Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Friday said that President Barack Obama had turned evangelicals into Catholics by requiring private health insurance plans to cover contraception for women.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Huckabee gave "a great big thank you to President Obama."

"You have done more than any person in the entire GOP field, any candidate has done to bring this party to unity and energize this party as a result of your attack on religious liberty and the attack on the personhood of every human being in America," the former Arkansas governor declared.

"The fact that Catholic hospitals-- and not just Catholic hospitals, but any hospital, any organization -- would be required to provide not just contraceptive services, but Plan B abortion pills and other services that are outside the conscience of people of faith is, in fact, a direct violation of the First Amendment," Huckabee, who is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, insisted.

"I remember very vividly when John F. Kennedy said that we are all Berliners. Well, in many ways, thanks to President Obama, we are all Catholics now."

He added: "Growing up a Baptist in the South, I never thought I'd see the day when I would stand in front of several thousand people and say, 'We're all Catholic!' Praise the Lord, pass the offering plate. It's time to get serious."

Reports on Friday said the Obama administration would move to accommodate Catholics in a way that would make still contraception available to all women.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Feb. 10, 2012.