Iowa's Republican National Committeewoman Kim Lehman stood by her false assertion about President Barack Obama's faith yesterday. As Bleeding Heartland discussed here, Lehman claimed last week that Obama "personally told the muslims that he IS a muslim. Read his lips." Sam Stein of the Huffington Post asked Lehman to clarify and got this response:
"I was watching television when he was over there talking to the Muslim world and he made it, in my opinion, clear he was partially Muslim," Lehman told the Huffington Post. "The way he was approaching that speech was, 'Hey I'm one of you. I'm with you.' He didn't have to say that... but he did." [...]
"Again, going back to his speech... he would have said I'm a Christian and I'm from the Christian religion and we can work together. It didn't appear to me he said Christianity was part of his religion."
But oops! Stein looked up the transcript of Obama's June 2009 speech in Cairo and found this:
Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I'm a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.
The Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs also sought comment from Lehman yesterday:
This morning, Lehman said she was referring to an Obama speech in Cairo last summer in which he reached out to Muslims "to seek a new beginning." In that speech, he makes no comment about being Muslim, a transcript shows.
Lehman said she objected to Obama's speech because "it just had a sense of embracing or aligning with the Muslims. I don't know. It was unnecessary the stuff he said. That's the whole point."
Lehman said she would never give anyone the impression that she is anything but a Christian.
"I don't give myself an appearance to the Muslims that I am aligning myself with the Muslims. I am strictly a Christian. I believe that. I stand by that. I'll die by that," she said.
Jason Hancock noted at Iowa Independent that this isn't the first time Lehman has used her twitter account to claim Obama is Muslim. According to Stein, though, she may be "the first [Republican] national committee member to fully endorse the Obama-is-a-Muslim view."
Lehman told Politico to read Obama's lips regarding his faith. She should take her own advice. She ignores the president's numerous public statements about being a Christian because in her opinion, one speech "had a sense of embracing or aligning with the Muslims." Republicans should be embarrassed to have one of their leaders pushing conspiracy theories, and it's a sad comment on the Iowa GOP that no one stepped up to counter Lehman's view.
Speaking of poor form, neither Stein nor Jacobs linked to this blog, which was the first to report on Lehman's comments about the president's faith.
UPDATE: The Iowa Democratic Party cited Lehman's comments in a fundraising e-mail, which you can read here. Todd Dorman posted a funny take on this episode too.
Krusty Konservative feels Lehman is "not helping the Republican cause."
The events of these past few weeks...
Are EXACTLY what a recently departed friend warned me/us about.
As a persecuted member of the Confessing Church that spent three years in a Nazi prison camp because of similar baseless fears, he knew a thing or two about hatred.
And now, to see an anti-Islamic pogrom and open hatred expressed so completely that even the ADL joins in?
Why would I be surprised to see some Republican flunky like Lehman should jump onboard this wave of national hysteria?