Abercrombie to Lingle: don't disparage Obama's Hawaii ties - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Abercrombie to Lingle: don't disparage Obama's Hawaii ties

Rep. Neil Abercrombie Rep. Neil Abercrombie
Gov. Linda Lingle Gov. Linda Lingle
Sen. Obama at Sandy Beach on Oahu in August Sen. Obama at Sandy Beach on Oahu in August
Gov. Sarah Palin Gov. Sarah Palin

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Congressman Neil Abercrombie lashed out at Governor Linda Lingle Friday, after statements she made recently on the mainland.

While campaigning in Colorado and Nevada for Republican presidential candidate John McCain and running mate Governor Sarah Palin, Abercrombie says Lingle questioned Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's Hawaii ties.

Born and raised in Hawaii, and a graduate of Punahou School, Barack Obama has always cherished, and embraced his connection to the islands.

But this past week on the mainland, Lingle told reporters Obama has never voted in Hawaii,  nor has he owned a business here.

"Senator Obama likes to say he's from Hawaii. But, the truth is, I've never met him in my life. He's never called me on the phone. Ninety-five percent of the people in my state had never heard of him before he ran for president" said Lingle.

"To have the governor of the state of Hawaii disparaging someone who is after all born and raised in Hawaii and has carried on a campaign at this high level is a very, very sad day" said Abercrombie.

A spokesman for Lingle, who returned to Honolulu Friday morning, says the comments were taken out of context, and were in no way meant to disparage Senator Obama, or his family members who still live here.

Abercrombie disagrees, saying the comments appear to mirror the negative tone set by Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

"When Hawaii is in your heart as well as in your mind then wherever you go Hawaii is always with you, everybody, everybody who has ever left Hawaii for whatever reason always carries Hawaii with them".

Abercrombie also says Lingle missed a perfect opportunity to promote Hawaii around the world.

"People love Hawaii and the idea of Hawaii and what it means. It's a rare and beautiful thing, and to knock it down in the process of trying to knock someone else down is a very sad approach"

A spokesman for Lingle says Lingle was only responding to a reporter's question about an Obama statement, where he indicated he understood western issues because he's from a western state.

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