(CNN) – In what could be an early preview of the 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee is slamming Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels over his recent comments suggesting the next president should focus exclusively on fiscal problems at the expense of social issues.
“Let me be clear…the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues,” the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate said in an e-mail to supporters Friday. “They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and deficit spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.”
But Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, another potential 2012 presidential contender, was more tepid in his response to the criticisms, telling CNN’s John King, “I wouldn’t characterize it the way Mitch did. ”
“I would say what makes it about – what makes campaigns about the issues are what are the issues on people’s minds. And right now, you’re right, it’s not the social issues that are on people’s minds.,” Barbour said in an interview airing Friday on John King, USA.