Mike Huckabee on Thursday night clarified what he meant by saying that President Barack Obama “pretends to be” a Christian.
“I’m less concerned about what faith a person has. I’m more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their policies. I’m also concerned about a guy that believes he’s a Christian and pretends to be and says he is but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith,” the former Arkansas governor said on Newsmax on Tuesday. “I’m disappointed if a person says, ‘I’m a Christian,’ but you invite the pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy, I think there’s something very unseemly about that.”
Asked to elaborate on his position by Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Huckabee said he would begin by taking Obama “at face value” that he is a Christian, but then attacked the president for requiring religious groups like Little Sisters of the Poor to cover the cost of contraceptives. Pope Francis, coincidentally, made a surprise visit on Thursday in Washington to see the nuns involved in the lawsuit against the administration.
“But what kind of Christian? What kind of Christian goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor? What kind of Christian goes after a wonderful, evangelical family like the Green family at Hobby Lobby, who provide very generous salary and benefits for their employees, but they don’t want to provide abortifacient drugs? What kind of administration won’t stand up for an elected county clerk like Kim Davis but will also, at the same time, make concessions for Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, or for the detainees at Gitmo?” Huckabee asked. “I just wonder, when is this president gonna show some love?”
Hannity then referenced Obama’s past attendance at the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose “god damn America” sermon was a point of controversy during the 2008 election.
“If my pastor said stuff like that, I’d go to a different church,” Huckabee remarked.
The former governor of Arkansas also tweaked Obama for not adequately recognizing his own citizens and fellow Christians who do charitable and emergency work around the world.
“Every now and then, I think it’d be nice to hear the president affirm Americans and specifically Christians in America who go across world helping the helpless,” he added.
Huckabee’s remarks come ahead of the Values Voter Summit in Washington, where evangelicals are gathering to hear from a number of Republican presidential candidates, including Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.