GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke exclusively to Breitbart News about his first visit to Israel as an official presidential candidate. He met with Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and spoke with Israelis about the Iranian deal that is currently awaiting Congressional approval.
Huckabee explained that the Iranian negotiation that is lingering in Congress awaiting a vote is an issue that is deeply personal to him since he has been visiting Israel since he was 17-years-old. For roughly 42 years, Huckabee has been visiting Israel and said the fact that he has longtime friends there—and knows many of the people in Israel’s government with whom he can have candid conversations—is “very beneficial to me not just as a presidential candidate, but as someone who very much cares about what happens here.”
While in Jerusalem, Huckabee met with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, with whom he has had a 20-year friendship.
“It would be probably inappropriate for me to discuss the contents of the meeting just because it was confidential—certainly, I want to honor what is a longtime friendship with the prime minister,” Huckabee told Breitbart News, adding, “just a very good conversation and certainly, he’d be willing to meet with anyone who is running for president.”
On the conversation with Netanyahu, Huckabee said it was a “very good frank discussion of the overall relationship of our countries.” Huckabee added they also had personal conversations since they have been getting together as friends over the years.
“I see him usually when I come to Israel; its not uncommon that I’d do that, but this is of course the first time I’ve come as a declared candidate,” Huckabee explained.
Breitbart News asked Huckabee about the mood among Israelis regarding the Iran deal.
“They clearly are very concerned about the implications of the Iranian deal and, I mean, I think they recognize that it poses a clear and present danger to Israel, but also—as I have often said—it poses a very serious threat to the United States as well,” he answered.
“They’re not a nervous people,” Huckabee said. “They’re strong… not easily shaken… But, they’re also people that take their security very seriously because they have to,” he explained.
Huckabee referenced the rockets that are commonly fired and security issues along Gaza, “So, they’re quite aware what the Iranians are capable of, and so they take seriously the threats from the Iranians when they say they would wipe them off the face of the earth, and when they say ‘death to America,’ when an Iranian official said, and I quote, ‘we have developed missiles that will deliver the Holocaust to Israel’—I mean, those are the kind of statements that the Iranians have made that obviously they took very seriously.”
“It’s not that they fear that they lack the preparation or the capacity or the will to resist or to fight, but they clearly recognize that you just don’t have an official government—not just a terrorist group—for 36 years vow to destroy you and not take that seriously,” Huckabee stated.
“I’m very grateful that both Senator Schumer and Senator Menendez… put their country above their party,” he told Breitbart News of the two Democrats who have come out in opposition of President Obama’s deal with Iran, vowing to vote it down once Congress returns from the August recess.
He said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) recognized that the deal with Iran is very dangerous, and they are “to be commended for a very bold and courageous stand and a statesmanlike stand.”
“With members of Congress at home having town halls listening to their constituents—the people they actually work for—this is a good time for them to listen to their bosses,” Huckabee stressed.
“Since more than two-thirds of the American population oppose the Iranian agreement, it would seem that if they truly are working for the people and they listen to their bosses, they will go back and vote against this.”