In an election-year stunner, Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii was ousted from office Saturday by state Sen. David Ige, who crushed the incumbent in the Democratic primary, despite a last-minute push for Abercrombie by President Barack Obama.
Although he has been outspent by about 10 to 1, Ige defeated Abercrombie by a margin of 67 to 32 percent.
Abercrombie is the first Hawaii governor to lose in a primary, and only the second not to win re-election. Just last month, Obama urged residents of the Aloha State to vote for Abercrombie, using the Hawaiian term for family in a radio commercial, saying Abercrombie is “like ohana to me.”
As WND reported, Abercrombie came to national fame at the height of the controversy over Obama’s eligibility to be president, when he suggested a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.
Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star Advertiser he was searching within the Hawaii Department of Health to find definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii, because the continuing eligibility controversy could hurt the president’s chances of re-election in 2012.
Toward the end of the interview, the newspaper asked Abercrombie: “You stirred up quite a controversy with your comments regarding birthers and your plan to release more information regarding President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. How is that coming?”
In his response, Abercrombie acknowledged the birth-certificate issue will have “political implications” for the next presidential election “that we simply cannot have.”
Suggesting he was still intent on producing more birth records on Obama from the Hawaii Department of Health vital records vault, Abercrombie told the newspaper there was a recording of the Obama birth in the state archives that he wants to make public.
Abercrombie did not report to the newspaper that he or the Hawaii Department of Health had found Obama’s long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate. The governor only suggested his investigations to date had identified an unspecified listing or notation of Obama’s birth that someone had made in the state archives.
“It was actually written, I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actually exists in the archives, written down,” Abercrombie said.
For seemingly the first time, Abercrombie frankly acknowledged that presidential politics motivated his search for Obama birth records, implying that failure to resolve the questions that remain unanswered about the president’s birth and early life may damage his chance for re-election.
“If there is a political agenda (regarding Obama’s birth certificate), then there is nothing I can do about that, nor can the president,” he said.
As a U.S. congressman in 2009, Abercrombie was among the first to publicly declare Obama was born in Honolulu at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
He cited a letter purportedly from Obama touting that claim, though the authenticity of the letter has never been verified by the White House.
Abercrombie posted a message on his congressional website at the time stating:
The President’s message recognizes the center’s service to generations with distinction: 62,000 kids per year, including the President himself. Settling the question once and for all, he states that Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children “is the place of my birth. Hawaii has always been home to me.”
The president’s statement in the letter actually stated “Hawaii has always been a home to me.”
In his concession speech Saturday night, Abercrombie said, “For 40 years going back to 1974 – really at about this time – every waking breath that I’ve taken, every thought that I had before I slept was for Hawaii.”
“It was for you. For all the brothers and sisters over these past 40 years that have given me the privilege and the honor to serve Hawaii’s people.”
“Part of our democracy is the rough-and-tumble of electoral politics,” Abercrombie continued. “I’ll be taking my leave of electoral politics this evening.”
Abercrombie threw his support to Ige, telling staff, “We need to work together, stick together, be together to move Hawaii forward, and he can count on me to do that.”