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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Obama Campaign Responds to Breitbart 'Kenya' Booklet Story

Though it quickly became an Internet punchline, Attack Watch should not be dismissed. Attack Watch is paid for and an extension of Obama for America, which is part of BarackObama.com, the online campaign hub for the White House. That means that the Obama campaign itself has decided to comment on the Breitbart News' exclusive surrounding a 1991 booklet published by President Obama's literary agency that falsely claimed the President was born in Kenya. It's also worth noting that this claim extended to the lit agency's website until 2007, two months after Obama announced his candidacy for president.

What's fascinating about the Obama campaign's response is the many questions it leaves unanswered:
Fact: The Breitbart bloggers chose to ignore the very clear facts that belie their claim.
  • The literary agent who put together the 1991 pamphlet in question noted that, “there was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii.” The mistake in the pamphlet was the result of “nothing more than a fact checking error” by the agent.
  • Despite the Breitbart bloggers’ claim that the booklet was an attempt to manipulate some carefully crafted persona, numerous news outlets had already reported the President as Hawaiian-born. A year before the pamphlet’s release in 1991, a New York Times article on Barack Obama’s election to head the Harvard Law Review reported correctly, “Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.”
As far as that first bullet point, what the Obama camp won't tell you is that Breitbart News made numerous attempts to contact the literary agency without any kind of response. Once the agency finally released a statement, we published it.

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