TAMPA, Fla. – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who once harbored

hopes of being president, loudly endorsed fellow Republican Mitt

Romney for the job Wednesday at the Republican National Convention.

"To those who question how once rivals can now be united, it’s simple

– we have Barack Obama to thank," Huckabee said.

In a speech delivered during prime time from the Tampa Bay Times Forum,

Huckabee harshly criticized Obama and his term in office – punctuating

his remarks with the Romney campaign message "We can do better."

Obama came to office with limited experience in governing and no

business experience, Huckabee said, and once in office, seemed mostly

interested in "campaigning, blaming and aiming excuses at his

predecessor."

"We’ve stagnated into an economy that has taken all that hope ‘down

the slope’ and left millions without jobs, forced out of their homes

by foreclosure and herded into dependency upon a government that

promises us candy and gives us cavities," Huckabee said.

In contrast, Huckabee offered that Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, was a proven leader who

turned around companies on the skids, an Olympics in scandal and a

"very liberal" state in debt.

Huckabee offered that even former President Bill Clinton had noted

that Romney has a "sterling record of problem-solving."

"Barack Obama said if he couldn’t turn things around in three years,

it would be a one-term proposition. It’s been almost four years –

let’s make him a proposition he can’t refuse. Let’s vote him out,"

Huckabee said.

Huckabee also answered the question of how an evangelical can support

a Mormon for president.

"Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed

evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition

of marriage, believes that human life is disposable and expendable at

any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and tells people that

they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their

faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health

care," he said.

As for Romney, Huckabee said he cares less about where the GOP nominee takes his

family to church than where he will "take the country."

Huckabee said that Obama has had his chance to lead and that

experiment has been a miserable failure.

"President Obama is out of gas. Americans are out of patience, and our

great Republic is almost out of time. It’s time we no longer lead from

behind, but get off our behind and leave something lasting for those

who come after us instead of a mountain of debt and a pile of

excuses," he said.