Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A 2010 billboard displayed in South Gate, California, questioning the validity of Barack Obama's birth certificate and by extension his eligibility to serve as President of the U.S.[1] The billboard was part of an advertising campaign by WorldNetDaily, whose URL appears on the billboard's bottom right corner.[2]
In response to the conspiracy theories, the White House released copies of the President's long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011, and posted an image of it to the White House website,[3] reaffirming that he was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

During Barack Obama's campaign for president and in the years following his election, many conspiracy theories have been circulated, falsely asserting that he is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and consequently, under Article Two of the U.S. Constitution, is ineligible to be President of the United States.

Theories allege that Obama's published birth certificate is a forgery—that his actual birthplace is not Hawaii but Kenya. Other theories allege that Obama became a citizen of Indonesia in childhood, thereby losing his U.S. citizenship. Still others claim that Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen because he was born a dual citizen (British and American). A number of political commentators have characterized these various claims as a racist reaction to Obama's status as the first African American president of the United States.[4]

Such claims have been promoted by fringe theorists ("birthers"), some of whom have sought court rulings either declaring Obama ineligible to take office, or granting access to various documents which they claim exist, and which they claim would evidence such ineligibility; none of these efforts have been successful. Some political opponents, especially in the Republican Party, have expressed skepticism about Obama's citizenship or been unwilling to acknowledge it;[5] some have proposed legislation which would require presidential candidates to provide proof of eligibility.[5]

Expressed belief in such theories has persisted despite Obama's pre-election release of his official Hawaiian birth certificate in 2008;[1] confirmation, based on the original documents, by the Hawaii Department of Health;[6] the April 2011 release of a certified copy of Obama's original Certificate of Live Birth (or long-form birth certificate); and contemporaneous birth announcements published in two Hawaii newspapers.[7] Polls conducted in 2010 suggested that at least one quarter of adult Americans said that they doubted Obama's U.S. birth,[8][9] while a May 2011 Gallup poll found that 13% of American adults (23% of Republicans) continued to express such doubts.[10]

Background

Early life of Obama

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann Dunham and grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

People who express doubts about Obama's eligibility or reject details about his early life are often informally called "birthers", a term that parallels[11] the nickname "truthers" for adherents of 9/11 conspiracy theories.[12][13] These conspiracy theorists reject at least some of the following facts about his early life:

Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapi'olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now called Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii,[14][15][16][17] to Ann Dunham,[18] from Wichita, Kansas,[7] and Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province (in what was then the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya), who was attending the University of Hawaii. Birth notices for Barack Obama were published in the Honolulu Advertiser on August 13 and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on August 14, 1961.[7][14] Obama's father's immigration file also clearly states Barack Obama being born in Hawaii.[19] One of his high school teachers, who was acquainted with his mother at the time, remembered hearing about the day of his birth.[18]

Obama's parents were divorced in 1964. He attended kindergarten in 1966–1967 at Noelani Elementary School in Honolulu.[14][20] In 1967, his mother married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro,[14] who was also attending the University of Hawaii, and the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia,[21] where Obama attended the Catholic St. Francis of Assisi School before transferring to State Elementary School Menteng 01, an elite Indonesian public school in Menteng. As a child in Indonesia, Obama was called "Barry", sometimes Barry Soetoro, reflecting his step-father's surname, and sometimes Barry Obama, using his own surname.[22][23][24] When he was ten years old, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and has resided continuously in the United States since 1971.

Origins of the claims

During the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential primaries, anonymous e-mails from supporters of Hillary Clinton surfaced that questioned Obama's citizenship in an attempt to revive Clinton's faltering primary election campaign. These and numerous other chain e-mails during the subsequent presidential election circulated false rumors about Obama's origin, religion and birth certificate.[25][26]

Jim Geraghty of the conservative website National Review Online may have sparked further speculation on June 9, 2008, when he asked that Obama release his birth certificate.[27][28] Geraghty wrote that releasing his birth certificate could debunk several false rumors circulating on the Internet, namely: that his middle name was originally Muhammad rather than Hussein; that his mother had originally named him "Barry" rather than "Barack"; and that Barack Obama, Sr. was not his biological father, as well as the rumor that Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen.[28][29][30]

In October 2009, anonymous e-mails circulated claiming that the Associated Press (AP) had reported Obama was "Kenyan-Born".[31] The claims were based on an AP story that had appeared five years earlier in a Kenyan publication, The Standard.[31][32] The rumor-checking website Snopes.com found that the headline and lead-in sentence describing Obama as born in Kenya and misspelling his first name had been added by the Kenyan newspaper, and did not appear in the story issued by the AP or in any other contemporary newspaper that picked up the AP story.[31][33]

In 2012, Breitbart.com published a copy of a promotional booklet that Obama's literary agency, Acton & Dystel, printed in 1991 (and later posted to their website, in a biography in place until April 2007) which misidentified Obama's birthplace and states that Obama was "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii." When this was posted by Breitbart, the booklet's editor said that this incorrect information had been her mistake, not based on anything provided to her agency by Obama.[34]

Release of the birth certificates

Short form, 2008

Scanned image of Barack Obama's birth certificate released by his presidential campaign in June 2008.[7]

On June 12, 2008, Obama's campaign responded to the rumors by posting an image of Obama's birth certificate on the "Fight The Smears" website.[35][36]

The image is a scan of a laser printed document obtained from and certified by the Hawaii Department of Health on June 6, 2007. It is a "Certification of Live Birth", sometimes referred to as a short form birth certificate, and contains less information than the longer "Certificate of Live Birth", which Hawaii no longer issues.[37][38] Asked about this, Hawaiian Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo explained that Hawaii stopped issuing the longer "Certificate" in 2001 when their birth records were "put into electronic files for consistent reporting", and therefore Hawaii "does not have a short-form or long-form certificate".[39] A "record of live birth", partially handwritten and partially typed, was created and submitted in 1961 when Obama was born, and is "located in a bound volume in a file cabinet on the first floor of the state Department of Health". The document was used to create the state's electronic records, and has been examined by state officials multiple times since the controversy began.[38]

In releasing the certificate, the Obama website declared that the rumors "aren't actually about that piece of paper – they're about manipulating people into thinking Barack is not an American citizen".[36] The campaign also provided the Daily Kos blog with a copy of the document.[40][41] Referring to this release, National Review columnist Jim Geraghty, wrote on June 12, 2008:

...this document is what he or someone authorized by him was given by the state out of its records. Barring some vast conspiracy within the Hawaii State Department of Health, there is no reason to think his [original] birth certificate would have any different data.[40]

Frequent arguments of those questioning Obama's eligibility related to the fact that he did not originally release a copy of his "original" or "long form" birth certificate, but rather a "short form" version that did not include all of the information given on 1961 Hawaii-issued birth certificates. It was claimed that the use of the term "certification of live birth" on the first document means it is not equivalent to a "birth certificate". These arguments have been debunked numerous times by media investigations,[9] every judicial forum that has addressed the matter, and Hawaiian government officials—among whom a consensus has been reached that the document released by the Obama campaign is indeed his official birth certificate.[42] The director of the state Department of Human Health confirmed that the state "has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures".[6][43] The short form is "prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding".[7]

Rejection by conspiracy theorists

The release of the certificate in 2008 resulted in a fresh round of questions. It was asserted that the certificate had been digitally forged with Adobe Photoshop and lacked a stamped seal of the state, which led them to demand that Obama release his "original" 1961 birth certificate.[29] Jerome Corsi, author of the book The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, told Fox News that "the campaign has a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website... it's been shown to have watermarks from Photoshop. It's a fake document that's on the Web site right now, and the original birth certificate the campaign refuses to produce."[7] This view was rejected by FactCheck.org, which viewed the Obama campaign's hard copy of the Certification of Live Birth and reported that:

FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.[7]

Hawaii Department of Health response

The director of Hawaii's Department of Health, Chiyome Fukino, issued a statement confirming that the state held Obama's "original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures".[6][43] Noting "there have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama's official birth certificate", Fukino explained that the department was prohibited by state law from releasing it to "persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record." She stated: "No state official, including Gov. Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii."[6][44][45]

