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Huckabee fires back at Clinton, Obama for criticizing him

Last Updated Jul 27, 2015 7:53 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has fired back at President Obama and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who both condemned his recent comments that Iran nuclear deal the Obama administration negotiated would "take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven."

A video released by his campaign Monday afternoon plays clips of Clinton and the president reacting to the deal. "The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee...would be considered ridiculous if it weren't so sad," Mr. Obama says.

The next screen features a quote by Huckabee in response: "What's 'ridiculous and sad' is that Obama and Clinton do not take seriously Iran's threats to 'wipe Israel off the map' with a 'big Holocaust.'"

Mr. Obama was asked about Huckabee's remarks during a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and used them to criticize a larger segment of the Republican party, including presidential candidate Donald Trump, for creating "a culture where those kind of outrageous attacks have become far too commonplace."

Clinton, who was asked about the comments during a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa Monday, said Huckabee's remarks were "offensive and have no place in our political dialogue."

"I am disappointed, and I am really offended personally," Clinton said. "I find this kind of inflammatory rhetoric totally unacceptable."

Huckabee's remarks did not produce an immediate backlash from the GOP like the one that occurred after Trump derided the war record of Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, at an Iowa event last week. But a few candidates were pressed to respond Monday.

"The use of that kind of language is just wrong," Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told reporters after a town-hall-style meeting, according to the New York Times. "This is not the way we're going to win elections and that's not how we're going to solve problems. So, unfortunate remark -- not quite sure why he felt compelled to say it."

But when former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who also ran for the GOP nomination in 2012, was asked if he disagreed with Huckabee's comments, he said, "absolutely not."

"This is the same type of dehumanization of Jews, the same type of recreating history that we saw in Nazi Germany. So no, I see this regime as equally virulent in its hatred of Jews," Santorum said in an interview on "Fox News Radio." "There really can't be...strong enough language against this proposal."

Appearing on Fox later Monday afternoon, Huckabee insisted that he would not apologize for his remarks. He quipped, "When the president and Hillary Clinton are all calling you out personally, it must be a good day."

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.