WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is sticking with his controversial criticism of the Iran nuclear deal, claiming that President Barack Obama is “marching the Israelis to the door of the oven,” a reference to the Holocaust.
The former Arkansas governor made the tweet Sunday, a day after first making the comparison when denouncing Obama for his role in the agreement reached by the United States and other world powers.
President Barack Obama responded to Huckabee’s comments during a press conference in Ethiopia on Monday, saying that it’s “part of just a general pattern that we’ve seen that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.”
“Maybe this is just to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines but it’s not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now,” Obama said. “The Republican party is shocked and yet that arises out of a culture where those kind of outrageous attacks have become far too commonplace and yet circulated nonstop through the Internet and talk radio and news outlets.”
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Huckabee’s statement was “grossly irresponsible” and called on him to apologize.
But a Huckabee spokeswoman said Sunday his comments reflect a longstanding position that “the Iran deal is a bad deal, bad for America and bad for Israel.” Huckabee’s tweet called on Congress to reject the nuclear deal.
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” Huckabee said in an interview with Breitbart News broadcast on Sirius/XM radio Saturday. “He’s so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.”
Huckabee said that “this Iran deal should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans.”
“We forget Iranians have never kept a deal in 36 years under the ayatollah. There’s no reason to think they will suddenly start doing it.”
Huckabee said of the deal: “I read the entire thing. We gave away the whole farm. It’s got to be stopped.”
Huckabee’s comments come as the GOP presidential candidates struggle to break through with 16 presidential candidates already in the GOP field, and one of those, New York businessman Donald Trump, getting more attention than most.
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