According to the website TVNewser, CNN's researchers stated in 2009 that the original birth certificate no longer existed, as Hawaii discarded all paper birth records in 2001, and the certification of live birth was the official copy.[46] Contradicting this report, Janice Okubo, public information officer for the Hawaii DOH, said "We don't destroy vital records."[47] The Health Department's director emphasized the assertion:

I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008, over eight months ago.[47][48]

Joshua Wisch, a spokesman for the Hawaii Attorney General's office, stated in 2011 that the original "long form" birth certificate — described by Hawaiian officials as a "record of live birth" kept in the archives of the Hawaii Department of Health is "... a Department of Health record and it can't be released to anybody", including President Obama. Wisch added that state law does not authorize photocopying such records.[38]

Long form, 2011

On April 22, 2011, Obama asked Loretta Fuddy, director of the Hawaii Department of Health, for certified copies of his original Certificate of Live Birth ("long-form birth certificate").[49] Accompanying the letter was a written request from Judith Corley, Obama's personal counsel, requesting a waiver of the department's policy of issuing only computer-generated certificates. Corley stated that granting the waiver would relieve the department of the burden of repeated inquiries into the President's birth records.[50]

On April 25, 2011, Fuddy approved the request and witnessed the copying process as the health department's registrar issued the certified copies. The same day, Corley personally visited the department headquarters in Honolulu to pay the required fee on Obama's behalf, and received the two requested certified copies of the original birth certificate, an accompanying letter from Fuddy attesting to the authenticity of same, and a receipt for the processing fee. Fuddy said that she had granted the exception to its normal policy of issuing only computer-generated copies by virtue of Obama's status, in an effort to avoid ongoing requests for the birth certificate.[51][52]

On April 27, White House staffers gave reporters a copy of the certificate, and posted a PDF image of the certificate on the White House website.[53][54] The certificate reconfirmed the information on the official short-form certificate released in 2008, and provided additional details such as the name of the hospital at which Obama was born.[55][56]

Rejection by conspiracy theorists

A claim put forth by the Drudge Report[57] that the newly released document was a forgery made with image editing software quickly spread on the Internet.[58] Nathan Goulding, chief technology officer of the National Review magazine, dismissed the matter of "layered components" found in the White House PDF by suggesting "that whoever scanned the birth certificate in Hawaii forgot to turn off the OCR setting on the scanner." Nathan added "I’ve confirmed that scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF. You can try it yourself at home."[59]

"Showing papers"

Goldie Taylor, a commentator for the African American news site The Grio, characterized the demand that Obama provide his birth certificate as an equivalent of making him "show his papers", as blacks were once required to do under Jim Crow laws.[60] Sociologist Matthew W. Hughey has cited many of the claims as evidence of racial "othering" of Obama against the conflation of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) subject as the ideal and authentic American citizen.[61]

False claims

Born in Kenya

Some opponents of Obama's presidential eligibility claim that he was born in Kenya and was therefore not born a United States citizen.

Whether Obama having been born outside the U.S. would have invalidated his U.S. citizenship at birth is debated. Political commentator Andrew Malcolm, of the Los Angeles Times, wrote that Obama would still be eligible for the presidency, regardless of where he was born, because his mother was an American citizen, saying that Obama's mother "could have been on Mars when wee Barry emerged and he'd still be American."[62] A contrary view is promoted by UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh, who has said that in the hypothetical scenario that Obama was born outside the U.S., he would not be a natural-born citizen, since the then-applicable law would have required Obama's mother to have been in the U.S. at least "five years after the age of 14", but Ann Dunham was three months shy of her 19th birthday when Obama was born.[63]

Obama's paternal step-grandmother's version of events

An incorrect but popularly reported claim is that his father's stepmother, Sarah Obama, told Anabaptist Bishop Ron McRae in a recorded transatlantic telephone conversation that she was present when Obama was born in Kenya.

The McClatchy newspapers gave an explanation of how the story about Obama's step-grandmother began. The tape is cut off in the middle of the conversation, before the passage in which she clarifies her meaning: "'Obama was not born in Mombasa. He was born in America,' the translator says after talking to the woman. ... Another response later says, 'Obama in Hawaii. Hawaii. She says he was born in Hawaii.'"[64]

Sarah Obama shed more light on the controversy in a 2007 interview with the Chicago Tribune. In the interview, Obama's paternal step grandmother stated that six months after Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham were married, she received a letter at her home in Kenya announcing the birth of Barack Obama II, who was born August 4, 1961.[65]

In a June 2012 interview at her Kenyan home, Sarah Obama was asked: "Some people want to believe that the president was born in Kenya. Have these people ever bothered you or asked for his birth certificate?" Her response was: "But Barack Obama wasn’t born in Kenya."[66]

Fake Kenyan birth certificate

On August 2, 2009, Orly Taitz released and attached to court documents a purported Kenyan birth certificate which she said, if authenticated and shown to be genuine, would significantly narrow and shorten the discovery and pre-trial litigation period in the Keyes v. Bowen lawsuit, in which the plaintiffs asked for a judicial order that Obama provide documentation that he is a natural-born citizen of the United States. Legal papers submitted describe the document as an "unauthenticated color photocopy of certified copy of registration of birth".[67][68] The document was almost immediately revealed to be a forgery. It purports to have been issued by the "Republic of Kenya", when in fact, such a state did not yet exist at the time of Obama's birth as indicated on the document (Kenya was a British Colony until 1963).[69] Subsequently, evidence was unearthed that the alleged Kenyan birth certificate was a modified version of a 1959 Australian birth certificate found on an online genealogy website.[70][71] The Washington Independent website cited an anonymous blogger[72] as having taken responsibility for the forgery and posting four photos substantiating his claim.[73] Examples of actual 1961 Kenyan birth certificates have also been published, which look substantially different from the document Taitz submitted to the court.[74]

Not born in Hawaii

Despite the existence of Obama's Hawaii certification of live birth, Terry Lakin's attorney, among others, have claimed that anyone, including foreign-born children, could acquire a Hawaiian certification of live birth, and so Obama's possession of such a certificate does not prove that he was born in Hawaii.[75] However, the suggestion that this could have applied to Obama was rejected by Janice Okubo, director of communications for the Hawaii Department of Health: "If you were born in Bali, for example, you could get a certificate from the state of Hawaii saying you were born in Bali. You could not get a certificate saying you were born in Honolulu. The state has to verify a fact like that for it to appear on the certificate".[76] Another fact that refutes this specific claim is that the law allowing foreign-born children to obtain Hawaiian birth certificates did not exist until 20 years after Obama was born, while Obama’s published birth certificate says his birth information was recorded four days after his birth in 1961, and explicitly states that he was born in Honolulu.[77]

Additionally, some people claim that the information in the birth certificate only has to be based on the testimony of one parent.[77]

On July 27, 2009, Fukino issued a statement explicitly stating she has "seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen."[78][79]

Hawaiian Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo elaborated on state policy for the release of vital records: "If someone from Obama's campaign gave us permission in person and presented some kind of verification that he or she was Obama's designee, we could release the vital record."[80] A hospital spokesperson at Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children has said that their standard procedure is to neither confirm nor deny Obama was born there, "even though all the information out there says he was born at Kapiolani Hospital", citing federal privacy laws.[14]

The Barack Obama birth announcement, published in The Honolulu Advertiser on August 13, 1961

In 1961, birth notices for Barack Obama were published in both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on August 13 and August 14, 1961, respectively, listing the home address of Obama's parents as 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu.[7][14] On November 9, 2008, in response to the persistent rumors, the Advertiser posted on its web site a screenshot of the announcement taken from its microfilmed archives. Such notices were sent to newspapers routinely by the Hawaii Department of Health.[14]

In an editorial published on July 29, 2009, the Star-Bulletin pointed out that both newspapers' vital-statistics columns are available on microfilm in the main state library. "Were the state Department of Health and Obama's parents really in cahoots to give false information to the newspapers, perhaps intending to clear the way for the baby to someday be elected president of the United States?" the newspaper asked.[81]

Lost U.S. citizenship

It has been suggested that Obama obtained Indonesian citizenship (and thus may have lost U.S. citizenship) when he lived there as a child.[82] As an attempt to prove that Obama was no longer a U.S. citizen (or held dual citizenship), some claim his 1981 trip to Pakistan took place at a time when there was supposedly a ban on United States passport holders entering that country, which would in turn have required him to use a non-U.S. passport. There was in fact no such ban. A New York Times article and U.S. State Department travel advisories from 1981 make it clear that travel to Pakistan by U.S. passport holders was legal at that time.[83][84][85]

