Huckabee: Obama Grew Up "In Kenya"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

During a radio appearance yesterday, Mike Huckabee repeatedly falsely claimed that President Obama grew up in Kenya. After questioning Obama's purported secrecy about the birth certificate, radio host Steve Malzberg asked Huckabee if "we deserve to know more about this man." Huckabee responded, "I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough."

Speaking on WOR's The Steve Malzberg Show, Huckabee -- a Fox News host and potential presidential candidate -- said that "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 ... 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 are a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."

From the February 28 program:

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 was later asked if he would bring up the issue of Obama's birth certificate during a presidential debate. Huckabee replied: "The only reason I'm not as confident that there's something about the birth certificate, Steve, is because I know the Clintons [inaudible] and believe me, they have lots of investigators out on him, and I'm convinced if there was anything that they could have found on that, they would have found it, and I promise they would have used it."

PolitiFact has noted that there "is not one shred of evidence to disprove PolitiFact's conclusion that the candidate's name is Barack Hussein Obama, or to support allegations that the birth certificate he released isn't authentic."

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."

From the February 28 edition of WOR's The Steve Malzberg Show:

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.

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. But let me just try to get an answer from you. Would you say to him, or at least ask him in a debate, why did you go to court and spend millions of dollars on lawyers to prevent from having to show your birth certificate. If you have one and it's there, why not show it?

HUCKABEE: The only reason I'm not as confident that there's something about the birth certificate, Steve, is because I know the Clintons [inaudible] and believe me, they have lots of investigators out on him, and I'm convinced if there was anything that they could have found on that, they would have found it, and I promise they would have used it.

MALZBERG: Let me just give you one as we end here. The Clintons probably - there was probably a lot on the Clintons that the Obamas could have said, 'yeah, you do that, we'll come back with this.' Don't think for a minute. You're from Arkansas; you know that better than me. Now, having said that, when are you going to decide to run or not?

HUCKABEE: Probably sometime late spring, early summer.

Person
Mike Huckabee, Steve Malzberg
Show/Publication
The Steve Malzberg Show
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