Huckabee: This party's in the grip of hyperorthodoxy

During the Republican primary debates, audience members booed a question from an active serviceman who was gay and shouted, “Let him die,” about a hypothetical gravely ill patient without insurance. Is this different from the party that you know and love?

Very much. It’s one of the reasons that I did not think this was a good time to run. The atmosphere was so toxic that it would not be an atmosphere in which I would breathe well. There is almost a hyperorthodoxy that is gripping the party that you have to go out and prove that you can be tougher, meaner, more hard-line than anybody else on the stage. It may lead to effective campaigning if the goal is to be the most ideological puritan on the platform, but the ultimate goal is more of what I’d call a true Reagan model. Not the Reagan model that has been invoked — but Ronald Reagan who understood that governing is an art.