Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Huckabee on Daily Show: transcript and video

2011-04-06: Former governor Mike Huckabee (R–AR) did an extended interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The full transcript with embedded video links follows after the fold.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 3
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Jon Stewart: Welcome back. My guest tonight, a frequent guest, he is the former governor of Arkansas, whose book is called A Simple Government: 12 Things We Really Need from Washington and a Trillion We Don’t. Please welcome back to the program Mike Huckabee! [fanfare, Huckabee arrives] Welcome to the program again.

Mike Huckabee: Thank you.

Stewart: You — you write a book every six weeks. It’s unbelievable.

Huckabee: Well, almost. One of these days, somebody’s gonna read one of ‘em.

Stewart: Stop it! A Simple Government. First of all, the big news, obviously, where you work, Mr. Beck — Glenn Beck — has announced he’s transitioning from — I didn’t catch the end of it: I don’t know if it’s male-to-female, but he’s transitioning.

Huckabee: I’m pretty sure that’s not it.

Stewart: He’s leaving Fox News.

Huckabee: We’re not doing the daily show, is what I gather, but I also understand that he will be doing some projects. Now, everything I know, I learned because I was on WiFi on an airplane, and I was just getting it like probably you were.

Stewart: Let me ask you: will you announce right here, right now, that you will form a committee? Will you run for the 5:00 spot on Fox? Can you answer that?

Huckabee: I have an exploratory committee established for that purpose, and then we’ll move it to a thoughtful committee, and we’ll see. I don’t know. It really kind of caught me off guard because it was not something I was expecting.

Stewart: Do you think it’s a “If you love something, set it free” situation, or more of an “Oh, my god, the apocalypse guy is in today; keep your heads down,” like that? What do you think is —

Huckabee: Well, it could be that the world is gonna come to an end before the contract expires; I don’t know.

Stewart: [laughs] Well...

Huckabee: He’s a good guy —

Stewart: Yes.

Huckabee: — who’s had a great run.

Stewart: He seems to be a very ... good ...

Huckabee: Big audience. No, I’m serious: he has a huge audience.

Stewart: He does have a huge audience.

Huckabee: And so, uh.... But he also has a big audience on radio, and he does a lot of other stuff, so again: I don’t know. That’s at a pay grade way above mine at Fox.

Stewart: No, I completely understand.

Huckabee: There are big trucks and buses, and then there are those of us who ride the bike lanes there.

Stewart: Does he speak with individuals there, or is he kept in sort of a different facility? Not to say necessarily —

Huckabee: Like, we let him out? Only certain hours or something like that?

Stewart: That — that’s right.

Huckabee: You know, yeah.

Stewart: I’m not suggesting a containment facility, necessarily.

Huckabee: You know, he is — I know there’s people have this perception of him, but he’s actually one of the nicest, most gregarious people —

Stewart: Off-air?

Huckabee: [laughs] Yeah. But I mean —

Stewart: When you go on TV and you’re like, “Progressives are a cancer in this country!” You know, but, like, “He’s a nice guy.” Really?? He just called for us to be cut out of the body. A little harsh, isn’t it?

Huckabee: Well, I’m sure it wouldn’t be the most comfortable thing, if you were a progressive, for sure, but —

Stewart: Well —

Huckabee: — anyway.

Stewart: All right.

Huckabee: I don’t know.

Stewart: You know, which brings me to an interesting point. Here’s something I wanted to discuss. We always get into good conversations. Uh, it seems like, whenever the conservatives in this country, the Right, it feels like they’ve lost a trust, or it feels like they’re not well represented in this country by institutions like universities or news, so they have created almost mirror institutions that they feel more comfortable with or that reflect more their viewpoint. Do you think that’s a healthy development for conservatives, or could it lead to, maybe, distortions and maybe poorly informed people?

Huckabee: Well, I think it’s a natural result of what has been perceived as a very distinct bias in many of the institutions that heretofore were looked at as objective. For example, when you have news anchors talking about a tingle going up their leg when they hear Obama speak, it’s hard for conservatives to say, “Now, there’s an objective point-of-view!”

Stewart: But that’s Chris Matthews; I don’t think you’ve ever — I mean, I don’t think anybody held Chris Matthews up as a paragon of independence —

Huckabee: He holds himself up as that, so —

Stewart: Well, that’s helium. But you know, I think ... like, for instance, okay, so — you come on the show, we always have very reasonable conversations, and then I see clips of you, like this David Barton historian.

