Havenstein quoted Obama in 2009 speech; called ‘troubling’ by Hemingway campaign

CONCORD – The campaign manager for Walt Havenstein’s Republican gubernatorial primary foe called “troubling” a newly circulated 2009 video in which the then-CEO extensively quoted President Barack Obama’s first inaugural address in a speech about “generational leadership.”


“As President Obama stated in his inaugural address last Tuesday, ‘Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values on which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old,’” Havenstein said in a speech to students at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland on Jan. 26, 2009. Havenstein was CEO of BAE Systems, Inc., at the time.


He continued to quote from Obama’s address and then says, “I believe our 44th President is saying that true leadership transcends generational differences.”


Click here to watch the video. The video was posted by an anonymous person identified only as “John Stark.”



“Walt quoted a President who he spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to defeat and voted against,” said Havenstein spokesman Henry Goodwin. “So what? This is America.”



CampaignMoney.com shows that Havenstein contributed heavily to Republicans John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

The new video comes after Havenstein upset Tea Party loyalists in another recently released video from 2007, in which he referred to them as “teabaggers.” Also circulated recently was a video of Havenstein discussing job creation in the cyber-security industry with Democratic governors at a national Democratic Governors Association meeting in 2011.


Alicia Preston, Hemingway’s campaign manager, said, “This is a troubling pattern that we’re seeing. It calls into question Walt Havenstein’s commitment to the Republican Party.


“Taken together with his comments about ‘teabaggers’ and his appearance before the DGA and his contributions to (former Democratic U.S. Rep.) Ike Skelton and (Democratic U.S. Sen.) Jack Reed, it is troubling. And it’s interesting to note that he made the ‘teabagger’ comment a week before making the contribution to Ike Skelton.”


Havenstein has refused to apologize for the “teabagger” comment.


As for the appearance at the DGA, Havenstein spokesman Goodwin said, “Walt was there in his capacity as a CEO and one of his roles was communication with people across the political spectrum.”


His record of political donations, according to OpenSecrets.org, shows he has given to a long list of Republican officeholders, candidates and committees over the years. But his critics point out his two donations to Democrats Skelton and Reed.

Author: John DiStaso

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  • Lee2010

    Havenstein is your typical run of the mill RINO. Not what the party needs right now.