Yesterday, ThinkProgress noted that Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) had endorsed a Republican congressional candidate, Bill Hudak, who told a newspaper in 2008 that President Obama “was not born in the United States but in Kenya.” Brown’s staff tried to distance him from Hudak yesterday by saying that Brown didn’t approve the endorsement “press release before its release or the quote that was attributed to Scott.” But in an interview with the Gloucester Daily Times today, Hudak said that he and Brown “are really close” and that “there’s no question” that Brown gave him “his endorsement.” Hudak also denied that he was ever a birther:
Regarding the November 2008 article, Hudak said he does believe the president is a U.S. citizen.
“There’s no basis that I’ve been able to find” that calls Obama’s citizenship into question, he said. “No matter what people think, he is the president of the United States. You don’t get to that level without being fully vetted.”
Hudak said he has clarified his stance, but it continues to be repeated, wrongfully, in the press. It’s “not even an issue.”
“It’s regrettable that that issue in my campaign put our great new senator in a compromising situation,” the candidate said. “There’s absolutely no basis for that.”
In light of all the negative attention, Hudak appears to have taken down his campaign’s Twitter feed, which was up as recently as yesterday, but now reads, “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” Hudak’s personal Twitter page, which he has used to criticize Obama and stress his friendship with Brown, is still up and running:
Dan Kennedy, who first recalled Hudak’s birtherism, reports that Hudak never asked for a correction to the two newspaper stories that reported he believed Obama was born in Kenya.
,Brown told the Boston Globe yesterday that he “wasn’t aware” of Hudak’s endorsement press release and his staff has “asked him to retract it.’’
,Hudak has released a statement saying that he “misinterpreted” Brown’s “verbal agreement of support” as “an approval to proceed with the endorsement announcement”:
“Our campaign misinterpreted his verbal agreement of support from Senator-elect Brown as an approval to proceed with the endorsement announcement. And, we did not follow proper procedure for getting the press release approved by the Senator-elect’s team,” said Hudak.
“I look forward to taking Scott up on his pledge to help me, but will let him dictate when that support should be communicated,” continued Hudak.
“What is most distressing is the extent to which left-wing bloggers continue to use smear tactics, including trying to portray me as a ‘birther’ and falsely denigrate and accuse Senator-elect Brown of being of that belief”, Hudak said. “Let me make clear that while I don’t agree with everything he does, President Obama is our President and I believe he was born in the United States, and accusations that he was not are unsupported nonsense and non-issues to the business of our country,” Hudak remarked.