Capital FM (Nairobi)

5 September 2012

Kenya Dragged Into Anti-Obama Campaign

The second presidential town hall debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in the run up to the general election in November. ( Resource: Complete Second Presidential Town Hall Debate 2012: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney

Kenya has once again been dragged into the bitter US presidential campaigns with several homemade billboard signs in Boston generating considerable controversy for their inflammatory anti-Obama messages.

The three provocative campaign posters are on display outside a motorbike accessories store off Route 27 in Hanson, Massachusetts.

Sitting on the property of motorcycle accessories distributor Sullivans Inc., one large sign shows President Barack Obama with a caption that reads: "Somewhere in Kenya, a village is missing its idiot."

"Obama One Big Ass Mistake America, Vote Mitt Romney for 2012!" it reads below the main headline. The communist symbolic images of the hammer and sickle are on the president's shirt collar.

Several feet away, another sign shows a pouting young girl giving the middle-finger to the president. "Thanks, Obama," begins the caption in bold red letters, and then continues in child-like penmanship: "You've spent my lunch money, my allowance, my inheritance, 35 years of future paychecks and my retirement. You jerk."

One young father told the Patriot-Ledger that he frequently drives by the signs, and has to shield his 6-year-old daughter from seeing the image of another little girl flipping the bird.

"If she saw that, she'd say 'Why is that little girl doing that? What does that mean?'" he said. "How do I explain that?"

Several stickers have been placed over the girl's middle finger as an attempt to quell the offensiveness of the image.

Hanson is a small town of about 10,000 located in Plymouth County, roughly 18 miles southeast of Boston.

The area is largely Democratic, but many have supported the signs' existence, citing free speech.

Town official Bob Curran said the eye-catching signs could be distracting and dangerous for pedestrians and drivers.

Mr Sullivan's lawyer, however, said he is protected under the First Amendment and that he is entitled to 'free speech'.

The signs are just the latest anti-Obama displays to cause outrage.

Earlier this month, a protest was staged beneath an Indiana Tea Party billboard that compared Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden.

It read: 'The Navy SEALS removed one threat to America. The voters must remove the other.'

The billboards come amid a spirited campaign by Obama rivals that the US President was born in Kenya.

Conspiracy theories about the citizenship of Obama claim he is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore not eligible to be President of the United States under Article Two of the US Constitution.

Some theories allege that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, or that his birth certificate is a forgery.

Campaigning in his home state, Obama’s rival Mitt Romney cracked an out-of-the-ordinary joke Friday about the so-called “birther” controversy.

While talking up his roots in Michigan — both he and his wife Ann were born and raised here, and his father was a much-beloved governor — Romney noted the proof behind his place of birth.

“Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital,” he said to cheers from a crowd of several thousand at a local orchard and cider mill, before joking about the questions some have raised about President Obama’s birthplace. “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

The crowd reacted wildly, cheering and laughing at the joke. But Romney has typically avoided the “birther” issue altogether, considering Obama debunked the theory last year when he released his long-form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii.The Romney campaign was quick to clarify, saying he was only referring to Michigan where the candidate was born and raised.

“The governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States,” Rick Gorka, the campaign’s traveling press secretary, said in a statement.

The Obama campaign disagreed, tying Romney to the “birthers.”

“Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them,” Obama campaign spokesperson Ben Labolt said in a statement. “But Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”

Several prominent Republican voices, including campaign surrogate Donald Trump, have consistently made headlines by publicly questioning the president’s birthplace.

Romney has so far declined calls to repudiate those comments.

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