Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee pleased the crowded ballroom at CPAC this morning as he slammed President Obama's foreign policy, echoing criticism leveled by many other speakers that seizes on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
"There is not one country anywhere in the world with whom we have a better relationship than we did five years ago," Huckabee said, later adding: "The only time that Vladimir Putin shivers is when he takes his shirt off in the cold Russian winter."
Huckabee's speech was heavy in deeply conservative messaging, including an opening rich in biblical anecdotes and a long, applause-filled section in which he called for better treatment of members of the armed forces and a renewed focus on national security.
Like many of the other CPAC speakers, Huckabee rehashed conservative anger over the handling of the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and called for a renewed focus on individual rights.
He noted the ongoing controversy in Massachusetts, where conservatives have rallied around the story of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, a teen who was taken from her parents by state officials after a dispute between them and her doctors.
"I know that mothers and fathers raise better children than governments ever will," Huckabee said. "There is something wrong when the government kidnaps children from its own family."