WAUKEE, Iowa, April 9 (UPI) -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, speaking to religious conservatives in Iowa, said the United States "cannot expect the blessing of God" on its economy.
Huckabee also told the Iowa Freedom and Faith Coalition at its spring fundraiser Tuesday night he is "on the right side of the Bible" on gays. He said he does not care "what people do personally," but that same-sex marriage violates Biblical teaching.
In his speech, Huckabee blasted both the federal government and large Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs.
"And I'm thinking there's something horribly wrong when we do not prophetically call out that kind of corruption, that kind of cronyism that exists between the powers of Washington and the powers of Wall Street, when we do not stand back and boldly declare that when you punish the productivity of good people and reward the reckless irresponsibility of others, you cannot expect the blessing of God in your economy and in your life," Huckbee said.
Huckabee, 58, has not held elective office since 2007. He entered politics after a career as a religious broadcaster and pastor of Baptist churches in Pine Bluff and Texarkana in Arkansas. Currently, he hosts a show, Huckabee, on Fox News.
In 2008, he finished third in the Republican presidential primaries behind John McCain and Mitt Romney. While he stayed out of the 2012 race, he appears to be positioning himself for another run in 2016.
A February poll by the Des Moines Register found that 65 percent of the state's Republicans said a Huckabee run would be a good thing. Only Rep. Paul Ryan from neighboring Wisconsin got more support, 67 percent.
In his speech, Huckabee said Republicans are asking how the party can win over people who believe the Democrats will take care of them. He said the party needs to teach people that religious and economic freedom will give them better lives.