Mike Huckabee Suddenly Insists President Obama Grew Up in Kenya, for Some Reason [Updated]

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Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images for NAMM

Just a few days ago we were noting how unusually friendly and gracious Mike Huckabee has been toward President Obama. Though Huckabee disagrees with Obama's policies, we noted, he's apparently unwilling to humor the craziest elements of the GOP with slanderous conspiracy theories about Obama's birth, religion, or patriotism. Then, without warning in a radio interview yesterday, Huckabee went off the deep end to a greater degree than any prospective presidential candidate — or even any prominent Republican figure, period. Seriously, the man sounds like he's been incepted by Dinesh D'Souza:


MALZBERG: Don't you think it's fair also to ask him, I know your stance on this. How come we don't have a health record, we don't have a college record, we don't have a birth cer — why Mr. Obama did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate. It's one thing to say, I've — you've seen it, goodbye. But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. 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. When he gave the bust back to the Brits —

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, 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 were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

Obama grew up in Kenya? Huckabeen smoking something?

Huckabee: Obama Grew Up "In Kenya" [County Fair/Media Matters]

Update: After an excruciating three-hour or so wait, the inevitable walk back has finally happened. A Huckaspokesman clarifies the strange, wildly inaccurate remarks to ABC News:

"Governor Huckabee simply misspoke when he alluded to President Obama growing up in ‘Kenya.’ The Governor meant to say the President grew up in Indonesia," Gidley told ABC News. "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. 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.”

This is pretty much what we expected the clarification to sound like. Obama did spend a few years in Indonesia as a child, so maybe Huckabee just misspoke. He said Obama grew up in Kenya, but he meant to say Indonesia. Except that the entire train of thought revolved around Kenyan colonial history and how growing up there, specifically, influenced Obama. Plug in Indonesia and the whole thing makes no sense. Indonesia has no relation to British colonialism or the Mau Mau revolution, for example. To wit:

"I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya INDONESIA, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits — a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya INDONESIA 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 were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."

That is gibberish.