HUCKABEE: “…I do think [Pres. Obama] has a different worldview 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.”
Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist preacher, former governor of Arkansas and Fox News host, first got himself into rhetorical trouble on Monday when, on another right-wing radio show, he opined that Obama’s worldview had been warped by having grown up in Kenya under the influence of his paternal grandfather, who, according to Huckabee, had been involved in the Mau Mau Revolt against the British in the 1950s.
As evidence of how Obama’s worldview had been distorted by his Mau Mau revolutionary grandfather, Huckabee cited the president’s decision early in his term to return to the British Embassy a bust of Winston Churchillthat had been on loan in the Oval Office. Churchill was Britain’s prime minister during the revolt.
Except for the fact that Obama returned the Churchill piece — which he replaced with a bust of Abraham Lincoln — all of that was a lie. Obama was in his late twenties when he first stepped foot in Kenya. He met his paternal grandfather for the first time and only time then. There is no evidence his grandfather was involved in the uprising, other than a less-than-reliable recollection of it decades later by his then-87-year-old widowed third wife.
In reality, Obama’s worldview was shaped by his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, a Kansan who served with Patton in World War II and who was the president’s primary father figure growing up in Honolulu. And Obama did spend part of his childhood overseas. His family moved to Indonesia, where his mother, an anthropologist, was doing research, when he was five years old. He returned to Honolulu five years later.
On Tuesday, in an attempt to walk back his lies, Huckabee released a statement insisting that, on Monday, he’d meant to say “Indonesia” every time he said “Kenya” when he said this:
HUCKABEE: [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. (Emphasis added.)
For the record, the Mau Mau Revolt occurred in Kenya, then British East Africa, not Indonesia — and, like the Mau Maus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of America’s revolutionaries also viewed the British as “a bunch of imperialists” who persecuted colonials.
It was the next day that, in a fit of exasperation, Huckabee said, “Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.”
Leaving aside the fact that both the Scouts and Rotary are international organizations with longstanding branches in Indonesia (and that there at least three Islamic centers in Little Rock, Ark., where Huckabee lived when he was governor), Huckabee opened a can of worms when he brought the Scouts into his attempts to smear Pres. Obama.
As Trish reported here in December 2007, during the 2008 presidential primaries, it came out that, at age 18, Huckabee’s son David had been fired by the Scouts as a camp counselor after he and another counselor captured a stray dog, hanged him by the neck, slit his throat and stoned him to death.
The elder Huckabee, who was governor of Arkansas at the time, later fired a local prosecutor who had investigated the matter with the aim of filing animal cruelty charges against David Huckabee and the other boy. In the end, other than being fired by the Boy Scouts, the boys were never held accountable for killing the helpless dog.
Since Mike Huckabee has chosen to spend the week smearing the president’s family by criticizing his upbringing and the way it purportedly shaped his worldview, someone should ask him who warped his own son into the kind of person who would commit such a heinous and gruesome act — was it David Huckabee’s bigoted Southern Baptist preacher father, the Boy Scouts of America — or both?