Andrew Ian Dodge, a Maine tea party activist, announced at CPAC earlier today that he will challenge Sen. Olympia Snowe in the Republican primary in 2012, touting his slogan “Snowe has got to go” and flaunting his birth certificate, which he said was a response to accusations by his opponents that he is not a U.S. citizen.Dodge said he is running because he believes there “needed to be a strong grassroots voice for fiscal conservatives.” He slammed Snowe for her “glee” at hanging out at the White House, and for helping get the health care reform bill out of committee. “There’s a reason she’s a tea party target,” he said.
He also said he supports Rand Paul’s much maligned call to cut foreign aid, and mentioned something he had read about an “internet bailout,” though in an interview with TPM later he couldn’t provide any more details.
At the end of the Q&A session, Dodge remembered that he had brought his birth certificate to the event to prove his citizenship, since some of his political opponents had questioned whether he was a U.S. citizen.
Like Pete Harring, a Maine tea partier who works for Gov. Paul LePage, and told Roll Call in December: “I think that the press would have a field day with him, just because of his connections over in England — there’s questions about whether he’s a citizen or not.”
Dodge told TPM that his friends sometimes joke, “oh my god Andrew, you have something in common with Obama,” and said the rumors probably stem from the fact that he’s spent a lot of his life outside of the U.S., was educated in the UK and even married a UK citizen. “They think because I’ve spent so much time in the UK I’m not really American,” Dodge said. “It’s xenophobia at it’s worst. I find it despicable in this day and age.”
More on Dodge here.