Former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s passionate defense of Israel has caused a massive puckering among Democrats and Establishment Republicans – including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“This is about whether we want to stand against tyrants and tyranny,” the former Arkansas governor told me.
Bush called on Huckabee to “tone down the rhetoric” over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Last weekend, Huckabee called the president’s plan idiotic and said that President Obama will ultimately “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
Bush scolded Huckabee at a campaign stop in Florida.
“I think we need to tone down the rhetoric, for sure,” Bush said. “The use of that kind of language is just wrong.”
In response, Huckabee defiantly stood his ground – reminding Bush that Iran has vowed to incinerate “all the Jews.”
“You don’t tone down the rhetoric when people are threatening a country off the face of the map,” he told me. “When you have a country that’s openly declaring that it’s going to kill Jews, guess what – you better take it seriously.”
“I take nothing back,” he declared.
Huckabee also took exception to Bush’s suggestion that his comments were hurting the Republican Party.
“This is not the way we’re going to win elections and that’s not how we’re going to solve problems,” Bush said.
“What’s bad for the party is taking a milquetoast attitude toward the Middle East, believing that somehow you can bring appeasement into the world,” Huckabee said. “This is not time for a Chamberlain. This is time for a Churchill. We either stand against evil or we don’t.”
Huckabee rightly pointed out that the Iranians are still holding four Americans hostage – and their citizens are marching in the streets chanting “Death to America.”
And yet the Establishment Republicans seem to think Huckabee’s comments are the problem?
“I think the problem for Republicans is when we’re so weak-kneed that we won’t take a stand against such stuff,” he said.
So there you have it, folks.
On one side you’ve got Gov. Huckabee – standing resolutely in alongside Israel. And on the other side you’ve got President Obama --- and Jeb Bush.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.