Montana Governor, Democrat, Brian Schweitzer
The Daily Beast contacted the office of Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer today to talk about whether his state would be in play in the 2012 presidential election. About a half hour later, the governor called back, and he had a lot to say. He didn’t think that Montana would be a swing state, but the Democrat did say that Mitt Romney could have issues nationally because his father was “born on a polygamy commune in Mexico.”
While discussing swing states, Schweitzer said Romney would have a “tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him,” and I replied that was mildly ironic since Mitt’s father was born in Mexico, giving the clan a nominal claim to being Hispanic. Schweitzer replied that it is “kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy.” Women, he said, are “not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”
Romney’s father, George—who served as governor of Michigan and was a member of the Nixon cabinet and also a presidential candidate—was born in Mexico in 1907 to a family of American Mormons who fled to Mexico when the United States government cracked down on the practice of polygamy. George Romney’s parents were in a monogamous marriage, but Mexico was the last bastion for the practice of plural marriage in the Church of Latter Day Saints. (The church has since expressly prohibited the practice.)
See anything wrong here?
Perhaps I will have to make it more clear: The Obama campaign is using a surrogate to portray at Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion as something weird.
OK. But, remember about what they say about people who live in “glass houses?”
In his three years as U.S. president, Barack Obama has been dogged by claims he is not patriotic enough.
Last year he even had to publish his birth certificate to silence doubters who suggested he was not born an American.
Now it emerges that similar fears were expressed about his father, who was categorised with others as ‘anti-American and anti-white’ when he moved to the United States in 1959.
Mr Obama Snr had grown up in Kenya under British rule and aroused the fears of both colonial officers and American officials when he won a chance to study in Hawaii. The officials felt Kenyan students were ‘academically inferior’ with a ‘bad reputation’ for turning anti-American.
A memo from a British diplomat in Washington to Whitehall – released today by the National Archives in West London – sets out their concerns about the young Kenyans.
Dated September 1, 1959, it says: ‘I have discussed with the State Department. They are as disturbed about these developments as we are. They point out that Kenya students have a bad reputation over here for falling into the wrong hands and for becoming both anti-American and anti-white.’
In one of the Foreign Office files, the future president’s father appears on a list of Kenyan students as ‘OBAMA, Barack H’ – they shared the same name.
At the age of 23, he enrolled at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu to study economics with classmates including Ann Dunham, a 17-year-old white American from Kansas. The couple had a short marriage that led to the birth in 1961 of the future president, Barack Obama II.
Mr Obama Snr was among 100 or so Kenyan students brought to America by the African American Students Foundation.
U.S. and British officials were deeply suspicious of this outfit, observing that the AASF – though backed by singer Harry Belafonte and actor Sidney Poitier – had links to a Kenyan nationalist leader.
I would suggest that the Governor of Montana owes Mitt Romney an apology for his injudicious comments and call upon President Obama to disavow these surrogate tactics based on one’s religion and family history.
Mr. President, I expect better from you.
President Obama as a young boy with his Kenyan father.