President Barack Obama in Jacksonville (Pic via Wikimedia Commons)
President Barack Obama in Jacksonville (Pic via Wikimedia Commons)

Obama on birth certificate questions: ‘We do not have time for this kind of silliness’

By | 04.27.11 | 11:02 am

The White House today issued on its website a certified copy of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate. It confirms, as is well documented, that Obama was born in Honolulu’s Kapiolani Maternity Hospital in 1961.

The image of the certificate, made available on the White House website (.pdf), appears at the bottom of this post.

Following the document’s release, Obama held a press conference to address the “birther” conspiracy. He told the White House press corps that the birther movement amused and puzzled him, but that the media’s attention to it in the midst of the debate over the budget moved his administration to address the matter so that the national conversation might move on to more substantial issues. Obama said that the nation had no hope of taking on the very real challenges facing the country if it continued to be distracted by “sideshows and carnival barkers.”

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” the president said. “We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do.”

Obama also acknowledged that the issue would remain alive for the most hardcore conspiracy theorists in spite of the freely available long-form birth certificate (his short-form birth certificate (.pdf) was made available nearly three years ago).

Indeed, birthers on right-wing forums, maintaining the significance of a meaningless distinction between a “certificate of live birth” (the term used by the state of Hawaii) and a birth certificate, have already dismissed the new copy as either a forgery or as evidence that Obama doesn’t satisfy the “natural born citizen” clause of the Constitution as part of the eligibility requirements for American presidents. A sample comment, from the user “sten” on FreeRepublic.com:

so now we know his father was not an American citizen when 0bama was born

on to the next issue.

how could he be a natural born citizen… if both parents are not American citizens

This muddled take on natural-born citizenship is characteristic of the Birther movement.  As most Americans well know (and have recently expressed opposition to), citizenship is granted to anyone born in the U.S. While the term “natural born citizen” is not specifically defined in the original Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment makes it clear that anyone born in the U.S. is a citizen.

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