Huckabee: Yeah.

Stewart: You know, you spoke right after him at an event, and you called him the greatest historian in America, and I don’t know if everybody’s familiar with David Barton, but he doesn’t seem like a historian. He seems almost like a theologian whose thrust is, “I want this country to be Christian and to go by the Bible.”

Huckabee: No, David is, I think, very much a historian, and I love his stuff, because he documents everything with source material, and he’s very specific about dates and times and he has a lot of original documents — Federalist Papers, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, things that —

Stewart: But he said that —

Huckabee: He doesn’t just say, “I think, I believe, I hope”; he says, “Here it is, and here’s the page number.” If people want to dispute it, they’re certainly welcome to do it, but —

Stewart: But they do, and usually he has to come back and say, “Yeah, I guess I was wrong about that one.”

Huckabee: I haven’t heard that too much.

Stewart: Well, there were like ten quotes. For instance, the Thomas Jefferson thing. He goes on a long thing about how Thomas Jefferson signed everything “the Year of our Lord” and that meant that he really was Christian and believes that this should be a biblical country. I mean, he has — would you disagree that he has an objective? His objective is, “This is a Christian country.”

Huckabee: I think his objective is to bring some balance to the idea that the Founders had no spiritual direction at all, because I think that —

Stewart: Who ever said that they had no spiritual direction?

Huckabee: Oh, I don’t know; there’s a perception among many that this is a completely secular nation and that the Judeo-Christian worldview was not a very significant part of our creation. I think it was, and that’s what I believe he’s trying to do.

Stewart: But again, now we’re talking — that’s much more measured language than what David Barton advocates, which is, “This is a Christian country, and the Founders knew it was a Christian country, founded it on Christian principle, and if we follow the biblical rules” — what did he say? “Separation of Church and State is a myth”!

Huckabee: Well, separation of Church and State was a phrase that didn’t appear until a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in [1802] 1804, and it was written to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and it was the polar opposite of how many people have interpreted it. They have interpreted it to say that it was essentially a doctrine that the church wasn’t to involve itself in affairs of state; actually, it was the opposite: it was that the government would not pick out a particular church and establish it as the state church. The First Amendment is very clear: neither preference nor —

Stewart: He is suggesting Christianity is the religion. He would feel very differently — for example, you fought very hard against Shari’a law taking over this country, which, in Oklahoma, especially, I know is an enormous problem. (You never know when they’re gonna get two Halal carts!) So, the, uh — but it’s — but my point is, he is advocating, not — he’s advocating an establishment of religion, of Christianity.

Huckabee: No, I don’t think he’s pushing for an establishment of Christianity, pushing for a recognition that the — for example, the founding documents —

Stewart: We have under God in our Pledge, and that didn’t show up until the 50’s.

Huckabee: 1956 [1954], yeah.

Stewart: Right. Why wouldn’t the Founders, who were creating a constitution, just say, “Let’s put under God on our money — uh, we trust in God on our money, and under God in our Pledge of Allegiance,” and make it explicit? This whole idea that they left us clues: everything else they said was explicit. Why is this a puzzle that this fellow [Barton] has to go back and find evidence of this and this?

Huckabee: Well, listen: take the Declaration of Independence, which was the establishment of our nation as an independent country. When it says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” if you read the early state constitutions, the states — and originally our government was supposed to be a rather weak, limited, and local form of government, with not a whole lot of power at the federal level.

Stewart: Sure, sure.

Huckabee: Power distributed to the states so that it didn’t get held by too few people.

Stewart: Absolutely.

Huckabee: But in the state constitutions, there are some surprising things regarding the establishment of the government, to make sure that there was a Christian — or a Judeo-Christian — there were often these very explicit languages in the constitutions of states in New England that would probably not recognize those constitutions today.

Stewart: And wouldn’t recognize them in that day. Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar, but those constitutions were scuttled because it didn’t work. The Articles of Confederation — you know, it’s interesting to me that so many constitutionalists really sound more like articles-of-confederationalists, and that whole plan was scuttled, ‘cause it didn’t work, and we weren’t able to contain the states, so we formed the Constitution, and none of that was in it. If our Founders wanted it to be explicit, why did they not explicitly put it in, rather than something that had to be so, “See, it says endowed by their Creator...“?

