There is a strong libertarian presence in the Republican Party, which was reflected at the Conservative Political Action Conference, but libertarianism is not conservatism, says former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
"CPAC is becoming increasingly libertarian over the past few years, and we saw that this year," Huckabee told Dick Morris, J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on Newsmax TV's America's Forum on Monday.
"Libertarians have a very valid point of view, and increasingly we're seeing a libertarian influence for the Republican Party. But pure libertarianism is not Republicanism," he added. "They're welcome in the Republican Party, but don't act as if somehow libertarianism is a purer form of being Republican."
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The Arkansas Republican said, however, that he doesn't put all the blame for Republican losses on Libertarian Party candidates taking votes from GOP candidates
"If 10 percent more of the social conservatives had voted in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would be president today," Huckabee said. "They stayed home, in larger numbers, in part because they didn't feel like there was a message that really connected to them."
Huckabee said that the solution for Republican candidates is not to stay away from social issues, because "by doing so, you almost ensure defeat."
The former presidential candidate added that "a real conservative embodies the whole spectrum of conservatism, which is not only fiscal conservatism [but also] the idea that we need less government and the government we have ought to be more effective and more local."
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