Now you know what to get Haley Barbour for Christmas — a copy of President Obama’s 1995 memoir.
Barbour, the Republican governor of Mississippi flirting with a presidential bid in 2012, told reporters today that Americans know less about President Obama than “any other president in history.”
Reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor this morning asked Barbour why so many voters wrongly think Obama is Muslim. Barbour said it’s surely no “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and that he has no reason to doubt Obama’s Christian faith or his citizenship.
“I accept just totally at face value that he’s a Christian,” Barbour said. “He said so throughout the time he’s been in public life, that’s good enough for me.”
But Barbour pointedly mused about where the false rumors have originated.
“I don’t know why people think what they think,” Barbour said. He paused and then added, “This is a president that we know less about than any other president in history.”
After the breakfast, several reporters asked Barbour to clarify.
“There’s not much known about his, in college, or growing up … we don’t know any of the childhood things,” Barbour said. “Part of it is the fact that he’d only been in public office a brief period of time.”
Barbour said Americans know plenty about Ronald Reagan, or that George Washington “chopped down a cherry tree,” and that it’s his observation they know “a whole lot more” about other presidents than Obama. “I don’t say it as an insult as anything other than just an observation,” Barbour said.
Barbour said he has not read the president’s Dreams from my Father memoir outlining his childhood.
Reporters pressed Barbour about whether he believes Obama was born in the United States. “As far as I know,” he said. He added that, “I don’t have any such question.”
The questions came after Barbour said it is wrong for the Florida church to burn copies of the Koran.