Huckabee: They did want government to be limited and local, and that’s why, when the Bill of Rights were created, and the ten first amendments we had to the Constitution, the tenth one was explicit, that if it’s not contained in the Constitution, that power is left to the states. Now, what we’ve done over the past 240 years is, we have moved more and more power to the federal government. Let me be fair: this isn’t a Democrat / Republican thing, because Republicans have been just as adamant about moving that power more and more toward the federal government and away from cities and states. The danger is that, the closer you are to the people being governed, the more likely you are to get it right, because when you govern more locally, and in a more limited way —

Stewart: Right.

Huckabee: — you’re governing close to the people. I have a feeling you raise your kids better than I would raise them, because I’ve never met your kids.

Stewart: I know a lot of black people who would differ with that opinion, who would say that, you know what, the local guy there maybe didn’t have my best interests at heart, when it came to slavery and Jim Crow.

Huckabee: That’s the balance, though, where the federal government does make sure, but it’s not that the power —

Stewart: But that’s —

Huckabee: — on a day-to-day basis of governing. Now, you know, clearly, I grew up in the Deep South. I saw racism firsthand.

Stewart: That’s a different conversation. Let’s go — we’re going to go to a commercial and come back, because that is a very different conversation from the one we’re having, and that’s your larger government / smaller government, and that’s pendulum swings, but again it gets to this idea of measured language versus a more direct speaking to the base, and I think that’s a big distinction. I want to talk about that. Simple Government is on the bookshelves now; more with Mike Huckabee when we come back off the break.

Part 2

Stewart: We’re back talking to Mike Huckabee. I apologize.

Huckabee: Apologize for talking to me?

Stewart: No, not at all. Umm, when you’re speaking to the base, you’re much more explicit about Christian value and religion than when you’re talking to the public at large, and it feels — I don’t want to say disingenuous, but at times you soft-sell something that I think is maybe more what’s in your heart than you let on, and I don’t know why people wouldn’t embrace it. You know, David Barton, as sort of a historian, I think most historians don’t look at him in that way. They look at him as a guy with an agenda to get America to believe we’re — or to rule itself as — a Christian nation.

Huckabee: Mm-hmm.

Stewart: And I think most historians believe we had that chance and the Founders didn’t take it.

Huckabee: I mean, I think the best thing to counter with David Barton is, read his material and look for yourself. If you don’t believe that he is sourcing it with accuracy, then take issue.

Stewart: But that’s not necessarily the point, and again it gets you back to the evolution / creationist argument in schools, and it gets to my point of creating an alternate reality where your — where history is taken in reverse to justify your modern beliefs. Now, I’ll just go — okay, here’s David Barton. This is him on immigration policy: “It is God and not man who establishes the borders of nations. National boundaries are set by God. If God didn’t want boundaries, He would’ve put everyone in the same world and there would’ve been no nations.” Now, you do know, when the world started, that is what we were? Now, that’s not “historian.” That’s a guy going —

Huckabee: I’m not familiar with that statement by David, so, out of its context, I can’t speak to that. I just know that if he talks — and I’ve heard him on many occasions, I’ve read his material, I’ve seen other things that he’s done — and I’m very impressed with the fact that he rarely if ever — I don’t think I’ve ever heard David say, “I think,” “I believe,” “I hope” —

Stewart: No, he doesn’t. He’s very certain.

Huckabee: Yeah. But he sources it with documentation, is what I’m saying.

Stewart: He can’t. How can a historian say, “It is God and not man who establishes the borders of nations”? Is he familiar with Great Britain?

Huckabee: I’m sure he is.

Stewart: They’re the ones who established the borders of nations; they did it in 1909. Uh, I mean, “Jesus has an entire teaching on the minimum wage.” [audience laughs] “Is Jesus for or against the minimum wage? Here’s a hint: Jesus did not like the minimum wage.“ “The Bible condemns the estate tax as one of the most immoral taxes out there.” “For 40 years, parties have gone back and forth on capital gains tax. It really doesn’t matter to me what either party says, because the Bible is clear: Jesus has two teachings on capital gains tax.”

Huckabee: Well, let me address one of those, because you’ve gone through several, but let’s just take the one about the minimum wage. I know what he’s basing that on, because I’ve heard him talk about it.

Stewart: Right.

