Huckabee fires back
March 3rd, 2011
09:02 AM ET
4 years ago

Huckabee fires back

(CNN) – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says that President Barack Obama has a "different world view" that was "molded out of a very different experience" because "most of us grew up going to boy scout meetings, and, you know, our communities were filled with rotary clubs, not madrassas."

The 2008 GOP presidential candidate, who's considering another run for the White House, made his comments Wednesday on talk radio host Bryan Fischer's program "Focal Point," on American Family Radio.

Huckabee used his appearance to fire back at critics, who blasted him for earlier this week confusing Indonesia, the country where Obama spent part of his youth, with Kenya. Saying that the problem with reporters may be that they "can't read," Huckabee admitted that he misspoke when characterizing President Obama's childhood in Kenya, and clarified his comments. "I said Kenya when I should have said Indonesia," he said.

Huckabee took as stand against what he called a "popular position with conservatives" and declared that "What I've never done is taken a position that Obama was born in Kenya or Indonesia, or anywhere other than Hawaii, where he was born."

When asked by Fischer to comment on the idea that there may be "some fundamental anti-Americanism in this president," Huckabee said of Obama, "that's exactly the point."

"I'm quoting a British newspaper…really we're expressing the outrage of the Brits for that bust being returned and the point was that they felt like…due to Obama's father and grandfather it could be that his version of and view about the Mau Mau revolution was very different than most of the people that perhaps would grow up in the United States.

"I have said many times, publicly, that I do think he has a different world view, and I think it's in part molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to boy scout meetings, and you know, our communities were filled with rotary clubs, not madrassas."

In the book "Dreams of my Father," Obama discusses the absence of his father during his childhood, when he was raised by his mother and his grandparents in Hawaii. Though Huckabee references "madrassas," a term used to refer to a Muslim school, Obama attended an international school while living in Indonesia, not a madrassa.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    Huckabee is pandering to the far right to get past the primaries. He should be ashamed of himself. Hey preach, would Jesus lie?

    March 3, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  2. JJ

    That's firing back? What's he shooting? Intellectual nerf balls? LOL! Man, this fool is the male equivalent of Sarah "America's Dingbat" Palin! :)

    March 3, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. Matt

    Obama is an American, so he probably grew up hearing about how the Brits are a bunch of imperialists from the books and media of his homeland. Remember that other Tea Party?

    March 3, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  4. Seneca

    So now you not only have to be born in the US but your parents can't go any where in the world except on a short vacation or else thier child who has no decision in the matter can't be president?

    March 3, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. tim

    The next time Huck talks to a "real" reporter, I'd love for them to ask him to clarify not why he confused growing up in Indonasia with growing up in Kenya ... but why he thinks Obama "grew up" anywhere other than the U.S. 4-5 years of your pre-teen life does not constitute "growing up." Seeing your dad ONCE does not allow him to discuss his views on the Mau Mau revolution. Hawaii has both Boy Scouts and Rotary Clubs. His grandparents - who, contrary to what Huck thinks, DID raise him - were Republicans from Kansas.

    THAT is what Huck should clarify. It's not just that he got Kenya wrong, but he's another mouth breather who thinks that just because someone has a funny name and spent a few years overseas it makes them, to the core, unAmerican. Let's stop letting him pretend he made ONE mistake, when his central premise is deeply flawed.

    Obama talks deeply and in depth about his love of this country - morseo than any other president. He doesn't just use catch phrases and placards, but actually explains his experiences and his feelings. It;s unfortunate that THIS aspect of his life - one of the few that should be appreciated by Repubs - is so maligned.

    To me, growing up in Arkansas is the same as living in another country. So explain that, Huck.

    March 3, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Jimbo (The Real One)

    Getting a little defensive are we Mike...?

    March 3, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Laverne

    Oh Huckabee, we see right through you and know what you are up too. You are trying to open up that same old debate from 2008 and it's not going to work. Why don't you talk about solutions, I can't hear you!!!! What you are really saying is President is different than the other presidents (white presidents) and he is not one of us. You call youself a christian, but you express a lack of tolerance if someone did not grow up the way you did. As a matter of fact you should have done some mission work in the inner cities and tell us just how many rotary clubs and scouts you saw in the community, you might just be surprised by what you find. Get out of your bubble and see how the rest of the US and world live. President has a broad view of this and I am sooo thankful we have a president with many experiences which makes him tolerant and compassionate of others.

    March 3, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. Marie MD

    This man was/is a preacher! Of what? Snake oil?
    What a piece of trash he has turned out to be. You, ex preacher, are only going to get the votes of the 20% of the uneducated masses in the US. You have become the arkansas what's her name. You confused Kenya with Indonesia? Really, really??? The "popular position with conservatives" shows that you are a racist and bonehead just like they are. Save your money like you are doing because you re NOT going to go near the WH unless you drive past it on a bike!!! That means exercise you dummy.

