Mike Huckabee has explained his use of the phrase “ick factor” in describing gay marriage. His explanation, however, is probably close to what most people were thinking.

The former Arkansas governor, Fox News commentator and 2012 presidential hopeful drew heated criticism from gay groups last week for remarks he gave to The New Yorker.

In the piece, Huckabee first says he accepts gay people – “And I don't walk around thinking, Oh, I pity them so much. I accept them as who they are! It's not like somehow their sin is so much worse than mine” – but then adds that God created marriage for straight people.

“I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes,” he told the magazine. “Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn't work the same.”

But in a statement to POLITICO.com Wednesday, the Baptist minister took umbrage with Internet reports quoting him saying he thought gay marriage was “icky.”

“Let me set the record straight,” Huckabee wrote. “Never once did I say 'icky', as many blogs and less than credible news organizations have reported.”

Huckabee went on to explain that “the ick factor” is an “established notion” from within the gay community.

“It was not an indication of personal aversion, but rather a reference to an established phrase used mostly from same-sex marriage advocates and militants – not one I created.”

Whether Huckabee was recycling phrasing or not, the phrase is used by advocates of gay marriage to illustrate an aversion to gay sex by opponents of gay marriage.

Huckabee goes so far as to credit Dr. Martha Nussbaum for the phrase, making certain to include a tenuous link to President Barack Obama who once also taught at the University of Chicago's School of Law.

Nussbaum has used the phrase to describe the “aversion to man-on-man anal sex” by opponents of gay marriage, the progressive blog ThinkProgress.org reported.

“So is Huckabee conceding the point – that his opposition to gay marriage is driven by 'personal aversion'?” the blog asks.

“I stand by my statement,” Huckabee added in his note, “and the misrepresentations of those who seek to dishonestly distort my views expose their duplicity and hypocrisy.”