[Rushtalk] Anger as London mayor tells 'part-Kenyan' Obama to butt out

Carl Spitzer lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Mon May 2 08:54:42 MDT 2016

Anger as London mayor tells 'part-Kenyan' Obama to butt out

April 22, 2016
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<img alt="" class="StretchedBox W(100%) H(100%) ie-7_H(a)"
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CORRECTS NAME OF AIRPORT - President of the United States Barack Obama
smiles as he trots down the steps of Air Force One at Stansted Airport,
England, Thursday, April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)More
LONDON (AP) — London Mayor Boris Johnson, a leader of the campaign for
Britain to leave the European Union, was facing strong criticism Friday
for suggesting U.S. President Barack Obama may have an "ancestral
dislike of the British Empire" because of his Kenyan roots.

On a visit to the U.K., Obama weighed in to Britain's debate about
European Union membership, urging voters to back staying in the
28-nation bloc. The president wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper
that the EU "enhances Britain's global leadership."

His intervention angered campaigners for a "leave" vote in the June 23
referendum, who accused the president of meddling.

Johnson said Obama's advice was "paradoxical, inconsistent, incoherent"
because Americans "would never contemplate anything like the EU for

Writing in The Sun newspaper, Johnson recounted a claim that a bust of
former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was removed from the
Oval Office after Obama was elected and returned to the British Embassy.

Johnson wrote that some said removing the bust "was a symbol of the
part-Kenyan president's ancestral dislike of the British Empire, of
which Churchill had been such a fervent defender."

Obama's late father was from Kenya, a former British colony that gained
independence in the 1960s.

Johnson's comments drew criticism from his political opponents. Former
Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell said "this attack constitutes
an unacceptable smear."

"Many people will find Boris Johnson's loaded attack on President
Obama's sincerity deeply offensive," he said.

Stephen Wall, former British permanent representative to the European
Union, said: Johnson's comment about the president's Kenyan heritage "is
demeaning to the debate," and Labour Party lawmaker Diane Abbott said
that "Boris dismissing president Obama as 'half-Kenyan' reflects the
worst Tea Party rhetoric."

The White House has said that the Churchill story is untrue, and the
bust is still in a prominent place in the presidential residence.

Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames — like Johnson a Conservative
lawmaker — tweeted that Johnson's article was "totally wrong on almost

"It is not compulsory to have head of WSC (Winston Spencer Churchill) in
President's office. Stupid irrelevant empty point to make," he said.

Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party — who told
Obama bluntly to "butt out" — supported Johnson's remark.

"Because of his grandfather and Kenya and colonialization, I think Obama
has a bit of a grudge against this country," he said.


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