JERUSALEM, Israel -- The American people would definitely support Israel if it attacked Iranian nuclear facilities, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told CBN News in Jerusalem.
Huckabee, who is hosting a large tour here, spoke to a select group of journalists in Jerusalem on Monday before they arrived.
"I'm confident that there would be an overwhelming support from the American people. Whether the American administration would be as supportive, I don't know," Huckabee told CBN News in an interview.
"It's one of those real concerns that many of us have is to why the Obama administration hasn't been stronger in its support for Israel in doing what it has to do," he said.
"Now it's been pretty clear, saying it's unacceptable and all the options are on the table to keep Iran from having a nuclear device. But it hasn't been as clear as saying that should Israel acting as a sovereign nation to protect itself and to preserve its own survival, if it takes the action, we will stand behind her and accept that," Huckabee said.
Huckabee said he didn't understand the Obama administration's "strategy" whereby U.S. officials have been speaking out publicly against an Israeli military strike on Iran.
"We ought to provide a very unified voice of support for anyone who will take out this capacity for Iranian nuclear threat," he said.
If Israel would strike Iranian nuclear sites, it would be good for the entire international community, he said.
"They're not just doing Israel a favor. They're doing a favor for the United States, but they're also doing a favor for the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Kuwaitis, the people of Qatar and the (United Arab) Emirates. Everybody in the world is safer for Iran to be disengaged from nuclear capacity," he added.
Huckabee said he'd advocate military action against Iran's nuclear pursuit if that's the only way to stop it. And it would be better if it were sooner rather than later, if waiting meant they could hunker down underground making the facilities unreachable militarily.
Regarding U.S.-Israel relations, Huckabee said he's concerned that President Obama's policy toward Israel might shift if he's elected for a second term.
"One thing that concerns me about a second Obama term is that he's been bold enough in what I perceive to be an anti-Israel approach," Huckabee said. "And I know that may sound harsh, but this is a president whose policies have been dramatically different from any other president, Democrat or Republican."
Many Israelis and pro-Israel activists abroad are concerned that should Obama win reelection, he would no longer be motivated to woo the Jewish vote and could turn against the Jewish state.
Huckabee said in a second term when all the "political consequences" are behind him, Obama's "true sentiments" might surface.
"I think the one thing that we can hope for is that there would continue to be the consistency that we have in the Congress from both Democrats and Republicans who would absolutely push back on any new radical move on the part of Obama and his administration," he said.
Huckabee is hosting a group of about 175 Americans, mostly Christians, here on a tour. He said before Christians come to Israel they read about this Land in black and white. But after a trip here they read about it in color for the rest of their lives.
"Two things I want them to have -- a spiritual experience where they have a real encounter spiritually with the Lord and the Bible…and they will," he said.
"But the second thing I want them to come away with is a new understanding and appreciation for the strategic partnership that Israel and the United States has," he said.
"This is not just a place where things happened in the ancient world," he said. "It's a (place) where every day something's happening and it does affect them, even though it may be on the other side of the planet."