An April Fools Day hoax email circulated on the Internet starting in 2009. It falsely claimed that Obama applied to Occidental College under the name "Barry Soetoro" claiming to be "a foreign student from Indonesia" in order to obtain a Fulbright scholarship (which does not exist for undergraduate students from Indonesia).[86]

Disputes over "natural-born citizen" requirements

Another theory of Obama's ineligibility is that, regardless of his place of birth, he does not meet the constitutional definition of a natural-born citizen.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States...." According to law professor Gabriel J. Chin, "there is agreement that 'natural born citizens' include those made citizens by birth under the 14th Amendment."[87][88]

Despite this agreement, two similar but distinct theories nonetheless contend Obama, although born in Hawaii, does not qualify as a "natural-born citizen":[89][90]

Parental citizenship

Some campaigners, such as the Tennessee-based Liberty Legal Foundation, contend that in order for a person to be a natural-born citizen within the meaning of Article II, Section 1, it is necessary that both parents be U.S. citizens at the time of that person's birth. Those who subscribe to this theory argue that since Obama's father was not a U.S. citizen, Obama could not have been a natural-born citizen, and is therefore ineligible to be President of the United States. The Liberty Legal Foundation has cited language in an 1875 voting rights case—Minor v. Happersett—in support of its claim that the U.S. Supreme Court has defined natural-born citizens as "all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens".[91][92]

Dual citizenship

Others, including New Jersey attorney Leo Donofrio, have claimed that a person cannot be a natural-born citizen if he is a dual citizen at birth. Those who subscribe to this theory argue that because Obama's father held citizenship of the UK and colonies, and not U.S. citizenship, at the time Obama was born, Obama was born a dual citizen and therefore was not a natural-born citizen.[90]

In August 2008, the Rocky Mountain News ran an online article asserting that Obama is both a U.S. and a Kenyan citizen.[93] This turned out to be incorrect according to FactCheck.org, which noted that Obama was indeed born a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) under British law, by virtue of his descent from a Kenyan father at a time when Kenya was a British colony, but lost CUKC citizenship and became a Kenyan citizen when that country gained independence in 1963. However, Kenya's constitution prohibits dual citizenship in adulthood. Obama therefore automatically lost his Kenyan citizenship on his 23rd birthday, in 1984, by failing to formally renounce any non-Kenyan citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance to Kenya.[94] Although the paper apologized for the error and published a correction,[95] the article continued to provide fuel for online rumors about Obama's eligibility for the presidency.

Campaigners and proponents

A protestor questioning the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate

Notable advocates of the view that Obama may not be eligible for the Presidency include Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania attorney and 9/11 conspiracy theorist.[96] Berg describes himself as a "moderate to liberal" Democrat who backed Hillary Clinton for president.[97] Another notable advocate is Alan Keyes, who was defeated by Obama in the 2004 Illinois U.S. Senate election, served as a diplomat in the Reagan administration, and is currently a media personality and self-described "conservative political activist".[98][99] Orly Taitz, a California dentist and attorney who emigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel, then to the United States, and holds dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship, has been called the "queen bee of the birthers", because she is often seen as the face of the movement.[100] Other notable advocates include Andy Martin, a perennial candidate who was "widely credited with starting the cyberwhisper campaign" that Obama is a secret Muslim,[101] and Robert L. Schulz, a tax protester and activist who placed full-page advertisements in the Chicago Tribune in December 2008 arguing that Obama had been born in Kenya or had subsequently renounced U.S. citizenship.[102] In December 2008, Alex Koppelman, a senior writer for Salon, characterized nearly all of the prominent people promoting the story Obama was not eligible to be president, including Jerome Corsi, Philip Berg, Andy Martin and Robert Schultz as having a "history of conspiracist thought".[42]

The Constitution Party, a paleoconservative third party, also campaigned for release of Obama's original long-form certificate.[103]

The website AmericaMustKnow.com encouraged visitors to lobby members of the Electoral College to vote against Obama's confirmation as President and become faithless electors.[29] Electors around the country received numerous letters and e-mails contending that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery and that he was born in Kenya, and requesting that Obama be denied the presidency.[104] Some of the online campaigners coordinated their efforts with weekly conference calls, in which they discussed the latest news and how to advance the story.[105]

The campaign has also been supported by the WorldNetDaily (WND) website, which sponsored a letter-writing campaign to the Supreme Court.[29] WND '​s publisher Joseph Farah has written a number of editorials arguing that Obama's eligibility needs to be confirmed. WND has mounted an advertising campaign, using electronic billboards to ask "Where's The Birth Certificate?".[106][107]

The talk radio hosts Michael Savage, G. Gordon Liddy, Brian Sussman, Lars Larson, Bob Grant, Jim Quinn, Rose Tennent, Barbara Simpson, Mark Davis, and Fred Grandy have all promoted the ineligibility claims on their radio shows. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs have also broached the issue several times on their shows.[5][108] Savage, during an episode of his nationally syndicated radio show Savage Nation, said that "We're getting ready for the Communist takeover of America with a noncitizen at the helm."[105]

Some celebrities have promoted or touched upon the ineligibility claims, as well. In August 2009, actor Chuck Norris, while not embracing the eligibility claims, wrote an open letter to Obama urging that he officially release his "original birth certificate", saying, "Refusing to post your original birth certificate is an unwise political and leadership decision that is enabling the 'birther' controversy."[109] In December 2010, Baltimore Orioles baseball player Luke Scott asserted in a Yahoo! interview that Obama "was not born here" and that his birth certificate was never released.[110] The Huffington Post reported that, in April 2011 during his stage show, Charlie Sheen said, "For starters, I was fucking born here, how about that? And I got proof! Nothing photoshopped about my birth certificate."[111]

The anti-Obama campaigners have not, however, been unanimous in their approach. For example, WorldNetDaily has been critical of Philip Berg's forgery claims, saying that a "WND investigation into Obama's [short form] birth certificate utilizing forgery experts ... found the document to be authentic".[112] At the same time, WND has been urging Obama to release his original long-form certificate, and contends that "Hawaii at the time of Obama's birth allowed births that took place in foreign countries to be registered in Hawaii",[113] ignoring the fact that a birth certificate issued in such circumstances would list the actual place of birth, not a Hawaiian location such as Honolulu.[76] A subsequent WND article seemed to backtrack on the earlier one, saying of the experts it had quoted earlier that "None of them could report conclusively that the electronic image was authentic or that it was a forgery."[114] According to Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, "the birther movement has gained a large following on the radical right ... it has been adopted by the most noxious elements out there". Some of those "noxious elements" include a number of avowed white-supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.[115][116] James Wenneker von Brunn, an avowed white supremacist charged as the gunman in the June 10, 2009, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting, had previously posted messages to the Internet accusing Obama and the media of hiding documents about his life.[117][118]

Political candidates and elected officials

Richard Shelby

In February 2009, the Cullman Times, an Alabama newspaper, reported that at a town hall meeting there, U.S. Senator from Alabama Richard Shelby was asked if there was any truth to the rumors that Obama was not a natural-born citizen. According to the Times report, Shelby said, “Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate. You have to be born in America to be president.”[119] A Shelby spokesperson denied the story, but the newspaper stood by it.[120]

Roy Blunt

On July 28, 2009, Mike Stark approached Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt asking him about the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen. Blunt responded: "What I don’t know is why the President can’t produce a birth certificate. I don’t know anybody else that can’t produce one. And I think that’s a legitimate question. No health records, no birth certificate."[121] Blunt's spokesperson later claimed that the quote was taken out of context.[122]

Jean Schmidt

After giving a speech at the Voice of America Freedom Rally in West Chester, Ohio on September 5, 2009, Republican congresswoman Jean Schmidt replied to a woman who commented that Obama was ineligible for the Presidency, "I agree with you. But the courts don't."[123] Schmidt's office subsequently responded that a video clip of this comment was "taken out of context", and reiterated that her stated position is that Obama is a citizen.[124] She had earlier voted to certify the Electoral College vote affirming his presidency, and had said she believes Obama is a U.S. citizen.[125] The statement was issued in response to a July 28, 2009, YouTube video in which Schmidt was seen running away from Mike Stark when he asked whether or not she had any questions about President Obama's citizenship status.[126]

