Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Talking Points Memo reports Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary Of State, Finds New Obama Conspiracy Theory | TPMMuckraker:
The top election official in Arizona, fresh off his flirtation with birtherism, has moved on to a strange new conspiracy theory involving President Barack Obama.
Secretary of State Ken Bennett says he’s convinced Obama was born in Hawaii, but he now believes the president fraudulently claimed to be born in Kenya so he could get into college. He also believes the president has spent millions of dollars since then to cover it up.
The co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona, Bennett made the comments recently at an event where he pleaded for local Republicans to unite behind their party’s presumptive nominee for president. He told them a world under Obama is “just very, very scary.”
“Now, I know there’s a lot of people that are very skeptical as to whether he was born in Hawaii,” Bennett told the crowd. “Personally I believe that he was. I actually believe he was fibbing about being born in Kenya when he was trying to get into college and doing things like writing a book and on and on and on.”
A video of Bennett’s entire speech, including his lengthy take on Obama’s birth certificate, was posted Monday on YouTube by someone who appears to have been at the event. (Watch it below the fold.) The description said it was a meeting of state legislative district 12 Republicans held on Thursday.
Bennett, the No. 2 elected official in Arizona just below Gov. Jan Brewer (R), was forced last month to apologize for embarrassing his home state after enduring nearly a week of nationwide ridicule for threatening to keep Obama off the ballot unless he saw more proof that the president was born in Hawaii.
At the Republican meeting last week, the video shows Bennett continuing to joke about the president’s birth, saying voters need to “send him back home…wherever home is.”
But he quickly flipped and said he was convinced of the president’s eligibility after Hawaii officials sent him verification the birth certificate was authentic. Later in the meeting, Bennett went on to describe his latest theory about the president’s past.
“So if there was weird stuff going on,” he said, “I actually think it was happening back in his college days because I think he has spent $1.5 or $2 million through attorneys to have all of the college records and all of that stuff sealed. So if you’re spending money to seal something, that’s probably where the hanky panky was going on.”
It’s not exactly clear what Bennett is basing his new theory on, but the statements sound similar to branches of the birther theory that involve the president’s college transcripts and his terms at Occidental College and Harvard University. The theory, essentially, is that Obama’s entire life has been engineered as part of some grand conspiracy to put a foreigner in the White House.
Watch Bennett’s telling of his new conspiracy theory. It begins at about 6:24 of the video:
The Arizona Democratic Party issued this press release:
Birther Bennett Strikes Again
When will Mitt Romney show some leadership and denounce his Arizona campaign co-chair?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2012
PHOENIX, AZ--Luis Heredia, Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party, issued the following statement today regarding the recent comments of Arizona Secretary of State at a Republican gathering:
"Arizona Secretary of State and Romney Arizona campaign co-chair, Ken "Birther" Bennett continues to embarrass himself and our state. In Bennett’s world, no theory is too outrageous as this time he claimed President Obama lied about being born in Kenya in order to get into college at a recent Republican event. This episode proves once again that Mitt Romney continues to surround himself with members of the most extreme and out-of-touch wing of the GOP. It is time for Romney to finally stand up, show some leadership and denounce these ridiculous claims from Tea Party extremists and his Arizona co-chair. Lincoln, Eisenhower and Arizona's own Goldwater would not recognize today’s Republican Party, which has drifted so far from the American mainstream."