As far Donald Trump is concerned, Mike Huckabee has nothing to apologize for.
In an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, Trump took aim at the Obama administration's deal with Iran and stood up for Huckabee's Holocaust analogy in which the former Arkansas governor claimed the deal placed Israel at "the door of the oven.”
"I mean, I'm OK with it," Trump said of Huckabee's choice of words. "I think he's a very good guy, Huckabee, by the way, and I'm really OK with it. Some people are saying, 'Oh, the tone,' and I saw Jeb Bush, who I also think is a nice person, but it's not about tone. I mean, they're chopping off Christians' heads in Syria and lots of other places and we're worried about tone. I think what Mike has done is he has hit a nerve and he's made people think a little bit."
Trump, like his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, has come out strongly against the deal that attempts to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. On Tuesday, he again stated his belief that the Obama administration had made too many concessions to Tehran.
"This deal with Iran is a terrible deal," Trump said. "I think it's going to lead to nuclear proliferation."
Still, Trump conceded that Iran was already "very close to having the bomb as we speak," and faulted President Barack Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, for not taking a firmer stance against Iran.
"From what I hear, everybody knew that [former President] Bush was not going to attack. You know the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, they're fabulous negotiators. Once they knew there would be no attack, because Bush let it be known that he wasn't attacking, they felt 100 percent certain that there was going to be no attack under Bush. Under Obama they felt a thousand percent certain. Once there was no threat of an attack, they took us to the cleaners."
Asked why Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have done their best to convince the country that the deal is not as bad as the Republican presidential candidates have argued, Trump responded by, once again, framing the issue in terms of intelligence.
"Maybe they're not bright," Trump said. "I've watched Kerry negotiating, and I've said to people, 'Is he bright? Is he an intelligent man?' Maybe they're not bright. There's something wrong with them."
Yet, while Trump questioned why Israel had not been able to exert more influence on senators like New York's Charles Schumer to kill the deal, he seemed resigned to the fact that, if elected president, he would be obliged to abide by its framework.
"I would do inspections so carefully and so thoroughly, and if they made one mistake, boy, they have got problems," Trump said when asked what he would do to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. "And they're going to have to know that the consequences are really serious."