Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Sunday said the U.S. is at war with “radical Islam.”
“The people who believe that their purpose on Earth is to kill everybody who doesn’t … agree with them religiously, yes, we’re at war with that,” he said.
“We are not at war with Islam,” he added.
Huckabee also argued that President Obama’s hesitancy to admit the existence of Islamic extremism endangered American lives.
“You can’t beat an enemy if you don’t define it,” he said.
“The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can fight it, surround it and ultimately defeat it,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added of radical Islam.
Huckabee said that if elected president he would tighten border security to prevent possible infiltration of terrorists.
“Locally and here in our own country, we need to have some control of our own borders,” he said.
Huckabee additionally said he would refocus U.S intelligence priorities on actual terrorist threats rather than average Americans.
“And instead of spending a gazillion dollars looking at everybody’s metadata of phone records and email, we really need to be concentrating on those people who have been tweeting out threatening comments, people who ought to give us some real concern,” he said.
A federal appeals court ruled last Thursday that the National Security Agency (NSA) had acted illegally in its bulk, warrantless collection of phone records.
Supporters of the program have argued that it helps monitor and prevent potential terrorist attacks.
Its critics have countered the initiative is actually a massive government overreach into citizens’ privacy instead.
Huckabee announced his 2016 campaign last Tuesday in his hometown of Hope, Ark.
He previously sought the Oval Office in 2008.