Huckabee said Obama is disregarding Catholic doctrine and insulting the pope by inviting gay rights and pro-abortion activists to the White House event on Wednesday.
“President Obama’s classless decision to transform Pope Francis’ visit to the White House into a politicized cattle call for gay and pro-abortion activists is an insult to millions of Catholics,” he said, according to The Iowa Statesman.
Francis’s arrival in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors to the nation’s capital amid enthusiasm for the religious leader’s first visit to the U.S. He wil speak before Congress on Thursday, making him the first-ever pontiff to do.
But the visit has not been without some political controversy.
The Vatican has also expressed concerns over the White House guest list. A senior Vatican official told The Wall Street Journal last week that there are concerns photos of the pope with activists for gay and abortion rights could be seen as an endorsement.
And Republicans are bracing for the pope's address to Congress, where it is widely expected the Catholic leader will address climate change, income inequality and abortion during his speech there.
The Vatican has stayed mum on the details of Francis’s address from the House floor taking place that morning. But one Republican, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), is skipping the speech, over the pope's climate stance.
Francis is currently spending his final day in Cuba as a part of a three-day swing through the island nation. He met Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Monday during his trek through the communist country.