Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) said Tuesday that President Obama is more concerned with defending Islam’s reputation than American lives.

“The No. 1 job of the president is to protect America, not [to] protect the reputation of Islam,” the GOP presidential candidate said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”


“Sometimes I get the impression that the president is so defensive about the reputation of Islam [that] he forgets that his No. 1 job as commander in chief is to protect this country and eradicate those who are trying to kill us,” Huckabee continued.

“It’s not about Muslims per se, it’s abut Muslims who are radicalized,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added.

“If Methodists were strapping bombs to their children’s chest and blowing up to kill a bunch of civilians, I’d be saying we need to be real careful about letting Methodists in, too. But I don’t know any Methodists who are doing that.”

Obama chastised the GOP’s 2016 presidential field Monday for questioning his plan for resettling approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.

Many Republican White House hopefuls say that strategy is too dangerous, given the potential for terrorist infiltration.

“The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism, they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife,” Obama said during the Group of 20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey.

Huckabee countered Tuesday that the president is ignoring the threat posed by groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“The president acted with such a level of petulance yesterday,” he said. "His speech was bizarre.

“What the president’s suggesting [is] bringing in tens of thousands that are unvetted,” Huckabee said of the Syrian refugees. "We have no idea who they are [and] we have no idea what their background is.

“I think Americans have a right to be upset,” he added. "I think people are generally just frustrated the president doesn’t seem to understand that ISIS is a threat to us.”

Criticism of Obama’s refugee resettlement plan is growing following last week’s terrorist attack in Paris that killed 129 people.

Reports have emerged suggesting one of the attackers entered Europe with a Syrian passport while posing as an asylum seeker.

Huckabee called on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Monday to either halt Obama’s refugee program or resign his new role.

“I don’t want [Paul Ryan] to be a target, I want him to be a leader,” Huckabee said of his request Tuesday morning.

“Paul Ryan’s the Speaker,” he added. "He can defund this program [and] he can make sure the purse strings are never unleashed.”