WASHINGTON—Mike Huckabee made a slip of the tongue when saying in an interview that President Barack Obama lived in Kenya, a spokesman for the possible GOP presidential contender said Tuesday.
"Gov. Huckabee simply misspoke when he alluded to President Obama growing up in Kenya. The governor meant to say the president grew up in Indonesia," said J. Hogan Gidley, who works for Huckabee’s political action committee.
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, may have added fuel to the brushfire over the president’s origins when he suggested in a Monday interview with a conservative radio host that Obama, "having grown up in Kenya," might view the British as imperialists.
Huckabee said that he "would love to know more" about Obama, adding, "What I know is troubling enough."
In that same interview, Huckabee said Obama had lived in the African country with his "father and grandfather" — and he didn’t appear to attempt to put the issue of Obama’s birthplace to rest, saying that "the only reason" he was not confident that there were improprieties about the president’s birth certificate is because Hillary Clinton had not been able to uncover anything about it during the 2008 presidential campaign.
"I’m convinced if there was anything that they could have found on that, they would have found it, and I promise they would have used it," Huckabee said.
Obama’s parents divorced when he was young, and, according to his memoir, "Dreams From My Father," he did not know his father well. The president, who spent most of his formative years in Hawaii, lived in Indonesia for four years during his childhood. In his memoir, Obama said he first visited Kenya in the late 1980s as an adult.
Huckabee’s spokesman said that the governor believes Obama was born in the United States.
"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," Gidley said. "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."