Tuesday, March 01, 2011

WTF? Huckabee Tells Radio Talker That Obama Grew Up In Kenya

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

We always knew that Mike Huckabee is prone to occasional lapses in which he reveals his real, deeply ignorant self. But this one takes the cake:
MALZBERG: Don't you think it's fair also to ask him, I know your stance on this. How come we don't have a health record, we don't have a college record, we don't have a birth cer - why Mr. Obama did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate. It's one thing to say, I've -- you've seen it, goodbye. But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits --

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.
Huckabee, of course, is just repeating his Fox News colleague Stuart Varney's slimy attack on President Obama of a few weeks ago -- a simple and outrageous lie. And yes, Varney was just repeating Glenn Beck.

As Eric Hananoki at Media Matters observes:
Contrary to Huckabee's claims, Obama did not grow up in Kenya. Obama spends significant portions of his book Dreams From My Father describing his first visit to Kenya in the late 1980s. On page 304, Obama writes of his arrival at Kenyatta International Airport (emphasis added):
Kenyatta International Airport was almost empty. Officials sipped at their morning tea as they checked over passports; in the baggage area, a creaky conveyor belt slowly disgorged luggage. Auma was nowhere in sight, so I took a seat on my carry-on bag and lit a cigarette. After a few minutes, a security guard with a wooden club started to walk toward me. I looked around for an ashtray, thinking I must be in a no-smoking area, but instead of scolding me, the guard smiled and asked if I had another cigarette to spare.

"This is your first trip to Kenya, yes?" he asked as I gave him a light.

"That's right."

"I see." He squatted down beside me. "You are from America. You know my brother's son, perhaps. Samson Otieno. He is studying engineering in Texas."

I told him that I'd never been to Texas and so hadn't had the opportunity to meet his nephew. This seemed to disappoint him, and he took several puffs from his cigarette in quick succession.
The BBC noted in a 2008 article that "Barack Obama has never lived in Kenya and he has visited the country just three times."

Additionally, Obama did not grow up "with a Kenyan father and grandfather." Indeed, Dreams From My Father is largely about Obama's struggles with the absence of his father. The AP noted in 2006 that Obama "was mostly raised in Hawaii and did not know his Kenyan father well."
Maybe Huckabee is thinking of Indonesia, where in fact Obama lived between the ages of 6 and 10. I think the Dutch were bigger subject there than the British, though. And it's a looooooooong way from Kenya.

Either Huckabee is a secret Birther, or he's as ignorant of his geography as the Shrilla From Wasilla.

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