Nathan Deal

In November 2009, then-Representative Nathan Deal replied to a question about whether he believed that Obama "is a native-born American citizen who is eligible to serve as president" with a statement that "I am joining several of my colleagues in the House in writing a letter to the President asking that he release a copy of his birth certificate so we can have an answer to this question."[127] Contrasting the differing fates of Deal, who won the 2010 gubernatorial election in Georgia, and former Democratic Representative Cynthia McKinney, who lost her primary after endorsing 9/11 conspiracy theories, David Weigel of Slate noted: "Dipping a toe into the birtherism fever swamp didn't stop Deal from winning a statewide primary."[128]

Sarah Palin

During a December 3, 2009 interview on Rusty Humphries' radio talk show, Humphries asked Sarah Palin if she would make Barack Obama's birth certificate a campaign issue in 2012, should she decide to run. Palin responded, "I think the public rightfully is still making it an issue. I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think that members of the electorate still want answers." Humphries followed up, asking whether she thinks Obama's birth certificate is a fair question to be looking at. Palin answered, "I think it's a fair question, just like I think past association and past voting records – all of that is fair game. The McCain–Palin campaign didn't do a good enough job in that area."[129]

After news organizations and blogs picked up the quotation,[130] Palin issued a statement on her Facebook page in which she clarified that she meant to say that voters have the right to ask questions, and she herself has never asked Obama to produce a birth certificate. She then went on to compare questioning of Obama's birth certificate to questions that were raised during the 2008 presidential elections about her maternity to her son, Trig.[131] This analogy was criticized by Mark Milian of the Los Angeles Times, who commented that "It's not like Barack Obama hosted a radio show and called her a baby faker."[132] In addition, Andrew Sullivan, an established skeptic of Palin's relationship with Trig, wrote in response to her comments: "Palin has never produced Trig's birth certificate or a single piece of objective medical evidence that proves he is indeed her biological son."[133]

Tracey Mann

Tracey Mann, a candidate running for Congress from Kansas in 2010, stated at a candidate forum that Obama "should show his birth certificate to really resolve this thing one way or another". In a radio interview, he answered a question as "I think the president of the United States needs to come forth with his papers and show everyone that he's an American citizen and put this issue to bed once and for all." In response, on July 21, 2010, The Hutchinson News, a local paper in Hutchinson, Kansas, withdrew their endorsement of Mann, saying that Mann "questions the citizenship of President Barack Obama despite evidence that is irrefutable to most objective, rational people – including a birth certificate released by the Hawaii secretary of state and birth announcements printed in Honolulu's two major newspapers".[134] Mann responded that he was "disappointed and mystified by the Hutchinson News '​ decision to withdraw their endorsement over a misunderstanding of [his] position", as he is not "interested in pursuing this issue in Congress", and he has "never had any interest in spending any time on the matter".[135] Mann was subsequently defeated in the Republican primary by state senator Tim Huelskamp.[136]

David Vitter

At a townhall meeting in Metairie, Louisiana on July 11, 2010, Senator David Vitter responded to a question about Barack Obama's birth certificate saying "I personally don't have standing to bring litigation in court, but I support conservative legal organizations and others who would bring that to court. I think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do it." His campaign did not provide any additional comments on the matter.[137][138]

Newt Gingrich

On September 11, 2010, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich stated that Obama could only be understood by people who "understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior".[139] While Gingrich did not define what constitutes "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior", White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs accused Gingrich of "trying to appeal to the fringe of people who don't believe the president was born in this country". Gibbs went on to say, "You would normally expect better of somebody who held the position of Speaker of the House, but look, it is political season, and most people will say anything, and Newt Gingrich does that on a, genuinely, on a regular basis."[140]

Andy Martin

In December 2010, Andy Martin (plaintiff in Martin v. Lingle and self-crowned as "King of the Birthers") announced his candidacy to seek the 2012 Republican nomination for the President of the United States.[141] In February 2011, Martin's planned appearance at a Republican meeting in Deering, New Hampshire, was cancelled after his anti-Semitic past was discovered.[142]

Mike Huckabee

On February 28, 2011, on Steve Malzberg's radio program Mike Huckabee, a 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, falsely claimed that Obama had been raised in Kenya[143] and that "[Obama] probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."[143] Huckabee, speaking on The O'Reilly Factor, said that he misspoke and intended to say Indonesia, characterizing his own comment as a "verbal gaffe".[144]

Michele Bachmann

In March 2011, Representative Michele Bachmann told conservative radio host Jeff Katz on his program, "I'll tell you one thing, if I was ever to run for president of the United States, I think the first thing I would do in the first debate is offer my birth certificate, so we can get that off the table." Previously on Good Morning America, when asked about President Obama's origins, she replied, "Well, that isn't for me to state. That's for the president to state."[145]

Joe Arpaio

Volunteer investigators working under the direction of Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio have asserted that Obama's birth certificate is a computer-generated forgery. Rejecting this claim, an assistant to Hawaii's attorney general stated in July 2012 that "President Obama was born in Honolulu, and his birth certificate is valid.... Regarding the latest allegations from a sheriff in Arizona, they are untrue, misinformed and misconstrue Hawaii law."[146] Arizona state officials, including Governor Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett, have also dismissed Arpaio's objections and accepted the validity of Obama's birth certificate.[147][148] Alex Pareene, a staff writer for Salon, wrote regarding a May 2012 trip to Hawaii by Arpaio's people that "I think we have long since passed the point at which I'd find this story believable in a fictional setting".[149]

Mike Coffman

On May 12, 2012, Mike Coffman, a congressman running for re-election in the Sixth Congressional District of Colorado, addressed a Republican fund-raising event in Elbert County. Coffman stated that he did not know where President Barack Obama was born. Coffman went on to say of Obama that "in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American." Coffman issued an apology on May 16, saying that he had misspoken and that he had confidence in President Obama's citizenship and legitimacy as president.[150] In a May 23 Denver Post op-ed piece, Coffman described his comment as "inappropriate and boneheaded."[151]

Public figures

Donald Trump

In March 2011, during an interview on Good Morning America, Donald Trump said he was seriously considering running for president, that he was a "little" skeptical of Obama's citizenship, and that someone who shares this view shouldn't be so quickly dismissed as an "idiot" (as Trump considers the term "birther" to be "derogatory"[152]). Trump added, "Growing up no one knew him",[153] a claim ranked Pants-on-Fire by Politifact.[154] Later, Trump appeared on The View repeating several times that "I want him (Obama) to show his birth certificate." He speculated that "there’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like", a comment which host Whoopi Goldberg described as "the biggest pile of dog mess I’ve heard in ages."[155] On the March 30, 2011, edition of CNN Newsroom, anchor Suzanne Malveaux commented on Trump's statements, pointing out that she had made a documentary for which she had gone to Hawaii and spoken with people who knew Obama as a child.[156][157] In an NBC TV interview broadcast on April 7, 2011, Trump said he would not let go of the issue, because he was not satisfied that Obama had proved his citizenship.[158] After Trump began making his views public, he was contacted by Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, who was reportedly on the phone with Trump every day for a week, providing Trump with a "birther primer", answers to questions, and advice.[159] After Obama released his long form birth certificate on April 27, 2011, Trump said "I am really honored and I am really proud, that I was able to do something that nobody else could do."[160]

On October 24, 2012, Trump offered to donate five million dollars to the charity of Obama's choice in return for the publication of his college and passport applications before October 31, 2012.[161]

Political impact

"Here is what the Republican party needs to do: we have to say that's crazy. So I'm here to tell you that those who think the president was born somewhere other than Hawaii you’re crazy ... let's knock this crap off and talk about the real differences we have."

 – Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, October 1, 2009[162]
A birth certificate-related bumper sticker

Although claims about Obama's citizenship were evaluated in 2008 by the McCain Campaign and ultimately rejected,[163] they became a significant issue among sections of the political right. By mid-2009, the natural born citizen issue was one of the hottest and most lucrative sources of fundraising for organizations on the right that raise funds through direct mail and telemarketing. Online petition sites such as that of Alan Keyes, who has been collecting signatures on the birth certificate issue, are a major source for generating mailing lists of movement conservatives.[164] The web site WorldNetDaily published more than 200 articles on the subject by July 2009[165] and has sold billboards, bumper stickers and postcards asking "Where's the birth certificate?" and similar slogans in an effort which has "already raised tens of thousands of dollars."[166]

Moderate conservatives have found themselves "bombarded with birther stuff".[164] Protesters at the Tea Party protests in 2009 carried signs about the birth certificate issue,[167] some of which were recommended by protest organizers.[164] In an incident that attracted widespread media coverage, moderate Republican Representative Michael Castle was booed and heckled during a July 2009 town hall meeting in Georgetown, Delaware, when he told a woman protesting about Obama's birth certificate: "if you’re referring to the president there, he is a citizen of the United States."[168] NBC Nightly News reported that other members of Congress often hear the issue too; an anonymous congressman told the program that he was reluctant to advertise his own town hall meetings for fear of this issue drowning out everything else.[169]

A number of Republican legislators have proposed legislation and constitutional amendments at the state and federal levels to address issues raised by the birth certificate campaigners. Some Republicans are said to "want the issue to go away", seeing it as a distraction. Democratic commentators have criticized the reluctance of some Republicans to distance themselves from the proponents of the conspiracy theories, suggesting that "Republican officials are reluctant to denounce the birthers for fear of alienating an energetic part of their party's base".[5] NBC News' "First Read" team commented: "the real story in all of this is that Republican Party has a HUGE problem with its base right now."[170] Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released a statement through his spokesperson saying, "Chairman Steele believes that this is an unnecessary distraction and believes that the president is a U.S. citizen".[171]

Conservative Joel Pollak, writing for The American Thinker, has stated that the reason the "Birther theory" has caught on particularly among conservatives, is the weakness of the Republican opposition, stating:

In the absence of strong Republican leadership, some find the Birther theory a compelling, if desperate, solution. Yet it is ultimately a self-destructive one – not just because it is almost certainly false, but because it contradicts the essential spirit of the conservative movement.[172]

Political analyst Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic and CBS News suggests this phenomenon goes to the heart of the dilemma now facing the Republican Party, positing that

Republican presidential candidates need to figure out how to diffuse angry birthers who are bound to show up and demand their attention. If they give credence to the birthers, they're not only advancing ignorance but also betraying the narrowness of their base. If they dismiss this growing movement, they might drive birthers to find more extreme candidates, which will fragment a Republican political coalition.[173]

Political analyst Andrew Sullivan, writing in The Sunday Times, stated

The demographics tell the basic story: a black man is president and a large majority of white southerners cannot accept that, even in 2009. They grasp conspiracy theories to wish Obama – and the America he represents – away. Since white southerners comprise an increasing proportion of the 22% of Americans who still describe themselves as Republican, the GOP can neither dismiss the crankery nor move past it. The fringe defines what’s left of the Republican centre.[174]

Opinion surveys

In October 2008, the Orange County Register's OC Political Pulse poll found that a third of responding Republicans believed that Obama had been born outside the United States.[175] As a result of the widespread publicity given to the citizenship controversy, 60% of respondents in an Ohio State University survey carried out in November 2008 had heard of the issue. However, only 10% believed the claims that Obama was not a citizen.[176]

An opinion poll carried out for Daily Kos by Research 2000 in July 2009 found that 77% of Americans believed that Obama was born in the U.S., while 11% didn't, and 12% were unsure. However, Republicans and Southerners were far more likely than other political or demographic groups to doubt that Obama was born in the United States. 58% of Republicans either believed that Obama was not born in the U.S. (28%) or were not sure (30%), with 42% believing that he was. An overwhelming majority of Democrats (93%) and independents (83%) believed that he was born in the U.S. Support for the belief that Obama was born outside the U.S. was strongest in the South, where only 47% of those polled believed he was born in the U.S., compared with an average of 90% of residents of the Northeast, Midwest and West.[177] A marked racial disparity in the South was also apparent. The Politico's congressional reporter, Glenn Thrush, commented that the Research 2000 poll "explains why Republicans, including Roy Blunt, are playing footsie with the Birther fringe."[177] Writing on National Journal's Pollster.com blog, Brendan Nyhan observed that the poll "suggests that the encouragement of the birth certificate myth by conservative pundits and Republican politicians has begun to activate the GOP base on this issue."[178]

A Public Policy Polling survey carried out in August 2009 found that 32% of Republicans in Virginia thought that Obama was born in the U.S., 41% thought he was foreign-born and the remaining 27% were unsure.[179] In Utah, an August 2009 poll carried out for the Deseret News and KSL-TV found that 67% of Utahns accepted the evidence that Obama was born in the U.S. The poll found that those who do not believe that Obama was born in the United States, or do not know, are predominantly middle-aged, lower-income Republican-leaning individuals without a college education.[180]

A Pew Research Center poll found that 80% of Americans had heard about the Obama citizenship claims by August 2009. The poll found a significant partisan divide in views of the news coverage, with 58% of Democrats saying that the allegations had received too much attention from the media. Republicans were more inclined to say that the allegations had received too little attention, with 39% expressing this view against only 26% saying that the controversy had received too much attention.[181]

In a Harris Poll online survey of 2,320 adults conducted in March 2010, 25% of the respondents said they believed that Obama was "not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president."[8] In a July 2010 CNN poll of adult Americans, 16% said they had doubts that Obama was born in the United States, and a further 11% were certain that he was not.[9]

A Gallup telephone poll of 1018 adults conducted in May 2011 found that 5% of respondents believed that Obama was "definitely born in another country" and 8% believed he was "probably born in another country", versus 47% believing he was "definitely" and 18% "probably" born in the US.[10] Broken down by political affiliation, the same poll found that 23% of self-identified Republicans, 14% of independents, and 5% of Democrats thought Obama was definitely or probably born in another country.[10]

Dilemma for Republicans

Because a significant portion of Republican voters and their Tea Party supporters believe Obama is not eligible to hold public office (see Opinion surveys section), Republicans sometimes found themselves caught in a dilemma between losing support or damaging their credibility.[182][183] They had "to walk the fine line of humoring conspiracy-minded supporters without explicitly questioning Obama's legitimacy..."[184] Other Republicans, including former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, however, have plainly rejected these claims.[185]

An example of these situations is Mike Castle, then Representative for Delaware, who ran in 2010 for the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Joe Biden. At a town hall meeting, Castle was confronted by constituents who jeered him for insisting that Obama is a citizen of the United States.[186] Castle, one of the leading Republican moderates in the House, was later defeated by Tea Party-backed Christine O'Donnell in the Republican primary,[187][188] who herself later lost the general election to Democratic nominee Chris Coons.

Commentary and criticism

A man carrying a sign at a Tea Party protest in Austin, Texas, on July 4, 2009.[76][189]

Democrat Philip Berg's lawsuit allegations that Obama had lost his U.S. citizenship while living in Indonesia were criticized by WND in August 2008 as not supported by U.S. citizenship law.[112] At that time, WND also reported being told by forgery experts that "many of the forgery claims made against the image were inconclusive or falsified, leaving them no evidence that would cast doubt on the image's authenticity."[112] However, by December 20, WND publisher Joseph Farah said the authenticity of the birth certificate image was under serious question.[114] Following criticism from the media, Farah defended his apparent reversal saying WND '​s August 2008 report had been based on the best information available at the time, and the real issue was not the "veracity of the image", rather it was that information was missing such as the location of the birth and the name of the delivery physician.[190]

Proponents of claims doubting Obama's eligibility have been dubbed "birthers" by their critics, who have drawn a parallel with 9/11 conspiracy theorists or "truthers". Leslie Savan of The Nation has compared the so-called "birthers" to other groups as well, including those who deny the moon landing, the Holocaust or global warming; "Teabaggers who refuse to believe they must pay taxes" and creationists who believe the earth is 6,000 years old.[191] MSNBC political commentator Rachel Maddow has defined a "birther" as:

