HUCKABEE-BRAND BIRTHERISM…. Time will tell if former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) launches another presidential campaign, but after comments like these, I can only assume he’s either trying to impress an unhinged base or he’s gone a little mad.

During a radio appearance yesterday, Mike Huckabee repeatedly falsely claimed that President Obama grew up in Kenya. After questioning Obama’s purported secrecy about the birth certificate, radio host Steve Malzberg asked Huckabee if “we deserve to know more about this man.” Huckabee responded, “I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough.”

Speaking on WOR’s The Steve Malzberg Show, Huckabee — a Fox News host and potential presidential candidate — said that “one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American … his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British are a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”

Huckabee added that “the only reason” he doesn’t take conspiracy theories about birth certificates seriously is that, as he sees it, Hillary Clinton would have destroyed Obama with it during the 2008 primaries.

For the record, in case anyone cares about reality, President Obama did not “grow up in Kenya,” a ridiculous claim Huckabee repeated multiple times on the air. (It was not, in other words, an accidental slip of the tongue.)

For that matter, Obama also did not “grow up … with a Kenyan father and grandfather”; he was raised in Hawaii with his maternal grandparents.

“What I know is troubling enough”? What Huckabee thinks he knows is an embarrassment.

Frequently, the political establishment likes to characterize Huckabee as a charming former preacher who’s easy to like. Cheap, ugly, borderline-racist smears like these should help show that the governor’s reputation is not well deserved.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.