President Obama ripped former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as “ridiculous” and “sad” after the GOP presidential candidate accused the commander in chief of setting up Jews for the next Holocaust.
Huckabee told Breitbart News that by cutting this deal with Iran, Obama “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,” he added.
In a press conference with the Ethiopian prime minister today, Obama was asked about Huckabee’s comments.
“The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are, I think, part of just a general pattern that we’ve seen that is — would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad. We’ve had a sitting senator call John Kerry Pontius Pilate. We’ve had a sitting senator who also happens to be running for President suggest that I’m the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Obama said.
The Pilate comment belonged to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the deal made Obama the leading financier of terrorism.
“These are leaders in the Republican Party,” the president continued. “And part of what historically has made America great is, particularly when it comes to foreign policy, there’s been a recognition that these issues are too serious, that issues of war and peace are of such grave concern and consequence that we don’t play fast and loose that way. We have robust debates, we look at the facts, there are going to be disagreements. But we just don’t fling out ad hominem attacks like that, because it doesn’t help inform the American people.”
Obama suggested that “rhetoric like this, maybe it gets attention and maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it’s not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now.”
“And I don’t think that’s what anybody — Democratic, Republican, or independent — is looking for out of their political leaders.”
He segued into a broader criticism of the Republican presidential field.
“In fact, it’s been interesting when you look at what’s happened with Mr. Trump, when he’s made some of the remarks that, for example, challenged the heroism of Mr. McCain, somebody who endured torture and conducted himself with exemplary patriotism, the Republican Party is shocked. And yet, that arises out of a culture where those kinds of outrageous attacks have become far too commonplace and get circulated nonstop through the Internet and talk radio and news outlets. And I recognize when outrageous statements like that are made about me, that a lot of the same people who were outraged when they were made about Mr. McCain were pretty quiet,” Obama said.
“The point is we’re creating a culture that is not conducive to good policy or good politics. The American people deserve better. Certainly, presidential debates deserve better. In 18 months, I’m turning over the keys — I want to make sure I’m turning over the keys to somebody who is serious about the serious problems the country faces and the world faces. And that requires on both sides, Democrat and Republican, a sense of seriousness and decorum and honesty. And I think that’s what the voters expect, as well.”
Huckabee fired back on Twitter: “What’s ‘ridiculous and sad’ is that
@POTUS does not take Iran’s repeated threats seriously.”
“For decades, Iranian leaders have pledged to ‘destroy,’ ‘annihilate,’ and ‘wipe Israel off the map’ with a ‘big Holocaust.’ ‘Never again’ will be the policy of my administration,” he continued. “I will stand with our ally Israel to prevent the terrorists in Tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another Holocaust.”