Huckabee Explains Obama's "Different Worldview": "Our Communities Were Filled With Rotary Clubs, Not Madrassas"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In a radio interview today, Mike Huckabee claimed that President Obama "has a different worldview and I think it is, 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. And I just do think that there is - again, I am not saying he's not a citizen, I've never said that, I've said the opposite. I've never said he's a Muslim."

The interview was first flagged by People For The American Way's RightWingWatch.org, which noted that Huckabee agreed when host Bryan "Fischer asserted that Obama's childhood is responsible for instilling some 'fundamentally anti-American ideas' in him."

From today's Focal Point:

FISCHER: Well Governor, what got lost in all the shuffle is the legitimate point that you were making is that we may have a president who has some fundamentally anti-American ideas that may be rooted in a childhood where he had a father who was virulently anti-colonial. Hated the British - might have something to do with the President returning the bust of Winston Churchill back to England. You know, I was struck by the fact when he made his tour to Indonesia, he made a point of going to an Indonesian memorial that celebrated the victory of Indonesians over British troops - again, part of that anti-colonial thing. And so I'd like you to comment on that if you think, I mean, you seem to think there's some validity to the fact that there may be some fundamental anti-Americanism in this president.

HUCKABEE: Well, and that's exactly the point that I make in the book and I don't know why these reporters - maybe they can't read, I guess that's part of it because it's clearly spelled out and I'm quoting a British newspaper who really were expressing the outrage of the Brits over that bust being returned and the point was that they felt like that due to Obama's father and grandfather it could be that his version of and view about the Mau Mau Revolution was very different than most of the people who perhaps would grow up in the United States.

And I have said many times, publicly, that I do think he has a different worldview and I think it is, 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. And I just do think that there is - again, I am not saying he's not a citizen, I've never said that, I've said the opposite. I've never said he's a Muslim. You know, if the reporters could read page one of my book, they could get all that, because that's the first thing I talk about on the very first page of the book. But they'd rather not read for themselves, and they'd rather just jump to a conclusion that absolutely isn't there. I wish they would ask, though, does this president have a different worldview than any other president in the history of the United States.

[Above remarks start at 3:45 into the video]

Obama was born in Hawaii and after living in Indonesia for several years, he moved back to Hawaii, where he graduated from Punahou High School. According to its website, "The Rotary Club of Honolulu was granted its charter on July 1, 1915, with 29 members signing the official document."

The Boy Scouts of America's Aloha Council states: "In 1910, a traveling American businessman discovered Scouting and brought it home to America. And that same year, a Hawaii artist and outdoorsman by the name of Hitchcock discovered Scouting in California, and brought it home to Hawaii. Yes, Scouting in the islands has been around a long time - and from the very beginning, it had a dramatic mission."

In his book Dreams From My Father, Obama wrote that he was in an Indonesian Boy Scout troop:

Her message came to embrace black people generally. She would come home with books on the civil rights movement, the recordings of Mahalia Jackson, the speeches of Dr. King. When she told me stories of schoolchildren in the South who were forced to read books handed down from wealthier white schools but who went on to become doctors and lawyers and scientists, I felt chastened by my reluctance to wake up and study in the mornings. If I told her about the goose-stepping demonstrations my Indonesian Boy Scout troop performed in front of the president, she might mention a different kind of march, a march of children no older than me, a march for freedom. Every black man was Thurgood Marshall or Sidney Poitier; every black woman Fannie Lou Hamer or Lena Horne. To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear. [Page 50-51]

During the 2008 campaign, an internet report -- which was subsequently picked up by Fox News -- claimed that Obama was educated in a madrassa in Indonesia. Obama, as CNN noted, did not attend a madrassa. FactCheck.org noted in 2008 that "news stories in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune found no merit" in claims that Obama was educated in a madrassa.

Huckabee has drawn criticism for his claim on Monday that Obama grew up "in Kenya." He has since implausibly claimed that he simply misspoke.

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Mike Huckabee
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