found to be totally disgusting—I don’t condone them, I in fact condemn them, but I also …
If he started saying those things as president, I would have a real problem with that. But I have a big problem—you know, I happen to know Hillary Clinton very well, probably better than any Republican who ran, and I know how vulgar her language can be and how demeaning she can be to people who work for her. That bothers me, too. I don’t ever hear people talking about that. It seems like the only person they have a concern about in terms of the way they acted was Donald Trump. And I think that’s an incredible double standard that’s been applied.
Green: Speaking of your Arkansas days: When you were governor, you often spoke about poor and middle-class Arkansans. You talk about that even now, that the Republican Party has forgotten poor and middle-class Americans.