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PolitiFact: President Obama did not grow up in Kenya

The statement

Says Barack Obama grew up in Kenya.

Mike Huckabee, in an interview on a radio show on Monday

The ruling

Huckabee, a potential Republican candidate for president, mused on President Obama's upbringing when asked about it on a radio talk show Monday.

The host, Steve Malzberg, complained that people don't know enough about Obama's background and brought up Obama's birth certificate.

"Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?" Malzberg asked Huckabee.

Huckabee answered Malzberg: "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, 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."

Huckabee here seems to be repeating claims made in book by conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, The Roots of Obama's Rage, that Obama is a committed anticolonialist.

But Obama did not grow up in Kenya and had almost no contact with his father growing up; he never met his grandfather. He grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii; numerous eyewitness reports have confirmed this.

Huckabee corrected his statement shortly thereafter.

"On Monday, while on Steve Malzberg's radio show on New York's WOR Radio, I was asked about the President Obama's birth certificate issue. In my answer, I simply misspoke when I alluded to President Obama growing up in 'Kenya' and meant to say Indonesia," said Huckabee in a statement on his website.

Huckabee's initial comments were widely reported, though.

It's worth pointing out that Huckabee has said several times recently that he does not think Republicans are well-served by questioning Obama's citizenship.

Recently Huckabee said: "I find it unnecessary, useless and frankly a bit unnecessary to get into all sorts of debates over President Obama's religion or the authenticity of his birth. I know for some people that it is an obsession. It is not with me."

Since Huckabee's comments have been widely reported, we rate it False.

This ruling has been edited for print. For more, go to PolitiFact.com.

PolitiFact: President Obama did not grow up in Kenya 03/03/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 10:03pm]
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