Republican Mike Huckabee speaks at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, in this Jan. 24, 2015 file photo.
Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

Huckabee ignores critics after Holocaust uproar

Mike Huckabee’s repulsive comments on nuclear diplomacy and the Holocaust were tough to defend, but the far-right Republican candidate told NBC’s Matt Lauer  that “Jewish people” liked what he had to say, so there’s no real problem here.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says if he was president, he would use the same language when referring to potential deals with Iran – and that the response from Jewish people to his controversial comments has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
 
“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,” the former Arkansas governor said Tuesday in an interview with Matt Lauer.
Huckabee added, “The response from Jewish people have been overwhelming positive.”
 
Remember, the GOP candidate said President Obama, by working with our allies and partners on an agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, would “take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.”
 
I really have to hand it to the GOP – only Republicans could argue that President Obama is both Hitler and Chamberlain at the same time.
 
Faced with bipartisan criticism yesterday, Huckabee refused to apologize. I’m curious, though, whether he’s seen the criticism from Israel. USA Today reported:
The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., now lobbying intensively against the Iran nuclear accord, on Monday rejected as inappropriate the harsh language that Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee used likening it to the Holocaust.
 
“Look, we have a very serious disagreement with the administration on a very serious issue,” Ambassador Ron Dermer told Capital Download. “But what I don’t doubt is the sincerity of the president or his team when they say they believe this deal not only makes America safe but makes Israel safe. Where we disagree is the judgment of actually what this deal is going to do.”
 
On Huckabee’s comments, he said: “These are not words that I would use or that I think are appropriate.”
Israel Katz, a member of parliament from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, added, “Nobody marches the Jews to ovens anymore,” he said. “To this end we established the state of Israel and (the Israeli military). If need be, we know how to defend ourselves.”
 
Maybe the response “from Jewish people” hasn’t been quite so positive after all.
 
There’s some fluidity to the rules of Republican rhetoric, but when national GOP candidates are drawing criticism from Israeli officials – including members of Netanyahu’s Likud Party – that’s generally not a good sign.
 
The support for Huckabee from right-wing media, meanwhile, has been quite strong – conservative media figures have been willing to overlook the fact that Huckabee’s repulsive posturing is the exact opposite of his previous position on negotiations with Iran.
 

Iran, Israel and Mike Huckabee

Huckabee ignores critics after Holocaust uproar