A specific new breed of American conspiracy theorists who believe that the real problem with Barack Obama being president is that he can't possibly have been born in the United States. He's not eligible to be president. The birth certificate is a fake. He's a foreigner. Once this has been exposed, I guess, he will be run out of the White House ...[192]

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin has said trutherism exists on both the left and the right, and has described its persistence: "The plain truth will never mollify a Truther. There’s always a convoluted excuse – some inconsequential discrepancy to seize on, some photographic "evidence" to magnify into a blur of meaningless pixels – that will rationalize irrationality".[193]

A number of conservative commentators including Malkin have criticized its proponents and their effect on the wider conservative movement. In late 2008, Malkin said a "dangerously large segment" of "birth certificate hunters" had "lurched into rabid Truther territory". She also opined there may be a "seed of a legitimate constitutional issue" related to enforcing the citizenship requirement for presidential candidates.[193] Talk show host Michael Medved has also been critical, calling them "the worst enemy of the conservative movement" for making other conservatives "look sick, troubled and not suitable for civilized company."[194] Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has referred to them as "just a few cranks."[195]

An editorial in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin dismissed the claims about Obama's eligibility as proposing "a vast conspiracy involving Obama's parents, state officials, the news media, the Secret Service, think-tanks and a host of yet-to-be-uncovered others who have connived since Obama's birth to build a false record so that he could eventually seek the presidency 47 years later."[196] The St. Petersburg Times' fact-checking website, PolitiFact.com, concluded its series of article on the birth certificate issue by saying:

There is not one shred of evidence to disprove PolitiFact's conclusion that the candidate's name is Barack Hussein Obama, or to support allegations that the birth certificate he released isn't authentic. And that's true no matter how many people cling to some hint of doubt and use the Internet to fuel their innate sense of distrust.[197]

In November 2008, commentator and social critic Camille Paglia criticized the "blathering, fanatical overkill" of the topic, but also questioned Obama's response: "Obama could have ended the entire matter months ago by publicly requesting Hawaii to issue a fresh, long-form, stamped certificate and inviting a few high-profile reporters in to examine the document and photograph it", she said.[198] A parenthetical in the same article noted that "(The campaign did make the "short-form" certificate available to Factcheck.org)".[198]

Factcheck.org noted, "The Hawaii Department of Health's birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department."[7][199]

Writing in December 2008, Alex Koppelman discussed the validity of the common argument – that Obama should release a copy of his full, original certificate and the rumors and doubts would disappear.[42] Conspiracy theory experts told Koppelman that when committed conspiracists are presented with more data debunking their theory, they refuse to accept the new evidence. "Whatever can't be ignored can be twisted to fit into the narrative; every new disclosure of something that should, by rights, end the controversy only opens up new questions, identifies new plotters", he wrote.[42] Because Obama's release of the short-form had only "stoked the fever of conspiracy mongers", Koppelman predicted that releasing the long-form certificate "would almost certainly" continue the rumor cycle.[42]

In response to the notion that Obama's grandparents might have planted a birth announcement in newspapers just so their grandson could some day be president, FactCheck suggested that "those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat."[7] Brooks Jackson, the director of FactCheck, comments that "it all reflects a surge of paranoid distress among people who don't like Barack Obama" and who want the election results to go away.[200] Chip Berlet, a journalist who has studied the spread of conspiracy theories, notes

“For some people, when their side loses an election, the only explanation that makes sense to them – that they can cope with – is that sinister, bad, evil people arranged some kind of fraud.”[201]

American political writer Dana Milbank, writing for the Washington Post, described the Obama citizenship theories of Bob Schulz (chairman of the We the People Foundation, which in 2008 publicly challenged Obama's citizenship) as "tales from the tinfoil-hat brigade".[202] Colorado presidential elector Camilla Auger, responding to lobbying of members of the Electoral College, commented: "I was concerned that there are that many nutty people in the country making depressing, absurd allegations."[104]

Some commentators have asserted that racism is a factor motivating the promotion of Obama citizenship conspiracy theories.[4][203] J. Richard Cohen, the President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups and extremism, wrote an e-mail to supporters in July 2009 declaring: "This conspiracy theory was concocted by an anti-Semite and circulated by racist extremists who cannot accept the fact that a black man has been elected president."[204] An academic psychologist commented that a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology supported a conclusion that racism has played a role.[205] Donald Trump's questioning how Obama gained admission to two Ivy-League institutions, as well as his comment, "I have a great relationship with the blacks," led David Remnick, David Letterman and Bill Maher,[206] among others, to accuse Trump of racism,[205][207][208] and an increased attention on race with respect to Obama.[207] In April 2011, Marilyn Davenport, a Tea Party activist and member of the executive committee of the Republican Party's local Orange County, California, organization, created a nationwide controversy[209] when she circulated a photograph by email, widely seen as racist, that had been edited to depict Barack Obama as the child of two chimpanzees, and[210] to which she had added the caption, "Now you know why no birth certificate".[211] The party chapter censured her and asked her to resign, but she refused.[212] Following the release of Obama's long form certificate later that month, The New York Times remarked in an editorial that, "It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Mr. Obama as the insidious 'other' would have been conducted against a white president."[211]

Legislation and litigation

The controversy over Obama's citizenship and eligibility for the presidency has prompted a number of Republican state and federal legislators to propose legislation aimed at requiring future presidential candidates to release copies of their birth certificates. Some legislators also lent their support to birth certificate-related litigation against Obama, joining as co-plaintiffs.[213]

Although Obama was confirmed as president-elect by Congress on January 8, 2009,[214] and sworn in as President on January 20,[215] litigation continued into his presidency. Numerous individuals and groups have filed state or federal lawsuits seeking to have Obama disqualified from standing or being confirmed for the Presidency, or to compel him to release additional documentation relating to his citizenship.[216] By mid-December 2008, at least 17 lawsuits had been filed challenging Obama's eligibility in states including North Carolina,[217] Ohio,[218] Pennsylvania,[219] Hawaii,[220] Connecticut,[221] New Jersey, Texas and Washington.[220][222] No such suit has resulted in the grant of any relief to the plaintiffs by any court; all of the cases have been rejected in lower courts.[223] Three post-election suits were dismissed by the Supreme Court of the United States.[29][224]

In April 2011, the Arizona legislature became the first to pass a bill "requiring President Obama and other presidential candidates to prove their U.S. citizenship before their names can appear on the state's ballot".[225] The bill, HB 2177, was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer on April 18.[226]

Obama is not the first President to be the subject of controversy surrounding the location of his birth. Andrew Jackson was the subject of similar claims, although it is not certain that they were raised during his presidency. Some said that Chester A. Arthur was born outside the United States, with his birth records later allegedly falsified to show he was born in Vermont.[227]

Impact on the 2012 Presidential election

In May 2012, the Arizona Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, asked Hawaii to verify Obama's Hawaiian birth to ensure his eligibility to appear on the November ballot.[228] After Bennett proved that he needed the information as part of the regular course of official business, Hawaii officially confirmed that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for the President matches the original record in their files.[229][230] Later the same month, the Mississippi state Democratic Party requested Hawaii to verify that the long-form image on the White House website matched the copy on file and they were provided with a certified verification, bearing the state seal and signed by state registrar Alvin T. Onaka, who had certified both released birth certificates.[231]

In September 2012, the State Objections Board of Kansas, composed of "three of the state's top elected Republicans", delayed acting on a petition to remove Barack Obama's name from the ballot, requesting information from Hawaii regarding his birth certificate;[232] but later voted unanimously to accept Obama's citizenship and retain him on the state's ballot, despite objections from the floor by Orly Taitz.[233]

In December 2012, 3 out of the 11 electors from Arizona who cast their votes for Mitt Romney, raised doubts about Barack Obama's birthplace. One of those electors was the chair of the Republican Party of Arizona, Tom Morrissey. Morrissey later insisted that he is not a birther, but stated that "In [his] opinion, what [he has] seen from the president, produced as a birth certificate, does not convince [him] that it is a real document."[234] Arizona Governor Jan Brewer did not agree with the electors who expressed support for the conspiracy theories.[235]

White House responses

A common claim among those arguing that President Obama was not born in Hawaii is that all doubt would be settled if Obama released his "long form" birth certificate. However, commentators noted that doing so would be disadvantageous to Obama. First, it would encourage speculation as to why it took so long to release the document. Second, caving in to his political adversaries' demands would embolden them by giving them a victory. Finally, it would open the door to demands for other personal records unrelated to his birth certificate.[236] Despite these concerns, both Obama and his press secretary have responded to reporters' questions about the issue.

