Huckabee fires back
March 3rd, 2011
09:02 AM ET
7 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. Deuce

    God, what is it with these people that they constantly harp on Obama's heritage. That may endear you to the trailer park-living, squirrel-eating hicks here in the States, but the rest of the world just sees racism and bigotry. And before someone says "The rest of the world's opinion doesn't matter" let me say that YES, the rest of the world DOES matter. Bush's reputation as an idiot war monger hurt us all over the globe. Even American TOURISTS would get spit on in other countries, to the point where people literally lie and say they are Canadian if the conversation came up.

    Regardless of whether we value the rest of the world or not, we have to deal with them as a nation, every single day. Is it really so hard to at least appear enlightened and accepting of the differences is different cultures? This nation was founded on the idea that we would be a melting pot society, but more and more the garbage I see coming out of the mouth's of our politicians looks like something that came out of 1939 Berlin.

    "Rotary clubs, not madrassas" indeed...probably would be better off with the madrassas.

    March 3, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Former Republican, but never again!

    Sounds like racist comments to me.

    March 3, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Todd M

    C'mon. Really? Huckabee two complete "mistakes" in two days? Let's face it. It is going to be a complete fight in the GOP primary to see who can out-Muslim Obama. Then the winner will have to tack towards the middle a little to not completely offend everyone in the moderate voting middle.

    March 3, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. OneMoreTime

    The almost rabid rhetoric of some of these Tea Party/Republican candidates, like Huckabee, are really becoming
    dangerous and beyond reason. How long are we going to accept this threat to America? These people call
    themselves Christians, but they are not. They will lie, screech, say anything to appease the Tea Party leaders
    and I don't like it one bit. The likes of Phillips and Kremer are catering to some power crazed person who
    is pulling the strings, threatening to run candidates who they can "program", wind up, and waddle out onto
    the Senate floor to do their dirty work. No compromises are acceptable. Just tear down any and all who get
    in their way. Huckabee's insinuation the there is a "fundamental anti-americanism in this president", and '
    that he thinks "we all grew up going to boy scout meetings" shows what a lousy Christian he is. Another
    money grubbing Fox "contributor" showing his true colors. Green.

    March 3, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Anonymous

    May be when these Republicans start speaking the truth and not just talk all hate more people would take them seriously. The main issue for these Republicans is that President Obama is BLACK. They would not come out and say that so they hide behind idiotic comments such as he is un-American, or he grew up differently- B.S. They hate Black people- that's it!

    March 3, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Anonymous

    huckabee thinks the earth is 10,000 years old. you tell me whos got a distorted world view. its too bad, cause im sure id love to have a beer with the guy... just sayin,,

    March 3, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. allamr18

    blah blah blah, Im just looking for media attention and youre giving it to me blah blah blah.

    March 3, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. ingrid

    Huckabee is being slimy here. He knows that Obama is American and although Obama has a more worldly view of the world than Huckabee, Obama is just as American as Huckabee. Obama is just better educated and has traveled more extensively.

    March 3, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. rusty155

    You I don't care want you say about President Obama. At least he getting America out of Recession ,but you Republican and John Boehner and the TEA PARTY are to put America right back in Recession. I know we have to get the deficit down, but you not have to do It all In one years budget. Most people think the budget cut should come from everyone not just the poor and the middle class like John Boehner Is doing. Why don't everyone go back to paying taxes at the rate everyone was paying be for the President Bush tax cut. That would pay the deficit down and America would have money coming in every year. And what about them Jobs you Republican say you would get , just another lie. The Tax cut the Republican gave too the Rich and big business is ready paying off Isn't It.

    March 3, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This covering his butt kind of things isn't very presidential and wasn't done very well at all. He might be a nice guy, but I don't think that he'd make it to being president.

    March 3, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Ferret out the B.S.

    Another "holier than thou" right wing fundamental evangelist throwing out allegations that are primarily guilt by association or "you lived there so you must be the same as them" type allegations. Why can't Huckabee just campaign on what his political ideology is and what he would do if elected. It's simple just state the facts pertaining to you not some made up crap that has no basis or foundation on an opponent. It's propaganda, pure and simple and doesn't help the voting public make a truly informed decision!

    March 3, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Clwyd

    It does not cover up the fact that he has an ignorant view of the truth about Obama's birth and childhood. Too much time working for FOX has him brainwashing into stupidity!

