Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama are trading barbs after the former Arkansas governor accused the president of sending Israelis “to the door of the oven” by agreeing to a nuclear deal with Iran.
Over the weekend, Huckabee, a Republican presidential candidate, said “this president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians.”
“He will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven,” Huckabee said to Breitbart News about Obama and the nuclear deal.
The Democratic National Committee seized on the comments Sunday, alerting reporters to the interview and saying the language is offensive.
“Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable,” DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “Mike Huckabee must apologize to the Jewish community and to the American people for this grossly irresponsible statement.”
Obama was asked about Huckabee while traveling in Africa on Monday.
“The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are, I think, part of just a general pattern that we’ve seen that…would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad,” Obama said.
The president also accused Huckabee of intentionally being provocative to garner attention for his campaign, something Donald Trump has been successful doing.
“Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines,” Obama told reporters.
Huckabee fired back in a Monday morning statement, not backing down while referencing past comments made by Iranian leaders vowing to destroy Israel.
“What’s ‘ridiculous and sad’ is that President Obama does not take Iran’s repeated threats seriously,” Huckabee said in a statement. “For decades, Iranian leaders have pledged to ‘destroy,’ ‘annihilate,’ and ‘wipe Israel off the map’ with a ‘big Holocaust.’”