    March 3, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. joe blow

    little hucksterbee, the christian minister, doing the hate dance. he must be from africa cause he ain't like you and me. see boy, he black. he not go to cub scouts. he praying at the mosque. he not go to rotary club luncheon cause he ain't white like me. put a fork in the fat little pig from arkansas cause it's game over for his desire to become president. nice try, hick boy.

    March 3, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. maf

    Let's just keep the GOP presidential hopefuls front and center! The more they expound on what little they know, the better it looks for the 2012 Democratic sweep in the elections. It must be embarrassing to be a Republican these days!

    March 3, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Yeah, in Huckabee's part of the country they grew up with the Klan.

    March 3, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. GonzoinHouston

    Let's condense this whole controversy to very simple terms: Huckabee is lying through his teeth to imply that Obama is not patriotic, and gather some support from the birther crazies. The good Baptist minister is bearing false witness. Simple enough?

    March 3, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Seattle Sue

    Tell us some more lies Huckster, you are nothing but a lying hypocrite redneck,radical religious far right fake. Why has Fox kept you employed, but let two of your comrades stay on the payroll?

    March 3, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. Susan

    Huckabee, a great presidential matrial.
    Huckabee-Palin 2012; World beware.

    March 3, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. Clyde the Slyde

    I really used to respect Mike Huckabee. Though I disagreed with many of his views, I always enjoyed his kinder, gentler, more seemingly honest demeanor. Now I see he is just another right-wing politician, stooping to racially tinged rhetoric. He is knowingly, subtly using "code" to fan the flames of racial fear and intolerance among his base.

    March 3, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Bilbo

    Wow, Huckabee sounds very out of touch with modern America. Hey Huckabee the 1950's are over, grow up dude.

    March 3, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Tom Kaye

    Both sets of grandparents came from Europe. My parents grew up speaking English and their parent's language. They learned about the country their parents came from. I grew up learning about my ancestors country and culture. I didn't grow up going to Boy Scout meetings or rotary meetings. Does that make me have a different world view than Mr. Huckabee? Apparently anyone who is not "like" him is un-American. That's not the type of thinking we need in America . . . let alone a potential candiate for President.

    March 3, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. JH

    Seriously?! He was raised by a liberal academic mother (like me, and American) who loved to travel and by conservative Kansan grandparents. Where does this joker get off saying that the President's father or grandfather had ANYTHING to do with his upbringing?! And I don't think he "misspoke" when he mentioned the Mau Mau revolution, which happened in Kenya, not Indonesia. And if simple exposure to something like that even *could* "turn" someone to a leftist cause, why weren't all of our soldiers fighting against communist forces in Viet Nam coming back as (at the very least) socialist? Huckabee is a joke, plain and simple, playing to the Fox/Tea Party base. His twisting and turning are so transparent it's laughable.

    March 3, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. chris24

    gomer pyle speaks.

    madrassas? where did he learn such a word?
    we never said that word where i grew up.
    (maybe he is secretly a muslim)

    what a dope.

    March 3, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. The Dude

    Huckabee is not very bright is he? Just another red-meat ditto-head wanting to run the world's most powerful nation. Come on GOP, you can do better than him!

    March 3, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. once upon a horse

    part of the problem I think is that some of these idiot birthers don't even realize that Hawaii is a STATE!! (like the ones that think New Mexico is part of Mexico, this is sad but true) I also thought that as a minister Rev Huckabee was supposed to tell the truth. I get a kick out of these guys when they tell a flat out lie they come back with the quote "I misspoke"!

    March 3, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Don

    The danger of having to appeal to a radicalized base, is that to make yourself stand out above all the other people trying to appeal to them, you constantly have to say more and more radical things. Which turns off the mainstream that you actually need to have to win.

    I feel a little sad for him in a way.

    Although the President's birth is a long established fact. And a constant attack on a man because of his race and fathers nationality seems quite anti-American to me.

    March 3, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. Shrek

    Yes, I'm sure Americans have a view on the Mau Mau revolution. Give me break the hick is race baiting, plain and simple a large portion of the population doesn't think a black man should be President, even a half black man.

    March 3, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. Jordan Bigel

    Huckabee is a dedicated liar. His bogus claim that he "misspoke" and confused Keyna with Indonesia is clearly false. One would have to accept that Huckabee is as dumb as a rock to confuse the two. Quite the contrary, he has demonstrated he is quite intelligent. Further, he did not even attempt to walk back his claim that Obama "grew up with a Kenyan father and grandfather" when he knows quite well that Obama grew up without his father and was raised by his mother in Hawaii. His additional BS about Obama's "view about the Mau Mau revolution..." is further proof that he did not make a mistake in saying Kenya since the mau-mau were in Kenya not Indonesia and how would these villans in Kenya affect him if he grew up in Hawaii and spent 4 years living in Indonesia. As for the British and the return of the bust (of churchill) that was returned based on a timetable and agreement formed at the time the bust was "loaned" to the US. There was no malice and only a lying, schemeing politician could invent one. To summarize, Huckabee is full of it.

    March 3, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  25. Mike

    So the problem is that President Obama doesn't have a myopic view of the world?

    March 3, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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