The political spotlight will be focused on Sen. John McCain later this evening as he delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination, but Gov. Mike Huckabee took time this afternoon to talk with reporters about the role of faith in the McCain-Palin ticket.
The former presidential contender first turned his attention to the buzz surrounding McCain’s pick of the Governor of Alaska, saying, “I think Senator McCain has made a magnificent selection with Sarah Palin.”
With impact of Hurricane Gustav, and Democrats energized by their convention in Denver, the Republican Party opened its convention without the momentum being in its favor. But with the addition of Palin, Huckabee said, “value voters” have become “energized” and the level of excitement has completely shifted over the last week.
According to the former governor of Arkansas, the press unintentionally helped create the buzz about Palin by attacking her for only being the mayor of a small town and by focusing on her daughter Bristol’s pregnancy.
“The press did not intend it,” he quipped, “but what they have done, they have thrown Joseph in the well. What was intended for harm has turned out for good. And I’m sure it was never their goal to make her the absolute hero, not just of value voters, but of women, and frankly, fair-minded Americans.”
The discussion then turned to the role that Sen. McCain’s faith plays in his decision making process.
“I really believe that it’s a very important part of what makes him tick,” Huckabee said.
Gov. Huckabee described his understanding of John and Cindy McCain’s faith by recalling a trip he took with Cindy McCain to Rwanda on The One Campaign. During long bus rides between the various communities and villages, the governor explained that he became very convinced of the authenticity of both John and Cindy McCain’s faith, after talking with Cindy.
Explaining why Sen. McCain rarely references his faith when speaking in public, Huckabee observed: “John McCain comes from a generation where people did not openly talk about their faith; it was just sort of considered bad form. It didn’t mean they didn’t have it, but they weren’t as comfortable in expressing it openly, as maybe I would be.”
Gov. Huckabee also spoke of a meeting with McCain’s pastor on Wednesday night about John McCain’s faith and whether it’s real. The former governor of Arkansas said that he came away from the meeting feeling very comfortable about the Republican presidential nominee’s faith.
Sen. John McCain will address the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Thursday evening during the 9:00 hour (CST), according to the convention’s website.