Huckabee: The parable in which Jesus told of three workers: one who went early in the day, one who went in the middle of the day, and one who went late in the day, and at the end of the day they all got the same wages, and one was saying, “Hey, wait a minute! I worked all day,” and the master said, “It is not for you to decide what I pay, because you agreed to the wage for the whole day, and the other one agreed to the wage for half the day, and the other one agreed to a wage which was for only a small part of the day.” And I think what David was saying is not that there’s a hard-and-fast policy, but there is a principle, which is, if you agree to work for someone for a wage, then what someone else gets paid is really not the issue. It’s, did you agree to work for that wage, and if you did, then you agreed to work for it. I mean, there are people who get paid a lot more money than I do, and some don’t get paid as much.

Stewart: Right. There’s also parables in there about turning people into salt; that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any in your diet. But the point isn’t that. The point is, a historian doesn’t use a theological argument to back up a policy choice. That’s my beef, is that that’s not historian.

Huckabee: You should invite David on the show.

Stewart: I would absolutely invite David on the show.

Huckabee: You should do that, because he’s a much better defender of his views, because, I mean, I’m not David Barton.

Stewart: So why say he’s the greatest historian, though? Why praise him and say you’d like his teachings taught in schools? Because, I mean, if you want to go with the Bible, I have a quote here from Jesus that says, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” If that ain’t socialism and redistribution of wealth, I don’t know what is. If you want to be perfect — I mean —

Huckabee: Jon, you could take, also, the Bible says Judas went and hanged himself [Matt. 27:5] and then later “Go thou and do likewise.” [Luke 10:37] If you put those two together, you’d end up with some real problems.

Stewart: That’s exactly right, and it has things that excuse slavery. So why would you use it to make a policy argument in the 21st century about our tax code, and still be considered a historian??

Huckabee: Well, here’s what I do think David would say — and again, I think you should invite him to let him defend himself —

Stewart: I will.

Huckabee: — but I don’t believe that we ought to be punishing productivity and rewarding irresponsibility. That is the basic principle that I think is not only Biblical, I think it’s common sense. The current tax code —

Stewart: Don’t quote Jesus, quote Andrew Carnegie! Why would you —

Huckabee: But I think it is a principle that you will find in the Proverbs, and you will find it as part of that parable that I spoke of earlier, that when people work they should be rewarded, and if they don’t work they should not be rewarded for that. I mean, I was one of the Republicans who thought that TARP was a terrible idea, because what we did, we picked out really poorly run institutions and bailed them out, off the backs of well-run small businesses all over America, who didn’t get a bailout.

Stewart: Consider the lilies, for they sit and do nothing, and yet I provide for them. (I’m paraphrasing, because I don’t know the Bible.) But Jesus also says the lilies do nothing to earn me providing for them, and yet I do it.

Huckabee: But the point of that particular Biblical reference was not to say, “Oh, it’s great to do nothing.” It’s saying that God was blessing — the lilies of the field are not out there doing anything in particular to be beautiful, but God blesses the lilies of the field, and that was the point. It wasn’t to bless laziness, it was to bless beauty.

Stewart: Says a theological manifestation of that, not a his[torical] — my problem is using that, and applying it to political leverage. He’s basically saying —

Huckabee: David’s never run for office.

Stewart: But you’re gonna run for President and you call him a historian who you think should teach our children in public school. Now, that is the intersection of state and religion that makes some people — non-evangelical Christians — uncomfortable.

Huckabee: Some of us, Jon, are uncomfortable with the idea that we have history books today in which there is more material about, let’s say, Madonna, than there is about George Washington. That’s the thing.

Stewart: Different argument. If there —

Huckabee: But I’m just telling you, there is a very strong —

Stewart: If there is more material about Madonna than about George Washington, I agree with you. That seems wrong. Don’t know what Jesus would think of that.

Huckabee: I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be that fond of it!

Stewart: I think it all depends on which Madonna we’re talkin’ about, but —

Huckabee: Well, I’m pretty sure that Jesus wouldn’t be talkin’ about the one today.

Part 3

Stewart: Do you see the point I’m making? When we’re talking, it’s all “you understand, yes, that makes me uncomfortable,” but then there seems to be this conversation happening amongst the base that is saying, “This guy needs to be put in a position where he is in charge of children’s education. We need to get Christianity“ —

Huckabee: I wish people would listen to David Barton, and then they can make up their own minds and draw their own conclusions, because I think he is more than willing to stand on what he teaches and what he says, and if people want to argue with it, they can, but they can argue with anyone, too.

