By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Michelle Obama and Fox News are sort of going to break bread this weekend. That's because former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has wooed the obesity-fighting first lady onto his weekend show to talk about food, fat, and kids.
Huckabee, who famously lost over 100 pounds and wrote about it in Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork: A 12-Step Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle, tells our Suzi Parker that he agrees with the first lady that childhood obesity is a major threat to kids.
Huck says he "commends" Michelle Obama for taking on the problem and recognizing that it is not a "crisis of the month."
"It is not a left/right, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican issue. This is an issue that falls beyond what I call the 'horizontal' issues of left and right and rises to the 'vertical' level of up or down," Huckabee says.
Obama this month announced her new program to curb childhood obesity: the Let's Move Campaign.
Huckabee suggested that hosting Obama is a sign that the issue isn't one that should attract partisanship. "The tragedy would be for conservatives to sit it out and not ensure that the approach is indeed vertical and focused on the cultural and generational changes that are needed."
Still, he said, it's not a problem "that government can fix and shouldn't attempt to regulate people's behavior, but rather to follow the same framework that has marked other significant cultural shifts in health behavior."
Huckabee says pushing kids to watch what they eat can be a subtle thing. "Kids respond to peer pressure and influences that surround them," he says. "There is no simple solution because the issue is far more complex than that. It involves parents, kids, the medical community, the food industry, communities, and education. The role for government is far more limited than many will realize, but government does have a role, not to regulate personal behavior and private business but to regulate itself and its institutions."
Huckabee hosts Huckabee with Mike Huckabee weekends on Fox. It's a newsy and folksy show where the former Arkansas governor talks about whatever he wants.