Host and Republican former Congressman Joe Scarborough, in particular, grilled Huckabee for insisting that opposition to same-sex marriage was rooted in the Bible.
“You and I both know, and I say this as a divorced man, that Jesus focused a lot more on lust, focused a lot more on the poor, focused a lot more on clothing the naked, visiting people in jail, taking care of the hopeless than he did on homosexuality," Scarborough said. "In fact, he never mentioned homosexuality.”
Huckabee responded that gay marriage was not permitted in the first century, but that the Bible defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
“There was no push for same-sex marriage when Jesus was teaching,” he said.
“Jesus was far more explicit about divorce equaling adultery,” Scarborough fired back.
Scarborough pressed Huckabee to clarify whether he was opposed to same-sex marriage on religious or legal grounds, but the candidate refused to separate the two.
“I believe it’s a constitutional abomination but because of my faith I believe I have a responsibility to stand with those who are being persecuted not only for their faith, but for following the law, especially those who are being beaten up by the heavy hand of the judicial branch of government and put in jail," Huckabee said.
Host Mika Brzezinski pointed out that Davis is currently in her fourth marriage.
“Would you support a clerk who would not give Kim Davis a third or a fourth marriage license?” Brzezinski said.
Huckabee said he didn't "follow" the question, insisting, “There’s a difference between marriage between a man and a woman and a marriage between two men or two women.”