03.07.14 4:46 PM ET
Mike Huckabee Wins the Crowd at CPAC
Mike Huckabee was welcomed with open arms by CPAC attendees on Friday morning. The former Arkansas Governor was clearly in his element as he explained his socially conservative political philosophy to the likeminded audience. "These are the things that I know: I know there's a God, and I know that this nation would not exist had he not been the midwife of its birth," he started. "If this nation forgets our God, then God will have every right to forget us."
"It's not politically correct," the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican candidate for President acknowledged.
The crowd seemed almost to nod in unison.
Huckabee's evangelical sermon sooned turned into a politcal speech, drawing enthusiastic applause. "Here's what else I know: I know there is not one country on this planet with whom we have a better relationship today than we did five years ago...The snakes are running all over the world today."
"Here's something else I know: I know you can't keep your doctor; you can't keep your health insurance," he said, again to cheers.
"I know that mothers and fathers raise better children than governments ever will...There's something wrong when the government kidnaps children from their own families."
Huckabee also got some laughs. "I know the only time that Vladimir Putin shivers is when he has his shirt off in a cold Russian winter," he joked as he needled President Obama on foreign policy. The former Arkansas governor called for a military so "fearsome" that "no one dares poke it."
But, at a CPAC that had drawn some criticism for fewer social conservative speakers and panels than in years past, Huckabee circled back to his winning narrative: people of faith vs. the world.
"It's time for the government to scale back," he said, his voice growing louder. "Not for people of faith to scale back!" he shouted.
The former Arkansas governor had the crowd in the palm of his hand and he wasn't going to push it by testing the rapturous reception he'd received.
"This one thing I also know," Huckabee said. "My time is up."