WASHINGTON — Former Arkansas Gov.
Mike Huckabee said Sunday that he has long been an advocate for the LGBT community.
But he said the state has been slow to embrace the issue and must embrace the conservative agenda to be successful in the next few years.
“The key is to embrace what you have and to understand what the other side is,” Huckabee told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, said he is not the only conservative who is looking to expand the GOP’s appeal in the state.
The Republican governor’s son, Matt, has been in Washington for more than a month and is preparing to be a state senator, his father said.
He said he will be “very vocal” on the issue, but he will not push the GOP on LGBT issues.
Huckingabee, whose father was governor of Arkansas for more to than a decade, is known as one of the most conservative governors in the country.
Matt Huckabee was governor from 2002 to 2013.
As governor, Huckabee served on the boards of both the Arkansas Education Association and the Arkansas Business Foundation.
Former Republican President Bill Clinton, who is also a former U.S. senator from Arkansas, praised Huckabee for his stance on the gay issue.
Clinton said he had the “great honor” of serving with Huckabee in office and that he is proud to have him as a friend and ally.
President Donald Trump and other Republicans have been critical of some of the anti-gay policies pushed by the current Republican majority in Congress, which is controlled by Republicans.
Trump and other GOP lawmakers have called for repealing laws that protect LGBT people.