Lots of Republican kooks still think that Obama is not a real American


One of the more pathetic aspects of Mitt Romney’s effort to deny Barack Obama a second term in the White House a few years ago was the extent to which he or his surrogates portrayed the president as the dreaded “Other,” a “foreign” interloper who’s not really American.

“I don’t think he understands America,” Romney said of Obama at one point.

“I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” said Romney campaign chairman John Sununu.

Obama’s political philosophy “does not comport with the American experience,” Romney said in a public appearance.

Romney wouldn’t come right out and say that Obama was foreign-born or a Muslim, neither of which is true. But he was not above slyly implying as much, just to stir up his party’s crazier elements.

That frame of mind persists to this day among more than a few Republicans.

Political analyst Jeff Greenfield wrote THIS just the other day:

The baseless notion that Obama is not really “one of us” is not confined to questions of birth. It is also linked to a broader notion that in countless ways, the president is not really “one of us.” For ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Obama’s worldview is explained as “Kenyan anti-colonial behavior.” For FOX’s Sean Hannity, Obama is “the Manchurian candidate,” whose (perhaps unconscious) attraction to America’s enemies was shaped by ties to onetime Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayres and his longtime pastor, Jeremiah Wright. For former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the conclusion is clear: “I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” he said in February. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

If these are the public views of some of the more prominent voices on the Right, it’s no surprise that a majority of Republicans believe that “deep down, Obama is a Muslim,” or that a significant chunk of Republicans think it’s likely that Obama is not a citizen.