Mike Huckabee has long maintainted that investigations into President Obama’s birth certificate were “a waste of energy and time.” But with comments today on the radio, the likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate raised questions about whether he’s a born-again birther.
In an interview with right-wing host Steve Malzberg on WOR in New York, Huckabee said he “would love to know more” about the circumstances of Obama’s birth, adding, “What I know is troubling enough.”
Huckabee then proceeded to lie that Obama had been raised in Kenya. (The president was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia and didn’t even travel to Kenya until 1987, after his father’s death.) Huckabee even invoked Newt Gingrich’s odd theory about Obama’s Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview: “His perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather,” Huckabee said, “their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours.”
Is Huckabee simply ignorant about his potential rival’s well-chronicled upbringing? Or is he bearing false witness to pander to his birther base?
A recent poll found that 51 percent of Republicans believe Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and that Huckabee leads the pack among the birther crowd, besting even Sarah Palin by five points.
Toward the end of the interview, Huckabee tried to dail back his comments, slightly, saying that he was “not as confident that there’s something about the birth certificate” as some, because he believes the Clintons would have ferreted that out in the 2008 campaign:
“They would have found it,” Huckabee said, “and I promise you they would have used it.”
A Huckabee flack walks it back.
— Tim Dickinson