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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – President Obama has praised Pope Francis' new encyclical on the environment and climate change – but one Republican presidential hopeful says some on the Left may not have read it closely enough.

In a conference call attended by LifeSiteNews, Huckabee said, “It's an interesting position that [Pope Francis] has taken, and many people have quickly jumped on what he said in that encyclical.”

The former Arkansas governor said, while the climate change part of the encyclical is “worth taking note of,” there is more to it than words about carbon emissions and chlorofluorocarbons.

“In that same encyclical, he also talked about his longstanding and continued commitment to the sanctity of life,” Huckabee said. “I've not heard many people, particularly in journalistic circles, speak to the science of life and its origin.”

The pope wrote that “concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion,” adding that no true lover of creation could “fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties.”

Huckabee pointed out the disconnect by many on the Left – including not a few Catholics. “If we're really serious about taking science to be a referee for what we should or should not pursue, then I think it's very difficult to say, 'Let's follow science' when the science on the origin of human life is pretty well settled,” he said.

“The science of climate change – I think we'd all say yeah, there's climate change going on but it fluctuates,” he continued. “When I was a college student in the 70s, we were being led to believe…that we were rapidly entering into a time of global freezing, and if something weren't done urgently, we would all be pretty much in an Ice Age by 1980.”

At Monday's press briefing White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to a question about the dichotomy between President Obama – who voted against a law that would protect infants born alive during botched abortions – and Pope Francis, who believes no child should be aborted.

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“I didn’t actually see that portion of” the encyclical, Earnest replied. “So, why don’t we take a look at the document, and we’ll get you a reaction.”

President Obama had said he “welcome[d]” the pope's encyclical in a statement on Thursday.

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