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. marty

    All thisfrom a truthful, compassionate, Christian mininster? Who says power corrupts?

    March 3, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. roshev32

    I used to respect Mike Huckabee, but he is is pandering to the right or has lost his marbles.

    March 3, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Nick , California

    Your foot is still in your mouth Huck!!

    March 3, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. PMathew

    FYI Huckabee: Despite what you are implying, being nonwhite and nonChristian doesn't make you anti-American. Patriotism in our great country knows no race, no religion, and no political ideology.

    March 3, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Jill American

    Nice, while correcitng one inflammatory statement he makes another. Must have learned that in Boy Scouts.

    March 3, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. CEL1

    all this from a former Baptist preacher who has sold his soul to that devil, Murdoch, for several million a year and a multi million dollar house in Palm Beach County, FL. May God have mercy on his immortal soul as it burns in hell.

    March 3, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. johnRJ08

    Obama was in Indonesia for four years and, while he was there, he attended a catholic school, not a "madrassa". He spent the vast majority of his youth in Hawaii, WHERE HE WAS BORN. I used to respect this guy Huckabee, but now I see he's no better than any of those partisan fools who are pandering to the extreme right of this country just to get elected.

    March 3, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Ralph_Indy

    Huckabee got his message out to the loyal GOP. He thinks that Obama is an OTHER! NOT ONE OF US. Perhaps even not an American. So what that he is soft spoken. He is still an extremist.

    March 3, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Aw sh~t

    Please! save the drama already america knows damn well who president obama is and where he was born even huckaflee its all a soap opera to keep us confused no.1 country in the world and they dont know where the president was born yeah right!

    March 3, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Tim

    The bottom line here is that Huckabee is doubling down on more of this nonsense about President Obama. He is playing to the extremists in what used to be the legitimate Republican Party. He is no better than any of the other extremists who can't accept the fact that the President was born in Hawaii and that he was raised a Christian. Are these people and potential Republican candidates ever going to focus on real issues?

    March 3, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Observer

    Huckabee continues to make a fool of himself.

    March 3, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. KatR

    This is ludicrous. If conservatives truly believe that an American citizen raised in another country harbors anti-American ideals then how do they explain the thousands, perhaps millions, of children in military families that have spent much of their formative years in other countries. Are they un-American as well? When will this madness end?

    March 3, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. geecee

    How dare he? Really! This guy evidently thinks he has to pander to the hatemongers on the right in order to win the nomination of his Party. I thought he was a minister? How mean can he be to feed into the sickness of the right-wing conservatives who want to defeat our President so bad simply because he doesn't look like they do and has a different name. This is America, a country founded by immigrants. What is wrong with these rightwing nutjobs? Don't they think the institutions of higher learning that President Obama attended (and indeed from where he graduated) would have told the entire world by now if Obama had not graduated from their universities, or had not graduated Magna cum laude, or had not been editor of the Law Review at Harvard. No one is going to protect any person to that extent, so why do these conspiracy nuts think every intelligence agency in this country (FBI, CIA, NSA), every politician, every university Obama attended, every mainstream media news journalist, all want to protect Obama's real history? How goofy can these people really be. They need to turn off Glenn Beck, and now Mike Huckabee too. What a loon.

    March 3, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. nellie bly

    Yeah, right, Indonesia, Kenya, all those non-white countries look alike. I suppose Huckabee also misspoke when he said Obama was raised by his father and father's father? Obama's parents divorced when he was two so he hardly saw his father and was raised by his grandparents. But don't let the truth get in the way.

    March 3, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. KO

    Huckabee just keeps digging himself in deeper and deeper He's either just completely ignorant of Obama's life experience (which is well documented in his books) or just lying through his teeth to satisfy "the base" (meaning ignorant, racist people). Either way it's reprehensible. I actually thought that Huckabee wasn't as bad as some of the other Republicans (admittedly a low bar) but now it appears he's just as low as many others on the right when it comes to lying about Obama.

