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Mar 1st, 2011

Huckabee Claims Obama Grew up in Kenya

Says president “probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists”


Huckabee — a Birther? (MSNBC “The Ed Show,” March 1, 2011) — Takedown: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz sounds off on the former presidential candidate’s false comments regarding President Barack Obama’s childhood. (03:23)

By Domenico Montanaro and Sarah Blackwill

First Read
March 1, 2011

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor considering another run for president in 2012, inaccurately claimed on a conservative talk-radio show that President Obama grew up in Kenya.

“[O]ne 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,” Huckabee told host Steve Malzberg, the Washington Post reported. …

Huckabee’s claim that President Obama grew up in Kenya is false. President Obama was born in Hawaii and spent part of his youth in Indonesia, not Kenya. The president’s biological father was Kenyan, and Obama barely knew him.

Huckabee has said he believes President Obama was born in the United States — unlike the so-called “Birthers,” who believe falsely that the president was born elsewhere. …

Here’s a partial transcript:

MALZBERG: … 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 from the average American. When he gave the bust back to [of Winston Churchill] — of Winston Churchill, yeah. A great insult to the British, but if you think about it — his perspective growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution is very different from ours, because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

MALZBERG: He despises the West, he despises the Brits, and I think he could take it all out on Israel, and that’s why he despises Israel. He’s not too thrilled with our history either…

*** UPDATE *** HuckPAC Executive Director Hogan Gidley says Huckabee “simply misspoke”:

“Governor Huckabee simply misspoke when he alluded to President Obama growing up in ‘Kenya.’ The Governor meant to say the President grew up in Indonesia. …

Read the full report

 Related video

Huckabee questions Obama’s upbringing (MSNBC “The Last Word,” March 1, 2011) — During a radio interview former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said President Obama grew up in Kenya, which is completely untrue. After repeating that falsehood, his spokesman eventually said Huckabee “misspoke.” Lawrence O’Donnell comments. (03:42)



In the context of Mike Huckabee’s assertion that Barack Obama’s view of the British is “very different from the average American” and that Obama “probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather,” HuckPAC Executive Director Hogan Gidley’s spin that Huckabee “simply misspoke” makes no sense. In view of the fact that Kenya was once a British colony, Huckabee’s comments would make sense only if he truly believed Obama was raised in Kenya. (Indonesia was part of the Dutch, not British, colonial empire.)   

 Related video

Huckabee laments ‘sad state’ of journalism over Kenya talk (MSNBC “Morning Joe,” March 3, 2011) — Top Talkers: The Morning Joe panel, including former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Fortune’s Andy Serwer, discuss the big news of the day including Mike Huckabee’s response to how the media treated his comments that President Obama grew up in Kenya. (13:48)


4/1/11: Related story

Tea Partiers rallying in DC praise Donald Trump’s birther stance (TPMMuckraker, March 31, 2011) – In the span of just a few weeks, real estate mogul turned reality television star turned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went from dipping his toe in the birther pool to diving right into the deep end and claiming that he’s “starting to wonder” whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. … Full story


4/11/11: Related story

Ex-Hawaii official denounces ‘ludicrous’ birther claims (Michael Isikoff, NBC News, April 10, 2011) — The Hawaiian state health official who personally reviewed Barack Obama’s original birth certificate has affirmed again that the document is “real” and denounced “conspiracy theorists” in the so-called “birther” movement for continuing to spread bogus claims about the issue. “It’s kind of ludicrous at this point,” Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the former director of Hawaii’s Department of Health, said in a rare telephone interview with NBC. Fukino, sounding both exasperated and amused, spoke to a reporter in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s statements on the NBC Today show last week questioning whether Obama has a legitimate birth certificate. … Full story


4/27/11: Update

White House releases Obama’s long-form birth certificate (, April 27, 2011) — White House press secretary Jay Carney handed out copies of the president’s “long form” birth certificate Wednesday morning, showing that he was born in Hawaii. The “certificate of live birth” released Wednesday morning contained the signatures of the attending physician and the Local and State Registrars. It also contains the name of the hospital where Obama was born, Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital. … Full story

Image: This handout image provided by the White House shows a copy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii.
See PDF copy of Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate


Related reports on this site

Bachmann Conspiracy Nation (Feb. 20, 2010)

The “Birther” Movement (Nov. 19, 2009; scroll down)

Huckabee Supporter Chuck Norris Comments on Barack Obama (Oct. 23, 2008)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — March 1, 2010

Michele Bachmann Found in Ohio

One year ago today, I reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), on yet another of her many out-of-state political appearances, spoke to Hamilton County Republicans in Cincinnati, Ohio, saying President Obama “has embraced a policy that would have the federal government controlling 48 percent of our economy in just two years’ time. We have to stop him.”


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — March 1, 2009

More Bachmann Bad Press for GOP

Michele Bachmann

Two years ago today, on March 1, 2009, I reported that published a commentary on Rep. Michele Bachmann by Dorsett Bennett, a self-described “Independent/Libertarian.” “There’s no point in trying to fact-check such unhinged stupidity,” writes Bennett, “but I should note that none of this is in any way grounded in reality. I should also note that we’re not talking about some strange nut screaming on a street corner; this is all coming from an elected member of Congress.”

3 Responses to “Huckabee: Obama Raised in Kenya”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Tea Party Presidential Primary Says:

    […] Mike Huckabee Says Barack Obama Grew Up in Kenya (March 1, 2011) […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Shame in America: Birther Trump Says:

    […] Mike Huckabee: Obama Raised in Kenya (March 1, 2011) […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Huckabee Exit Ups GOP ‘Nut’ Factor Says:

    […] With former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee bowing out of the 2012 presidential contest as a potential Republican contender, only two remotely viable candidates remain — former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachussetts governor Mitt Romney. Much of the rest of the field has been characterized as reminiscent of the “Star Wars” bar scene: “passionate-about-his-country-and-worked-so-hard-that-he-felt-compelled-to-seek-God’s-forgiveness” Newt Gingrich; birther Donald Trump; and conspiracy nut Michele Bachmann, to name a few. […]

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