As anger from the political left over GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's recent comments that President Obama is "marching Israelis to the door of the oven" continues, one TV host, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, has questioned the former Baptist pastor's Christian faith and religious convictions.
"I really like Mike Huckabee," Brzezinski said on Tuesday. "He's been a friend of the show for years. He's sat at this table many times. He's smarty, witty, charming. ... I don't agree with everything he has to say but I love that he's a man of deep religious convictions, or so I thought."
Later on the "Morning Joe" co-host suggested Republican candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is "saying the right thing when the right thing needs to be said, and not saying the wrong thing. Certainly staying away from crazy comments. From destructive comments. From vitriolic comments. From quite frankly, uncivil comments — quite frankly, un-Christian comments."
Democrats have called on Huckabee to apologize for an interview he did with Breitbart News on Saturday, where he slammed the nuclear deal between Obama and Iran, and said:
"It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It's got to be stopped."
Criticism over the comments has come from various sources, including The Anti-Defamation League's national director Jonathan A. Greenblatt, who argued that Obama has shown his commitment to protecting Israel's security.
"To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when America is Israel's greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation capable of defending itself is disheartening. The great tragedy of the Holocaust saw the Jews of Europe without allies and without power at the worst possible moment," Greenblatt said in a statement.
The former Arkansas governor has defended and sought to clarify his comments.
"There's a boldness and a clarity to it," Huckabee told Yahoo News' global anchor Katie Couric on Tuesday.
"For those who thought I was saying this because I was looking for attention … you know Katie, the truth is I said it on a Saturday afternoon satellite radio show, so it wasn't that I thought it was going to become the big issue of the week."
He added that he feels the "response from Jewish people has been overwhelmingly positive."
Huckabee said: "We need to use strong words when people make strong threats against an entire group of people as the Iranians have made toward the Jews."
Breitbart editor John Nolte has also defended Huckabee's analogy, and accused Brzezinski of only "pretending to be outraged."
"Iran has repeatedly threatened a 'holocaust' against Israel. Obama's deal with Iran gives the terrorist country the billions of dollars they need to keep that promise. Obama's deal is almost certainly going to ensure Iran gets the nuclear weapon they need to keep that promise," Nolte wrote.
"Huckabee's comments weren't outrageous, if anything they were a little too on-the-nose," he continued.
"It is quite obvious that the secular Brzezinski doesn't understand that one very important tenet of the Christian faith is to loudly and clearly speak unpopular truths. The only real moral outrage here (other than Obama selling out Israel) is Brzezinski prioritizing protecting Obama above speaking the truth."