Press secretary's response

At the end of the May 27, 2009, press briefing, WorldNetDaily reporter Lester Kinsolving asked about Obama's birth certificate. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs replied, "It's on the Internet", to which Kinsolving responded "No, no, no – the long form listing his hospital and physician." Gibbs responded as follows:

Lester, this question in many ways continues to astound me. The state of Hawaii provided a copy with the seal of the President's birth. I know there are apparently at least 400,000 people (laughter) that continue to doubt the existence of and the certification by the state of Hawaii of the President's birth there, but it's on the Internet because we put it on the Internet for each of those 400,000 to download.[237]

At a July 27, 2009, press briefing, radio talk show host Bill Press asked Gibbs if there was anything he could say to make the issue go away. Gibbs answered, "No. I mean, the God's honest truth is no," because "nothing will assuage" those who continue to pursue what he called "made-up, fictional nonsense" despite the evidence that Obama had already provided.[238][239]

On August 6, 2009, Gibbs commented, "You couldn't sell this script in Hollywood," and summarized the contentions that he considered "totally crazy":

A pregnant woman leaves her home to go overseas to have a child – who there’s not a passport for – so is in cahoots with someone ... to smuggle that child, that previously doesn’t exist on a government roll somewhere back into the country and has the amazing foresight to place birth announcements in the Hawaii newspapers? All while this is transpiring in cahoots with those in the border, all so some kid named Barack Obama could run for President 46 and a half years later.[240]

Barack Obama's response

April 2011, President Obama discusses the release of his long form birth certificate.

audio only version

Problems playing these files? See media help.

At the February 2010 National Prayer Breakfast, Obama commented, "Surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith. Or for that matter my citizenship."[241] He directly addressed the issue in August 2010, in an interview with Brian Williams. Williams asked Obama about the fact that a fifth of the American people do not believe that he is either American born or a Christian. Obama responded that "there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly". He then added "I can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead."[242]

On a few occasions, Obama has joked about the conspiracy theories surrounding his birth certificate and citizenship. At the 2010 White House Correspondents' Dinner, Obama said there are few things in life harder to find and more important to keep than love, and then added, "Well, love and a birth certificate."[243] At the 2011 Gridiron Dinner, Obama referred to Bruce Springsteen's song, "Born in the U.S.A.", and commented, "Some things just bear repeating."[244] On March 17, 2011 (Saint Patrick's Day), Obama said, "Now, speaking of ancestry, there has been some controversy about my own background. Two years into my presidency, some are still bent on peddling rumors about my origins. So today, I want to put all those rumors to rest. It is true my great-great-great-grandfather really was from Ireland. It’s true. Moneygall, to be precise. I can’t believe I have to keep pointing this out."[245] On January 17, 2012, during a televised tribute to actress Betty White on her 90th birthday, Obama taped a segment in which he wrote White a letter saying that, given her appearance and vitality, he not only couldn't believe she was 90, he didn't believe her, and requested to see her birth certificate.[246]

In an April 2011 interview with George Stephanopoulos, Obama said, "I think that over the last two and a half years there's been an effort to go at me in a way that is politically expedient in the short-term for Republicans, but creates, I think a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the President was born where he says he was, in Hawaii. He doesn't have horns. We may disagree with him on some issues and we may wish that you know, the unemployment rate was coming down faster and we want him to know his plan on gas prices. But we're not really worrying about conspiracy theories or ... birth certificates. And so ... I think it presents a problem for them."[247]

On April 27, 2011, referring to "sideshows and carnival barkers",[248] Obama appeared in the White House press room an hour after the release of the long form and said, "I know there is going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out this issue will not be put to rest. But I am speaking to the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do."[160][248]

