Regarding the coverage of his new book today, Huckabee said: "The reviewers took some of the more controversial parts" and reduced that down to "that's what the book is." He admitted the book was "by intent, provocative," and said it was important to "shoot straight."
He said he felt the TIME column was balanced, but that the Politico piece was less balanced. (And he referenced the fact that Politico included a response from Romney's campaign, but that Romney's campaign did not refute what he wrote in the book).
"This book is honest," he said, "I take you behind the scenes in the debates, and I take you behind the scenes with some of the conversations I had." He also said the book will answer questions such as, "why did certain alignments take place -- or why didn't certain alignments take place?"...
But Huckabee also pointed out that his book is not merely a recitation of the 2008 primary campaign. Instead, the the stories in the book are meant to serve as a background to provide a context for talking about the future of the conservative movement and the GOP.
He dismissed speculation that he might run in 2012, noting that at this point four years ago we were talking about "President George Allen," "President Bill Frist," and "President Fred Thompson" (on the call, he reiterated the notion that if Fred Thompson weren't in South Carolina, that he would have won the state -- and probably the nomination.)
Regarding the notion that social conservatives are a dying entity, he noted that some pundits were, "writing the obituary while the body is still breathing," and added that, "it was the cultural conservatives who kept John McCain as close in the race as he was." Huckabee also warned against becoming a Democrat Lite party, saying: "We didn't lose elections because we were pro-Life, we started losing elections when we acted like that didn't really matter."
When asked how he could be called a "fiscal liberal" by some, Huckabee responded: "... if they really listened to my views and looked at my record in Arkansas, they'd know I was a fiscal conservative..."
But he also noted that he was a governor who had to balance a budget. He said he didn't have the option the Federal government has, "which is to keep borrowing money."
Huckabee also used this opportunity to endorse his former campaign manager Chip Saltsman for RNC Chairman: "I saw his ability to operate a very frugal operation, which I think the RNC could use a lesson in." He also added that Chip would be very good at "using technology and trying to create a party of the future..."