Birtherism at Values Voters

The suspense was building this afternoon for the “surprise guest” to follow Christine O’Donnell at the Values Voters Summit today — was it Sarah Palin? Well, not quite. Palin is in Iowa today, speaking to the Reagan dinner, an Iowa GOP fundraiser, and telling Fox News (not the Values Voters Summit) that she might “give it shot” to run for president in 2012.

Instead, the surprise guest was Dale Peterson, who ran unsuccessfully for Commissioner of Agriculture in Arkansas, and became a YouTube sensation for this video. Peterson, who appeared in a cowboy hat and boots and claimed that President Obama “hates America,” led Dave Weigel to tweet, “This episode of “Hee-Haw” was brought to you by WorldNetDaily.”

Peterson made clear he was invited here by the Family Research Council’s Tom McCluskey. Peterson not only thinks Obama hates America, he also doesn’t believe Obama was born in the United States. I asked him that after his appearance, and here’s his response:

Dale Peterson at Values Voters Summit from sarahposner on Vimeo.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email