    March 3, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. kevin

    Huckabee, said it so it must be true, even though Huckabee is tell you all a bunch of lies and he knows he is lying.
    Why do the reThugliCan't GOBPers Purtid Tea Scum keep lying on the POTUS, it is not his policies, it is all because
    he is part black, Damn whitey can't stand the fact that a black man is in the WHITE house. WELL, now it is the BIG BLACK HOUSE and it will be President Barack Obama house until 2016, and where will Hucky be at, still crying that no one love him. These reThugliCan't won't win ever.

    March 3, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Russ

    What an idiot. You can back track all you want, it doesn't dismiss your religious, southern based predjudice of a black President. I will take is ideals any day over the zealous, biased views of a preacher. You can't run a country from the pulpit. Your God and your religion don't belong in my government. We true Americans base our governing practices on the Constitution not the work of fiction called the bible. You will lose again anyway if you should run.

    March 3, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Seriously?

    Still an idiot! I don't think he can backtrack his way out of this one. The more he tries to defend his "misspoken" comment, the more he puts his foot in his mouth. Go back to the pulpit preacher. You do not belong in politics and especially the White House.

    March 3, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. jules sand-perkins

    Huckabee should have checked his facts before speaking.
    Making assumptions, such as that Obama attended a Muslim madrassa, is an identifying characteristic of prejudice and ignorance.
    Would we really want Huckabee to be president and bring that mentality to represent us in the world?
    Huckabee might make a fair president of his local Rotary Club, but we're talking about the world stage here.
    I wonder where Huckabee thinks that Muslim royals go to college.

    March 3, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. yuri

    On the one hand Huckabee is showering accolades on BHO's family position, and on the other he has his facts all fabricated about BHO's birth and growth places. We would love to see a solid statement record that BHO indeed was influenced by the madrasaas as Huckabee claims. If this comes out as untrue, Huckabee runs the risk of turning in to a daring dissembler.

    March 3, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. LegendRx

    The racist . . . oops, I mean the race to topple the king has started! Bring on the lies, the fear tactics and the bigotry. Remember if Obama fails, America and all she claims to have overcome and be, would have been wasted. Obama's success, means our children's success in being all that they can be. Obama in 2012!

    March 3, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. laurence

    I believe this [former] preacher is a bigot and as far as I can tell he has a racial tinge as well. I don't like his rhetoric or his politics. At the end of the day we are left with a bunch of folk who love this stuff who see a man [president Obama] who has a name that's not the anglian norm, and his skin tone is a bit too brown for their taste for someone to occupy the [White house].

    March 3, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Charlie from the North

    My old view of Huckabee:

    Nice guy who is wrong about most things.

    My new view:
    Mean bigoted SOB who is wrong about most things.

    Maybe it was his time at Faux News making him a horrible person or maybe, in the Tea Party Error, he just feels more like speaking his mind.

    March 3, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Penobscot

    Huckabee is flip-flopping all over the place trying to cover his tracks. The truth is he is an evangelical fruitcake who likes to take jabs at Mormons and Muslims. Do we really want someone like that representing America?

    March 3, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Terry in Iowa

    There’s a special place in Hell for the whores who will say and do anything for political power. Huckabee claims to be a man of God, yet spreads lies and hate to get votes. Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

    And Mike you may want to check your facts; most of us didn’t have Boy Scout meetings and rotary clubs. A recent gallop poll indicates that only 39% of men have ever been a member. Considering that men represents less than 50% of the US population, we’re talking that less than 1 in 5 Americans ever attended a Boy Scout meeting. And as Rotary Clubs have a worldwide membership of only 1.22 million, it’s mathematically impossible that most Americans have been involved with rotary clubs in any manner.

    These types of statements add to the body of evidence that Mike Huckabee has no real understanding of the America. Isolated in his protected world, segregated with those who think as he does, he has no reason but to believe there are “real” Americans and the rest of us. Sorry sir, but real Americans live in reality, not your “Leave it to Beaver”, “Father Knows Best” fantasy world.

    March 3, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. BobRayTalbot

    Yes, but Obama has attended a Madrassa; and grew up respecting their world view, which is, fundamentally, anti-American.

    March 3, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Richard

    This guy should read the Ten Commandments==something probably not taught at the college he received his divinity degree. He just a blowhard who hasn't a snowballs chance dare I say it –in Hell. 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" It seems everytime he opens his mouth he bearing false witness against someone. Soon we won't have to hear from him again. This is the last election he will have.

    March 3, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Kara

    He sounds like he grew up in an episode of I love Lucy.
    Gotta love the modern GOP though. Even their preachers are liars.

    March 3, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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