Oops! Huckabee says Obama grew up in Kenya
March 1st, 2011
04:17 PM ET
12 years ago

Oops! Huckabee says Obama grew up in Kenya

(CNN) – Mike Huckabee said Monday that President Obama's world view is most certainly colored by where he grew up.

The problem? Huckabee appears to falsely believe the president grew up in Kenya.

"I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough," Huckabee said of the president in an interview with New York radio station WOR. "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."

Huckabee, the former presidential candidate and current Fox News host who has said he is thinking about mounting another campaign, added, "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."

A transcript and audio of the interview was circulated by MediaMatters, a liberal media watchdog group.

Obama, whose father is Kenyan, in fact grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia.

But in the interview with WOR's Steve Malzberg, Huckabee repeated his stance that he does not doubt the president was born in the United States.

"I know the Clintons…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," Huckabee said.

Huckabee spokesman Hogan GIdley told CNN the comment was nothing more than a misstatement, telling CNN the former governor meant to say the President grew up in Indonesia.

However, the Mau Mau rebellion, referenced in Huckabee's comments, was an uprising in Kenya that occurred from 1952 to 1960 when an anti-colonial group, the Mau Mau, rebelled against the British in an attempt to gain independence from British rule and remove European settlers from the country.

"When the Governor mentioned he wanted to know more about the President, he wasn't talking about the President's place of birth – the Governor believes the President was born in Hawaii," Gidley said. "The Governor would however like to know more about where President Obama's liberal policies come from and what else the President plans to do to this country – as do most Americans."

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • President Obama
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    A mistatement in just that, a mistatement of fact. If it were a mistatement, you could replace "Kenya" with "Indonesia" in every statement, and the context would remain the same. However, you can't do that in this case. He provided a vivid example of why groing up in Kenya provided him a different world view. If it were a pure mistatement, this example would not be possible. He didn't mistate, he misunderstood.

    It reminds me of when Hilary Clinton said she was fired upon at a tarmac in a foreign country. When the facts didn't support her claim, she said she "misspoke". You didn't misspeak, you lied.

    Listen up politicians, right and left. When you are wrong, admit it, apoligize and move on. Lying about it only makes it worse.

    March 1, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Steve

    I call Bull S! He knows it's not true, he also knows that his idiotic base believes it is true. This was not mistake, it was planned, right down to the apology.

    March 1, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. PalmReader

    If Huckabee can so smoothly lie about President Obama's birthplace/childhood with such ease, and considering how easy it is to debunk the Huckster, one has to wonder what else this so called Christian pastor is willing to lie about, or has already lied about in his illustrious career as God's spokeperson.

    March 1, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |

    No mis-speak there, he knew exactly what he was doing. He knows all to well that the President did not grow up in Kenya but it sure the right wing nuts go crazy and that's exactly who he was playing to. Just stirring the same old pot, typical hypocritical GOP talking point or should we call it exactly what it is, a Lie.

    March 1, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Brian

    Obama said, multiple times, that he visited 57 states! You mean our president doesn't know how many states there are? I guess if we follow most of the post on here before mine, he should be hanged and never be aloud to run for president again.

    What about the remark about the "special Olympics" ?

    Or how he misspelled the word "advice" in a letter?

    Don't even get me started on the vice president!

    Seriously, if this is the worst that Mr. Huckabee does, then I am fine with it.

    Now if you removed all the "right hatred" posts before mine, well then this would be the first post you read 🙂

    March 1, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Limbaugh is an IDIOT

    Huckabee said that with his book tour...he would be testing his message for a presidential campaign but sure enough he couldn't even get his facts right before spewing all that gibberish!!

    Talk about marketing a bad message for a bad right-wing NUTs electorate!

    March 1, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. sue

    Add him to the ever-growing list of distinguished GOP Presidential hopefuls! Trouble is, people actually BELIEVE this kind of rhetoric and propaganda! They have got a great slate of hopefuls so far, eh? Palin, Huckabee, Gingrich and Romney! Wonderful group!

    March 1, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Pretzel Logic

    Surrrrrrre it was a mistake. Huckabee would never stoop to playing on people's racist fears and xenophobia by spreading lies about the President, would he? Gosh that would be so un-Christian.

    March 1, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. AB

    Huckabee is beginnng to behave like Sarah Palin–He does not take the time to get his facts straight before he speaks and is offen wrong!! The result: Huckabee sounds foolish and ignorant. He shot his mouth off about the national debt last week and was wrong!! This week, he shoots his mouth off about Obama's childhood and is still wrong!! This is a man who aspires to be President of the U.S. but cannot afford to for two reasons: (1) He doesn't have any money; (2) He doesn't have the attributes of a qualified candidate for U.S. President. Mike, Say Hucka-BYE BYE to your aspirations for President and stay at Fox News. Give it up man, You don't stand a chance against Obama!!

    March 1, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. Kevin

    So much for Huckabee in 2012. A birther who pardoned a cop killer... not a good slogan.

    March 1, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Monster Zero

    Kenya, what a Huckster, why everyone knows he was born in Kenya and then grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii...where was assimilated into the communist Marxist ideologies in at the hands of his grandparents...How are all those jobs created and saved working out for you all, too bad they were all tax payer funded government positions.

    March 1, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. Julie C

    Oh please, can we give this a rest! Only the most ignorant of the ignorant believe this crap at this point. Yes, where are the jobs, GOP?

    March 1, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. LovesIrony

    "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."
    Ha Ha Ha! What I do know is that Huckabee is an idiot. " Abortion is the most important thing facing our country today."
    NO! It is not.

    March 1, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. Monster Zero

    Admit it, Obama has been the worst President in our Nation's history regardless of where he grew up or was born.

    March 1, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. amcphaull

    @Brian...for the umpteenth million time, he visited State and US Territories..he referred to them all as States in an on the fly interview. That is an understandable error, Huckabees is not. His is a flat out lie and no part of Jesus is there to validate his trash.

    March 1, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Edith Mukudi

    I would then assume that the Father and Grandfather of Obama were also living with him in Indonesia and that Mau Mau was an Indonesian outfit!! That was an outright malicious statement to make, intent on destroying the image of Obama in the eyes of those amongst us who are likely to belive what HUCK-A-BEE would say. That was an intentional HUCK JOB.

    March 1, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Nadeem

    Why is stupidity a badge of honor in the Republican party?

    March 1, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. kyle

    He must have just had his morning TEA.

    March 1, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. Jeff in DC

    Hmm, wondering where in the world Obama's liberal views came from? Well I for one am disgusted the GOP and all they stand for, but I'm not from Kenya, I'm as white as it gets. Bunch of half wits bringing that issue up all the time.

    March 1, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. OneMoreTime

    Don't y'all forgit now, Goober works at Fox and they don't cotton to facts.

    March 1, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Julie C - you've got that right!! Meet one of the slack-jawed brertheren you descibed...Monster Zero!

    March 1, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Kathleen Farrell

    Brian, he said it ONCE, and if you've seen the tape you can see he's tired and meant 47 states. Get a grip. Harvard grads no how many states there are. Misspelling advise/advice? Yeah, I see the bigotry there. I'm with ya.

    March 1, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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