Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has criticized President Barack Obama for his decision to include an openly gay bishop and blogger to welcome Pope Francis.

According to the Washington Post, guests attending Wednesday's White House event include “the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, a leader for transgender rights, and a gay Catholic blogger.”

“It's all petty, partisan politics,” Huckabee said in a Daily Caller op-ed. “Exploiting the Pope for cheap political points at the expense of millions of Americans and Catholics around the world is a shameless new low for this Administration. This classless stunt is disrespectful and disgraceful.”

During an appearance on Fox News, Huckabee compared the White House guest list to setting up an open bar at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

“I'm not sure that inviting people who are openly at odds with the Vatican… Why do you put them in the very likely position where they would be photographed with him and make it a very embarrassing moment?” he rhetorically asked.