    March 3, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. FloridaRes

    Sure – the reporters can't read! And they can't hear! And they can't see! Any other senses that the media and the rest of us don't have? Huckabee is an out and out liar OR even worse he is ignorant! Either way he doesn't deserve having any kind of office in our govt. Oh and we are supposed to think he is great for believing the truth about Obama while he tells new lies??? I don't think so. Where are Mau Maus – not in Indonesia – they are in Kenya where Obama never spent any time.

    March 3, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Dave Gee

    Just another Republican that will say and do anything to get votes. He probably even believes somehow that learning under that type of schooling would be bad. He and his friends in the party are tied to only one thing – the amount of money you can provide them for their campaign's. I would not be a bit surprised to find out that many of the Republicans have been promised money after they get kicked out by the Koch brothers and others like them.

    March 3, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Bridget

    President Obama lived in Hawaii until he was 6 years old, spent the next four years in Indonesia with his American mom and then moved back to Hawaii when he was 10 years old. I don't know about you all, but my world view wasn't formed when I was 6, 7 or 8 years old. So I know Hawaii is probably considered all exotic and everything for a dude from Arkansas, but it is in fact, part of the United States of America, and they do have Boy Scouts and Rotary.

    March 3, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. A keen observer

    The Huckster is just another republican who will say and do anything to further his own ambitions regardless of the truth or facts. If that is what you want in a politician, vote for Huckabee. If you value morals and ethics, vote for someone else!

    March 3, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    if you notice Huckabee only keeps spouting this nonsense when he is talking to CONSERVATIVE media. You know the type that are never really interested in factual things especially when it concerns President Obama. If he came and did this on a program like "Keeping them Honest", "The Last Word" or "Meet the Press" he would get peppered with questions and facts that I'm sure he could not handle. Right now he is just playing to the glee of his under-informed right wing base.

    March 3, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. No Longer Amused in San Diego

    If that's the best response Mr Huckabee can spin to cover his blatant fear mongering and wing-nut rhetoric, he might as well quit now. At one point during the lat presidential campaign I would have voted for him. Now I wouldn't let him take out my trash.

    March 3, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. laurence

    We don't need more hate to pervail in this nation, and I truly believe that the powerful are using republican politicans to stoke class hatred. The problem is it is all about those of serveral levels of middle class. Divide and conquer is a time tested tactic that has proven easily accomplished when fear and hate is constantly poured unto the hot coals of economic instability. Individuals such as Huckabee take advantage of this situation to increase the discord instead of seeking to encourage a shared concern and sacrifice among all concerned. This why I have this distaste for him and serveral others like him. I think much yet needs to done to turn this ship around but if americans don't wake up and see things as they truly are this ship will sink, as all others that have turned in on themselves in the past did. People came to this country long ago to flee oppression and immediately oppressed the natives and later blacks, and have been oppressing ever since. That's why the Tea Party is a sham and their brand of politics, because it feeds off fear and hate. Good-hearted people do neither. I think there are more good-hearted people then those who are so easily persuaded by hate and fear. And yes, they do "cling to their bibles and their guns." They know how to shot but they don't know how to read.

    March 3, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Zip

    The next Kato Kaelin. It's over.

    March 3, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Laurie

    Mike needs to quit digging a deeper hole. Not everyone who grew up here was in a rotary club or the boy scouts. Used to kind of respect this guy because he seemed sensible. Try to accept others with a tolerant, open, attitude, as is outlined in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    March 3, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Duane Kimball

    Obama a closet Muslim? He's somehow anti-American because he did some early schooling in a foreign country? Huckabee seems to be pandering to the ultra-right with this muddled dialogue. I thought that he was above this. Most of today's Americans did not grow up in the Boy Scouts or attending Rotary meetings. That does not make them anti-American, just different from the way Huckabee was raised. He seems to have lived the life of a sheltered white person. That much is clear. At least Obama has a much more all encompassing view. That came from experience with other cultures -.something Mr. Huckabee seems to lack.

    March 3, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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