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Huckabee camp, Malzberg respond to uproar over Huckabee’s ‘Kenya’ comments

Yesterday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee made headlines when, during an appearance on right-wing radio host Steve Malzberg’s show, he erroneously cited President Obama’s upbringing in Kenya as evidence of an anti-colonial worldview. Huckabee spokesman Hogan Gidley quickly responded to Politico:

“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.

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.”

On today’s show, Steve Malzberg also addressed Huckabee’s statement:

“He said he would ask Obama whether or not he believes in Black Liberation Theology…He meant to say Indonesia. He said grew up in Kenya. Slip of the tongue, very easy to make. Not a buffoon slip of the tongue, like Joe Biden—or an ignorant slip of the tongue. People say he was born in Kenya. Whatever. He said Kenya, meant Indonesia.”

The dismissal of Huckabee’s statement as mere sensationalistic uproar over a slip of the tongue doesn’t necessarily hold water, however, if you listen to the original comments.

Huckabee referred to Obama’s growing up in Kenya not once but twice. Huckabee first said, ”His having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, is very different from the average American,” then went on to discuss what he believes to be a negative view of the Brits on Obama’s part in light of his “growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and Kenyan grandfather.” It is common knowledge that the president only met Barack Obama, Sr., once, and never met his paternal grandfather. Malzberg responded bombastically: “He despises the West, he despises the Brits, and I think he could take it all out on Israel, and that’s why he despises Israel. He’s not too thrilled with our history either.”

Full audio of the exchange is below:

Player courtesy of The New York Times

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