Former N.H. Gov. John Sununu said that President Barack Obama was an un-American, pot-smoking, Chicago-style, lying socialist on Tuesday.
In an interview with Fox News, the surrogate for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that Obama “has no idea how the American system functions.”
“And we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something,” Sununu continued, “spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S., he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago.”
Earlier, in a conference call with reporters, Sununu said, “I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” and added that members of the Obama campaign were ”clearly and unequivocally liars.”
The attack drew plaudits from far-right conservatives, but it was denounced by the Obama campaign.
Joseph Farrah, editor of birther website World Net Daily, said in an email to Buzzfeed that “America will, quite simply, not survive another four years of Barack Obama in the White House, so the stakes need to be made clear to one and all. Rush [Limbaugh] is right! Obama hates America and all it stands for.”
Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith blasted Sununu. In a statement, Smith said the Romney campaign had “officially gone off the deep end.” She added, “This meltdown and over-the-top rhetoric won’t make things better — it only calls attention to how desperate they are to change the conversation.”
The Romney campaign did try to walk back the statements. In an interview with MSNBC, former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is considered a potential running mate for Romney, said that Sununu had been talking about Obama’s economic philosophy. He said that Sununu “clarified and walked back his statements by saying he meant that President Obama really doesn’t have a familiarity with what it means to be in the American entreprenurial and private enterprise system.”
“Obviously, Gov. Sununu has a knack for colorful language and can be very informative and entertaining,” Pawlenty said.
Sununu later said that he “misspoke” when talking about Obama, but he didn’t back off his criticism.
“I shouldn’t have used those words. And I apologize for using those words,” Sununu told CNN, “but I don’t apologize for the idea that this president has demonstrated that he does not understand how jobs are created in America.”
Image Credit: Mark Holloway