Stewart: They can’t if that’s the curriculum that the President of the United States, or someone who would like to be, is now putting through. That’s my point about what makes me uncomfortable with these Texas curriculum changes and all that is, they’re not looking at it from a historical perspective, they’re looking at a way to justify their religious beliefs within the context of the country, and I think that’s — Here’s my point.

Huckabee: All right.

Stewart: Dearborn, Michigan, is, let’s say, has a high majority of Muslims. Would you be comfortable, since the majority in that area are Muslims, with them committing to praying five times a day, in the public schools, and employing Shari’a law in a public school? Would that be okay with you?

Huckabee: I would not be happy with the Shari’a law. I think that would be problematic, because we don’t have Shari’a law in this country. We have a constitutional republic that we elect representatives to create laws and they’re not laws that are based on Islam — or, for that matter, that are directly out of, let’s say, the Old and the New Testament, though they might be gleaned from it.

Stewart: But this is you saying, “I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of living God. And that is what we need to do, is so amend the Constitution so if in God’s standards — rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view how we treat each other and how we treat the family.” [video] That sounds like you would like to line up —

Huckabee: Let me just — because that is a quote that has been thrown at me many, many a time.

Stewart: All right. Tell me the context, because I could use that.

Huckabee: The context of that quote was, when people say we should not amend the Constitution, because it is a sacred document. My point is, the Constitution was created — and the genius of it is that it can be amended. The Scriptures — any religious document, whether it’s the Qur’an, or for that matter the New Testament — is not a scripture that is written so that every culture can come and revise it and revisit it and then change it so it fits the culture. The culture is to fit holy scripture, not the other way around. That was the point that I was making, and specifically a reference to pro-life, that it would be easier to amend the Constitution so that we affirm the intrinsic worth and value of every human soul —

Stewart: Oh, okay.

Huckabee: — than it would be, “Well, let’s —”

Stewart: So you were not expressing a thought that you were comfortable with the idea of the Constitution being amended to be in line with biblical law.

Huckabee: No, I was not saying that what we ought to do is enforce the everybody that they have to tithe of their income, in addition to their taxes, and that they have to go to church, because, frankly, once you force people into any form of religious practice, it no longer has any meaning whatsoever. It has to come out of one’s own heart and spirit and free will, or then it becomes an absolute form and it is led by a rote memory as opposed to something out of the heart and soul.

Stewart: Do you believe I’m overreacting to the wish to influence, or to grant this country this idea of a divine providence through Christianity as our foundation? You think I’m over-exaggerating, perhaps, that influence in more, maybe, conservative politics?

Huckabee: Yeah, I think you are. I think you’re an incredible exaggerator on that point.

Stewart: Really??

Huckabee: Yeah! Well, I don’t think you are doing it consciously, but I do believe it’s, like, scaring you, and it shouldn’t. I think, again, it’s a matter of understanding that there are people who do believe — and I think legitimately — that there is a growing antagonism toward people who are Christian. Let me give you a specific example: tax dollars funded the placing of a crucifix in a jar of urine —

Stewart: Right.

Huckabee: — under the arts program, when Andres Serrano’s famous Piss Christ piece of art. This week, you had Harry Reid saying that he thinks, because of this nutcase pastor down in Florida who’s burning a Qur’an, that maybe we need to revisit the First Amendment. [see FOOTNOTE below] No, we don’t need to revisit the First Amendment. The First Amendment gives people the right to be stupid. That’s okay. In this country, you can say dumb things, you can say ridiculous things —

Stewart: You can make a living at it.

Huckabee: And a lot of people do. But you don’t want to go back and tell people, “Oh, if you say something bad about Muslims, we’re gonna shut you up. But you can say something terrible about Christians, and we’re gonna tax subsidize that.” That’s the problem, Jon, that a lot of people are feeling, is that there’s a complete double standard here.

Stewart: Here’s what I would suggest: I would suggest that strikes me as more of an exaggeration of the peril of Christians than what I was suggesting in terms of — I mean, there is curriculums in Texas that set the stage for curriculums all across the country, that are influenced now by a more conservative Christian viewpoint. You pointed to Andres Serrano, which was, I don’t know, 1990-something?

