Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee joked during a news conference Friday that it might be a good idea for the pope to run for president.

"Maybe we should run the pope for president, that might be a good idea," Huckabee joked after a reporter asked about lessons the Republican Party could learn from Pope Francis.

Huckabee praised Pope Francis for bringing a "common touch" to the papacy and for his willingness to "touch the untouchable" by reaching out to the poor and suffering.

"What he says is important, but what he has done is more significant," Huckabee said.