Last night at the CNN/YouTube debate, a questioner asked the candidates — “who would call yourselves Christian conservatives” — to answer what would Jesus do about the death penalty. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee jokingly responded, “Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office. That’s what Jesus would do.”
It was fitting that Huckabee be asked what Jesus thinks because, in the past, the former Baptist minister has asserted an ability to talk directly to God.
At a Republican Governors Association Dinner in 2004, Huckabee took the stage and began to deliver remarks when his cell phone rang. He took the phone out of his pocket and proceeded to have a conversation with God about President Bush’s reelection:
HUCKABEE: Hello? I’m sorry. I’m right in the middle of an event. It’s who? It’s God? On the phone for me? How did he get my number? Oh, God has everybody’s number. OK? Yes, I’ll hold.
Huckabee then engaged in a 3-minute back-and-forth exchange with God, in which Huckabee asserted that God was with the Republicans and President Bush:
We’re behind [Bush], yes, sir, we sure are. Yes, sir, we know you don’t take sides in the election. But, if you did, we kind of think you’d hang in there with us, Lord, we really do.
Huckabee then ended his conversation and walked off the stage to roaring applause. ThinkProgress has obtained the video from this 2004 GOP fundraiser. Watch it:
As Matt Taibbi wrote in Rolling Stone, Huckabee’s religious zealotry has potentially serious consequences:
This God stuff isn’t just talk with Huck. One of his first acts as governor was to block Medicaid from funding an abortion for a mentally retarded teen-ager who had been raped by her stepfather — an act in direct violation of federal law, which requires states to pay for abortions in cases of rape. “The state didn’t fund a single such abortion while Huckabee was governor,” says Dr. William Harrison of the Fayetteville Women’s Clinic. “Zero.”
As president, Huck would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion and would give science a back seat to religion. “Science changes with every generation and with new discoveries, and God doesn’t,” he says. “So I’ll stick with God if the two are in conflict.” Huckabee’s well-documented disdain for science was reflected in the performance of the Arkansas school system when he was governor; one independent survey gave the state an F for its science standards in schools, a grade that among other things reflected Huckabee’s hostility toward the teaching of evolution.
Well before Rudy was taking calls from his wife, Huckabee was answering direct dials from God.
GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE (R-AK): We are so very glad that all of you could join us here tonight as we get under way to hear the president…
HUCKABEE: Oh, my gosh. Excuse me.
HUCKABEE: Hello? I’m sorry. I’m right in the middle of an event.
It’s who? It’s God?
HUCKABEE: On the phone for me? How did he get my number? Oh, God has everybody’s number. OK? Yes, I’ll hold.
HUCKABEE: Yes, God? Yes, sir, I’m right in the middle of–the president’s coming. Yes, sir, he sure is. Oh, yes, sir, he’s here, too. He is.
HUCKABEE: You see, you say you want–you need an autograph. Oh, for Sampson. I understand, yes, lord.
HUCKABEE: And, you know, God, this is a pretty big event. We’ve got a lot of people and I’ve only got a very short time here. Oh, you’ve got all the time in the world. I understand. Yes, lord. And you want me to deliver a message. And that would be?
Yes, sir. Well, we want–yes, sir. We want to do what’s right. And our president does. And we’re behind him, yes, sir, we sure are. Yes, sir, we know you don’t take sides in the election.
HUCKABEE: But, if you did, we kind of think you’d hang in there with us, lord, we really do. So…
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HUCKABEE: Yes, sir. We’ll pass those good words on. I see. You talked to the president and he talks to you anyway. And we know that. And we know that–yes, sir. Take care of the family and marriage and the people of America and all the people and the children.
And, yes, sir, I can tell you, every one of us are committed to doing that and a whole army of people out here, and we pledge we’ll do our very best to do that, sir. Yes, sir. Well, thank you for blessing me, and we’ll bless you, too. Thank you. And thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)