A Republican primary challenger to Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) went on a rant against Barack Obama this week in which he claimed the president was not a Christian.
Businessman Scott D’amboise told FrumForum in an interview on Tuesday that he did not believe Obama’s professed faith was genuine.
“The President, he says he is Christian but yet he’s exercises a lot of Muslim faith too,” D’amboise said. “Me personally, I’m a Christian conservative. I don’t hold any malice to anybody, whether they are Muslim, or Jewish, or Catholic, or anything else. I just believe that he needs to come forward with his views a little bit clearer.”
Asked specifically whether Obama might be a Muslim, a common (and false) belief in some right-wing circles, D’amboise told FrumForum “I don’t know if he is or isn’t, but I don’t believe he’s a Christian.”
In an interview with TPM, Andrew Ian Dodge, a Tea Party activist who is also running against Snowe as a Republican, condemned D’amboise’s comments as a “distraction.”
“I think its a way of vilifying him,” Dodge said. “Obama is a social democrat, but he is neither a Muslim nor a non-citizen.”
He added that comments like D’amboise’s help Democrats by portraying the right as “bunch of loons.”
D’amboise has only raised $100,000 so far, well behind Snowe’s $2.7 million cash on hand. Dodge has not yet released fundraising totals.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.