Mike Huckabee defends Holocaust remark during Fox News confrontation: "I have stood at that oven door. I know exactly what it looks like."

Fox's Geraldo Rivera confronts Mike Huckabee over Holocaust remarks: ‘I’m begging you to apologize

By Sophia Tesfaye

Published July 27, 2015 9:40PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Brian Snyder)
(Reuters/Brian Snyder)

Mike Huckabee revealed himself as the huckster the he is today when he defended his description of the Iranian nuclear deal as President Obama “taking the Israelis and march[ing] them to the door of the ovens,” and refused to apologize, claiming that although he "didn't intend to be" a headline-maker, "when the President and Hillary Clinton are calling you out personally, it must be a good day."

The former Arkansas governor appeared on Fox News' "The Five" where he immediately faced pointed questions from host Dana Perino on his invocation of the Holocaust to criticize the multi-national Iranian nuclear deal. Perino expressed her concern that Huckabee's extreme rhetoric could push hesitant Democrats to defend the President, but Huckabee dismissed the backlash around his comment as just proof that "I am a much, much bigger deal than, I think people, thought I was."

Huckabee said that despite the backlash he "absolutely" stands by his comments and argued he was simply attempting to prevent what he believed to be a potential Holocaust, citing the rhetoric of Iranian officials. "They used the word Holocaust ... they refuse to tone down their rhetoric and continue to say that the Holocasut did not exist and that they are going to wipe Israel of the face of the map, when people who are in a government position continue to say they are going to kill you, I think somebody ought to wake up and take that seriously."

Huckabee argued that this "is Neville Chamberlain all over again," warning "God help us all" if the U.S. Congress does not reject the Iranian nuclear deal. "Three times I've been to Auschwitz," Huckabee explained. "When I talked about the oven door, I have stood at that oven door. I know exactly what it looks like."

But co-host Geraldo Rivera wasn't buying it. Rivera, citing his Jewish heritage, called Huckabee's analogy “inappropriate." He told Huckabee he “offended many, many people in the Jewish community” and said, “I’m begging you to apologize.”

"There some places you cannot go. You cannot compare the slaughter of six million Jews to anything, other than maybe the slaughter of Armenians or something else in history. You cannot compare it to a negotiation over a deal like this," Rivera insisted.

Nevertheless, Huckabee refused to back down and the two men continued on in a heated back-and-forth, with Huckabee claiming he has the support of the Jewish community.

Watch the full encounter below:

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Fox News Iran Nuclear Deal Mike Huckabee President Obama The Five The Holocaust Video