Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said he hopes John McCain will pick an anti-abortion rights running mate but that he would support the party's nominee regardless of his vice presidential pick.
"I hope that Senator McCain selects a pro-life running mate," the former Arkansas governor said at a press conference with evangelical leaders.
"If he doesn't I will take some comfort in him being pro-life and hope that he would make sure that whoever his running mate may be would commit also to not changing any of the policies."
"I don't know how people will respond," if McCain chooses a pro-choice running mate such as [Former Pennsylvania Gov.] Tom Ridge or [Independent U.S. Sen.] Joe Lieberman, Huckabee said. "I do believe that if there is a very clear contrast in that one candidate takes a solid pro-life position and the other takes a position that is anything but, it will be bring a coalition of pro-life people to that candidate."
This seems inconsistent with this statement he made last Fall during the Value Voters Summit.
Concerning sticking to the principles that originally drew millions of value voters into the political process Huckabee said, “We need to once again realize that there was a time when there were certain things negotiable: which federal agencies should stay or go, which programs ought to get more or less money. But some things were not negotiable: the sanctity of human life, the definition of marriage, the purpose of freedom, and the opportunity for us to worship as we please. Let us never sacrifice our principles for anybody’s politics … not now, not ever.”
UPDATE - Gov. Huckabee issued the following response on this issue on his HuckPAC blog.
"This (Right to Life) is an important issue. It’s why we can’t trust Obama with America’s future because he’s not even sure which Americans are worth saving and which ones aren’t. And it’s why that for many of us, McCain’s selection of a running mate really does matter. Because John McCain clearly is pro life, I will support and vote for him because Obama is not an option for me as a pro life person. I will be disappointed if McCain doesn’t pick a true pro life person and realize that should that happen, he will lose many of the very people who supported me. I cannot expect all of you to vote for McCain if he chooses someone whose record isn’t pro life. It will be a less than perfect decision for all of us---our only real choices are McCain and Obama; one will protect life and one won’t. Some will argue for a 3rd party candidate and I respect that, but in political realities, that is essentially a vote for Obama and I can’t go there."