Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee participated in GOP presidential candidate debates four years ago. Now he can sit and watch others. Here are some edited excerpts of my interview of him.

Should Republican candidates be anti-government? Republicans are not anti-government. Republicans believe in government, believe that it should be limited, and, to the extent that it can be, local. They do not believe that it should be centralized. It should be decentralized and moved out to the closest place of the people being governed.

When should the federal government be involved in a domestic policy problem? Only when there is no practical way for it to be solved at the individual, the family, the community, or the church level. Only when it escapes all the strata below should it ever end up at the federal level. Seeing where individual responsibility stops and when the government picks up is more of an art than a science. People want to make very simplistic sort of slogan approaches to policy, and when you really get into issues it’s a little more complicated than that.

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