Huckabee: Iran invoked the Holocaust first
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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Monday evening defended invoking the Holocaust to criticize the international accord over Iran's nuclear program.

The Republican presidential candidate said late Monday he "didn't intend" to make waves when he said over the weekend that President Obama is marching Israelis to the "door of the oven."

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"They used the word Holocaust. They used that word in talking about what they wanted to do," Huckabee said of the Iranian government during an appearance on Fox News's "The Five."

"I will not apologize and I will not recant because the Holocaust was invoked by the Iranian government. They used that very word," Huckabee said during the program. 

Huckabee stood by his remark Monday amid an onslaught of criticism from President Obama, former secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMissing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani On The Money: Trump downplays urgency of China trade talks | Chinese negotiators cut US trip short in new setback | Trump sanctions Iran's national bank | Survey finds Pennsylvania, Wisconsin lost the most factory jobs in past year Meghan McCain, Ana Navarro get heated over whistleblower debate MORE and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), among others.

"When the president and Hillary Clinton are all calling you out personally it must be a good day," Huckabee said on Fox, referring to the Democratic presidential frontrunner's earlier criticism. 

Obama called his remark "sad," while Clinton said she was "disappointed" and "really offended personally." Bush, a fellow GOP presidential rival, said Huckabee's language was "just wrong."

"If we don't take seriously the threats from Iran, then God help us all," Huckabee said on Fox, later noting regular chants of "death to America" and for Israel's destruction coming out of Iran. 

He also said that he had visited Auschwitz three times, saying, "I have stood at that oven door. I know exactly what it looks like."

Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses during his last White House bid in 2008, currently ties for fifth out of more than a dozen GOP candidates in the RealClearPolitics polling average.