Mitch McConnell added fuel to the Obama is Muslim lie today on NBC’s Meet The Press when he was asked if Obama was a Muslim, and instead of strongly debunking this misinformation he said, “The President says he’s a Christian. I take him at his word.”
Here is the video:
David Gregory asked McConnell, “Let me move on to something that seems to be related to this and has gotten a lot of attention this week, and this is the poll about the president’s own faith from the Pew Research Center. Eighteen percent of those polled believe that the president is a Muslim. Among Republicans, this is striking, 31 percent believe he’s a Muslim. Of course, he’s not. Why do you think these views prevail?”
McConnell dodged the question by answering, “Well, look, I think the faith that most Americans are questioning is the president’s faith in the government to generate jobs. We’ve had an 18-month effort here on the part of this administration to prime the pump, borrow money, spend money hiring new federal government employees, sending money down to states so they don’t have to lay off state employees. People are looking around and saying, “Where’s the job?””
Gregory continued to press him, “That, that, that’s certainly a side step to, to this particular question. Again… as a leader of the country, sir, as one of the most powerful Republicans in the country, do you think you have an obligation to say to 34 percent of Republicans in the country–rather, 31 percent who believe the president of the United States is a Muslim? That’s misinformation.”
McConnell then played to the GOP base by saying, “The president says he’s a–the president says he’s a Christian, I take him at his word. I don’t think that’s in dispute.” Gregory asked McConnell how this misinformation spreads and prevails, and McConnell played dumb and answered, “I have no idea, but I take the president at his word.”
McConnell took the birther route of seemingly answering the question but opening the door to doubt. All McConnell had to say in Obama is not a Muslim. But like all Republicans, he is so terrified of the GOP base that he won’t say anything that might cross them. It isn’t unheard of for Republicans to go on the air and clear up misinformation about Obama. Lindsey Graham has done it, and so has John McCain, so why is Mitch McConnell helping to spread a lie about the Commander in Chief?
If the President’s last name was O’Sullivan instead of Obama, and he was white instead of black, would anyone be questioning his faith? No other president has ever had his citizenship, faith, and patriotism all questioned the way that Obama has. Here is the problem with the whole Obama is Muslim rumor. It contradicts their Right’s own misinformation campaign about Obama. Remember in 2008 when the Right tried to use Jeremiah Wright to label Obama a black radical because he and his family attended Wright’s church for years, and was a racist Christian, but now Obama is Muslim? Yep, the Right has somehow managed to turn Obama into both a racist Christian and Muslim at the same time.
Of course, McConnell isn’t going to go out of his way to deny the Obama Muslim rumor. He is trying to win an election this November, and what better way for a Republican to get their evangelical base to the polls than to turn the election into a holy war against Barack Obama the secret Muslim? This whole insidious whisper campaign is another attempt at fooling the American people into voting Republican. There is even a Breitbart style edited video floating around that claims to show Obama admitting that he is a Muslim.
Connect the dots, people. You are being played. It is not a coincidence that the whispers of Obama being a Muslim, and the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversies are happening at the same time. This is a calculated campaign to spread fear about, delegitimize, and de-Christianize President Obama. These are the exact same fear tactics that the Right has used on Obama since the 2008 campaign, and the same fear based politics they have been utilizing since 9/11. The Republican Party doesn’t want to serve you. Their goal is to manipulate you through fear. We rejected the politics of lies and fear in 2006, and 2008, and we must do so again in 2010.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association