Huckabee: Yeah, like ‘91, something like that. [in fact, 1989]

Stewart: You know, I have to say, as someone who is not Christian, it’s hard for me to believe that Christians are a persecuted people in America. I know — Maybe, God willing, God willing, maybe one of you one day will even rise up and get to be President of this country. Or maybe 44 in a row. But that’s my point, is they’ve taken this idea of — you know, freedom, no “establishment” — as persecution, because they feel entitled — not to equal status, but to greater status.

Huckabee: No, I don’t agree with that. I do not think that Christians believe that they should be able to —

Stewart: Tell me how there’s a war on Christmas, then, because to me it’s the most ubiquitous thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean —

Huckabee: Well, the secularization of it certainly is, but that’s —

Stewart: That’s a very different thing from persecution.

Huckabee: Many public schools can’t sing about the historic meaning of Christmas, if it has any reference that might be about Jesus —

Stewart: There is idiocy out there, I’ll give you that.

Huckabee: Yeah.

Stewart: There is politically correct idiocy out there. I’ll give you that.

Huckabee: And no manger scenes, because that might somehow be religious. Of course it’s religious! The term Christ-mas means the worship of Christ, Christ’s mass. That’s what it means. So if we want to completely secularize it, let’s just call it the biggest gift-giving shopping day in America.

Stewart: The secularization of Christmas was not the result of a persecution of Christians —

Huckabee: No.

Stewart: — or a multi-cultural war on Christians. It was the result of Gimbels and Macy*s, and our free-market system. So, I don’t think you can have it both ways. And in the conservative viewpoint, “free market” is god, except where it comes to God, then God is god, except where it comes to the Constitution, and then that’s god. I think you’ve gotta pick your infallible document.

Huckabee: That really was confusing.

Stewart: I know.

Huckabee: I’ve gotta tell you.

Stewart: Can I tell ya something, though?

Huckabee: Tell me something.

Stewart: I love you.

Huckabee: Well, thank you.

Stewart: Because you challenge beliefs that I have and you challenge easy beliefs that I have and you force me to reconsider them in the context of other issues, and I really do appreciate you being able to do that with such good humor. Umm, and I know when you leave here, obviously, you’ll go back to —

Huckabee: I’ll probably go —

Stewart: — David Barton and the church, and I appreciate that.

Huckabee: Yes, well.

Stewart: No, I really do appreciate you doin’ that.

Huckabee: Well, I appreciate you, because you always have a civil conversation with me, and you don’t belittle the fact that I have very clear Christian beliefs, and I appreciate that.

Stewart: Because I don’t belittle faith. I am a great — faith is, many times, all people have, and I always say this to people: we need religion to give grace and comfort to a world torn apart by religion. And I think it’s important that we —

Huckabee: Let me correct you: torn apart by a perversion of true religion.

Stewart: Yes, a perversion of religion. It’s always important that we —

Huckabee: A perversion. Because true religion will make me love you —

Stewart: Exactly.

Huckabee: — and will also make me see, if you have a need —

Stewart: Right.

Huckabee: — whether it’s hunger, or whether it’s that you are hurting — true religion will make me sensitive to that need and want to help meet that need. If it doesn’t, then I have to question whether it’s valid.

Stewart: It’s always important for people who see a dark side in powerful institutions to also recognize the power that they also bring to people, and the faith. And I have seen it myself in people, and I have great faith. Obviously, I’ve been a Met fan 40 years, and I... [laughter] But I really do appreciate you being here.

Huckabee: Always a pleasure, Jon.

Stewart: And I will have this fellow David Barton on —

Huckabee: You should have him on!

Stewart: — and I’ll let him yell at me in person. Because I think that — Is he a nice fellow?

Huckabee: He’s incredibly nice, very mild-mannered and well-spoken, and I think you would have a delightful conversation with him. I really do. [audience laughs] Maybe you won’t; I don’t know.

Stewart: Should I make finger sandwiches, because that’s what it sounds like. Thank you for being here.

Huckabee: Always a pleasure, thank you.

FOOTNOTE: On Sunday, 2011-04-03, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC) were guests on CBS News Face the Nation; transcript. Senator Reid said (page 3): “We’ll — we’ll take a look at this, of course. John Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has been on top of this. He’s made many trips to Afghanistan. And I think we’ll take a look at this as to whether we need hearings or not, I don’t know.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC) said later in the broadcast (page 7), “You know, I wish we could find some way to— to— to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea but we’re in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy.”

Neither senator used the word “revisit,” and in particular Senator Reid only suggested that Congress might consider a resolution condemning the burning of the Qur’an at the church in Florida.