Mike Huckabee Trumpets Support for Israel in White House Run by the Forward

Mike Huckabee Trumpets Support for Israel in White House Run

Mike Huckabee announced his bid for the Republican presidential race and pledged unyielding support for Israel, saying “hell would freeze” before Iran would get a nuclear weapon on his watch.

Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, launched his run Tuesday in Hope, Arkansas, the birthplace he shares with former President Bill Clinton.

Like many of the other GOP candidates, Huckabee cast President Barack Obama’s foreign policy as not sufficiently protective of Israel’s interests.

“Hell will freeze over before they get a nuclear weapon,” Huckabee said of Iran.

The Obama administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are at odds over an emerging deal between Iran and the major powers that would swap sanctions rollbacks for measures aimed at keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Obama backs the deal, while Netanyahu says it will make Iran a nuclear threshold state.

Huckabee is the sixth candidate to announce a run in the GOP field, following Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.); former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; and Dr. Ben Carson, a prominent retired surgeon and popular conservative figure in the media.

A number of others have all but announced, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence; and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. As many as 20 candidates may ultimately vie for the GOP spot. Huckabee, however, probably has the greatest breadth of knowledge about Israel. A pastor, he visits the country three to four times a year and leads tours there for evangelical Christians.

He also is known for his social conservatism, decrying at his launch legal advances for gay marriage. The National Jewish Democratic Council said in a statement that Huckabee was “out of step” with American Jews, who tend to embrace progressive values.

The NJDC statement quoted Huckabee as comparing gay marriage, abortion, right-to-die measures and debt to the Holocaust, “none of which, it should be noted, involve genocide and the military subjugation of numerous countries.”

Huckabee’s announcement Tuesday came after Fiorina and Carson announced on Monday. As soon as Carson announced, a PR firm distributed to reporters a video of the candidate touring ancient Jewish sites near Jerusalem’s Old City.

Mike Huckabee Trumpets Support for Israel in White House Run


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Mike Huckabee Trumpets Support for Israel in White House Run

Thank you!

This article has been sent!