Later in 2011, Obama's re-election campaign offered for sale mugs with a picture of Obama (captioned "Made in the USA") and the image of the birth certificate. The campaign states, "There's really no way to make the conspiracy about President Obama's birth certificate completely go away, so we might as well laugh at it – and make sure as many people as possible are in on the joke."[249]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "'Birthers' claim Gibbs lied when he said Obama's birth certificate is posted on the Internet". Politifact. The St. Petersburg Times. July 28, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Grass roots sign onto eligibility billboard campaign". WorldNetDaily. June 12, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Certificate of Live Birth". WhiteHouse.gov. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Tomasky, Michael (April 27, 2011). "Birthers and the persistence of racial paranoia". The Guardian (London). Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Crary, David (July 23, 2009). "New burst of attention for old doubts about Obama". Omaha Press. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d Reyes, B.J. (October 31, 2008). "Certified". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Henig, Jess; Miller, Joe (November 1, 2008). "Born in the U.S.A.: The truth about Obama's birth certificate". FactCheck.org. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "'Wingnuts' and President Obama", Harris Polls, March 24, 2010 Retrieved July 18, 2010
  9. ^ a b c Travis, Shannon (April 4, 2010). "CNN Poll: Quarter doubt Obama was born in U.S.". politicalticker... (CNN). Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c Obama's Birth Certificate Convinces Some, but Not All, Skeptics, Gallup (May 13, 2011).
  11. ^ Savan, Leslie (2009-11-23). "An -er is not an -ist; An -er is not an -ist". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2012-10-23. "Call it a vast linguistic conspiracy: proponents of the major conspiracy theories of the day — the truthers, the birthers, the deathers — share a suffix that makes them all sound like whackdoodles."  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  12. ^ Kay, Jonathan (July 31, 2009). "Jonathan Kay: Don't insult 9/11 'Truthers' by comparing them to brain-dead 'Birthers'". National Post. Toronto. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ Spillius, Alex (March 2, 2009). "Barack Obama fights presidential eligibility claims". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved December 15, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Hoover, Will (November 9, 2008). "Obama's Hawaii boyhood homes drawing gawkers". Honolulu Advertiser. 
  15. ^ Dan Nakaso, Twin sisters, Obama on parallel paths for years, Honolulu Advertiser, December 22, 2008. Documents hospital's name change.
  16. ^ Maraniss, David (August 24, 2008). "Though Obama Had to Leave to Find Himself, It Is Hawaii That Made His Rise Possible". The Washington Post. 
  17. ^ Serafin, Peter (March 21, 2004). "Punahou grad stirs up Illinois politics". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 
  18. ^ a b Voell, Paula. (January 20, 2009). "Teacher from Kenmore recalls Obama was a focused student". The Buffalo News (New York State). Retrieved June 12, 2010 (archived from the original on July 22, 2011)
  19. ^ Smathers, Heather (April 26, 2011). "The Untold Story Of Barack Obama Sr.: Immigration File Sheds New Light". The Arizona Independent (Mohave County, AZ). Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  20. ^ Trifonovitch, Kelli Abe (October 2008). "Being local, Barry and Bryan". Hawaii Business Magazine. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
    Dingeman, Robbie (December 3, 2008). "Obama childhood locales attracting more tourists". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. A1. Retrieved January 15, 2011. 
  21. ^ Obama, Barack (1995). Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Crown Publishers. pp. 44–45. ISBN 978-0-307-38341-9. 
  22. ^ Pickler, Nedra (January 24, 2007). "Obama Debunks Claim About Islamic School". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  23. ^ Dobbs, Michael (June 13, 2008). "Was Obama ever a Muslim?". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  24. ^ Sabarini, Prodita (January 31, 2007). "Impish Obama couldn't sit still, says school pal". The Jakarta Post Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  25. ^ Hollyfield, Amy (June 29, 2008). "For True Disbelievers, The Facts Are Just Not Enough". St. Petersburg Times (Pulitzer Prize website). Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ Smith, Ben (April 22, 2011). "Birtherism: Where it all began". Politico. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  27. ^ Karen Tumulty (June 12, 2008). "Will Obama's Anti-Rumor Plan Work". TIME. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Geraghty, Jim (June 9, 2008). "Obama Could Debunk Some Rumors By Releasing His Birth Certificate", The Campaign Spot, National Review Online.
  29. ^ a b c d e Weigel, David (December 4, 2008). "Change They Can Litigate". Slate. Archived from the original on March 11, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2009. 
  30. ^ Tumulty, Karen (June 23, 2008). "Can Obama Shred The Rumors?". Time. 
  31. ^ a b c "Trip Wire". Snopes.com. October 19, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate". The Standard (Kenya) (Nairobi). Associated Press. June 27, 2004. 
  33. ^ Lannan, Maura Kelly (June 25, 2004). "Ryan drops out of race for Illinois Senate amid damaging sex club allegations". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  34. ^ 'Born in Kenya': Obama's Literary Agent Misidentified His Birthplace in 1991, abcnews.go.com, May 16, 2012
  35. ^ "Obama hits back at Internet slanders". Google News. Agence France-Presse. June 12, 2008. 
  36. ^ a b "The truth about Barack's birth certificate". Obama for America. June 12, 2008. Archived from the original on July 1, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Applying for Hawaiian Home Lands". State of Hawaii Department of Hawaiian Homelands. Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  38. ^ a b c "Ex-Hawaii official denounces 'ludicrous' birther claims". MSNBC. Archived from the original on April 13, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  39. ^ Watanabe, June (June 6, 2009). "Born Identity". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  40. ^ a b Geraghty, Jim (June 12, 2008). "Obama's Certification of Live Birth Found and Posted at Daily Kos". National Review. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Fight the Smears". Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  42. ^ a b c d e Koppelman, Alex (December 5, 2008). "Why the stories about Obama's birth certificate will never die". Salon.com. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2010. "Barack Obama was, without question, born in the U.S., and he is eligible to be president, but experts on conspiracy theories say that won't ever matter to those who believe otherwise." 
  43. ^ a b "Hawaii: Obama born in U.S.". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. November 1, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  44. ^ Nakaso, Dan (November 1, 2008). "Obama's certificate of birth OK, state says". The Honolulu Advertiser. 
  45. ^ Hawaii Revised Statutes §338-18 Disclosure of records, January 4, 2011
  46. ^ Gold, Matea (July 24, 2009). "CNN President Jon Klein declares Obama birther story 'dead'". Los Angeles Times. 
  47. ^ a b Nakaso, Dan (July 28, 2009). "Hawaii officials confirm Obama's original birth certificate still exists". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  48. ^ Hawaii Department of Health News Release: statement by Health Director Chiyome Fukino MD" July 27, 2009.
  49. ^ "Correspondence with the Hawaii State Department of Health". Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  50. ^ "Attachments to Certificate of Live Birth Release". Retrieved April 27, 2011. [dead link]
  51. ^ Jackson, David (April 27, 2011). "Obama releases his Hawaii birth certificate". USA Today. 
  52. ^ "Hawaii Health Department Grants President Obama's Request for Certified Copies of 'Long Form' Birth Certificate". Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  53. ^ "Barack Obama's long form birth certificate". Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  54. ^ "Obama releases detailed U.S. birth certificate". MSNBC. April 27, 2011. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  55. ^ Page, Susan; Jackie Kucinich (April 27, 2011). "Obama releases long-form birth certificate". USA Today. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  56. ^ Silverleib, Alan (April 27, 2011). "Obama releases original long-form birth certificate". CNN. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  57. ^ Benjy Sarlin (April 29, 2011). "With Drudge Report's Help, Birthers Latch Onto Phony Forgery Theory". Talking Points Memo. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  58. ^ Richardson, Valerie (May 18, 2011). "Birth papers hit book sales". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. 
  59. ^ Goulding, Nathan. "PDF Layers in Obama’s Birth Certificate". National Review. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  60. ^ Taylor, Goldie (April 27, 2011). "Why Obama shouldn't have had to 'show his papers'". The Rachel Maddow Show. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  61. ^ Hughey, Matthew (2012). "Show Me Your Papers! Obama’s Birth and the Whiteness of Belonging". Qualitative Sociology 35 (2): 163–181. doi:10.1007/s11133-012-9224-6. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  62. ^ Malcolm, Andrew (June 30, 2009). "More questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate, still". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  63. ^ Volokh interpreted the law differently in Janega, James (October 30, 2008). "Rumor calls Obama's birth certificate fake But his critics don't appear to have proof". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 1, 2011. , but later posted a correction at Volokh, Eugene (December 1, 2008). "Correction About Natural-Born Citizen Law". The Volokh Conspiracy. Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  64. ^ Thomma, Steven (July 30, 2009). "Here's the truth: 'Birther' claims are just plain nuts". McClatchy Newspapers. 
  65. ^ Jones, Tim (March 27, 2007). "Barack Obama: Mother not just a girl from Kansas". Hartford Courant. [dead link]
  66. ^ Carmon, Irin. “Barack Obama wasn’t born in Kenya”. Meeting the president's step-grandmother at the family compound in Kenya. Salon, June 22, 2012
  67. ^ Weiner, Rachel (August 3, 2009). "Kenyan Birth Certificate: Obama Birthers Latch On To Forgery". The Huffington Post. 
  68. ^ "Kenya 'birth certificate' said to be fake", United Press International. August 4, 2009.
  69. ^ Snopes.com: Kenyan Mistake. February 15, 2011.
  70. ^ Rosendorff, Dina. "Adelaide man caught up in bid to oust Obama", PM, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Transcript of program aired August 4, 2009.
  71. ^ Koppelman, Alex (August 4, 2009)."Source for forged Kenyan birth certificate found?", Salon.com.
  72. ^ See anonymous blogger.
  73. ^ Weigel, David (August 5, 2009). "Punkin' the Birthers: Priceless". The Washington Independent. 
  74. ^ "Blogger: I created Kenya document". World Net Daily. August 7, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  75. ^ Cooper, Anderson (August 6, 2010). "Release birth certificate, military doctor demands". CNN: Anderson Cooper 360. 
  76. ^ a b c Weigel, David (July 17, 2009). "'Birther' Movement Dogs Republicans". Washington Independent. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  77. ^ a b Kornhaber, Spencer (June 17, 2009). "Meet Orly Taitz, Queen Bee of People Obsessed With Barack Obama's Birth Certificate". OC Weekly (Costa Mesa, CA). 
  78. ^ "Statement by Health Director Chiyome Fukino, M.D." (Press release). Hawaii State Department of Health. July 27, 2009. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  79. ^ Nakaso, Dan (July 27, 2009). "Obama Hawaii born, insist Isle officials". Honolulu Advertiser. 
  80. ^ Roig, Suzanne (October 18, 2008). "Suit targets Obama document: Foe of presidential candidate wants birth certificate, related files". Honolulu Advertiser.  Martin was seeking "a copy of Obama's birth certificate, and related files and records."
  81. ^ "No doubt about Obama's birth". July 29, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  82. ^ Kornhaber 2009, p. 4
  83. ^ Barbara Crossette (June 14, 1981). "Lahore, a Survivor With a Bittersweet History". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  84. ^ Brims, John S. (August 23, 1981). "Lahore; Letters to the Travel Editor". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  85. ^ "Travel Advisory No. 81-33A". Passport Services/Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S Department of State. August 17, 1981. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  86. ^ "The Occidental Tourist". 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  87. ^ Chin, Gabriel (April 21, 2011). "Who's really eligible to be president?". CNN. 
  88. ^ "Native Son". Snopes. October 17, 2008. 
  89. ^ Jones, Tim (December 8, 2008). "Court won't review Obama's eligibility to serve". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 24, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  90. ^ a b Barnes, Robert (December 2008). "Obama Citizenship – Supreme Court Declines To Hear Challenge". The Washington Post. 
  91. ^ Ross, Jamie (October 28, 2011). "Birthers Sue Democratic National Committee". Courthouse News Service. 
  92. ^ Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, pp. 3, 5.
  93. ^ "Things you might not know about Barack Obama". Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO). August 6, 2008. 
  94. ^ Miller, Joe (September 3, 2009). "Obama’s Kenyan Citizenship?". FactCheck.org. 
  95. ^ Temple, John (August 15, 2008). "TEMPLE: 8-word gaffe ripples across Web". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  96. ^ Berg, Philip J. (January 12, 2007). "Philip Berg – Seeking the "Truth of 9/11"". RINF. [dead link]
  97. ^ Rizo, Chris (December 8, 2008). "Supreme Court declines to hear Obama citizenship challenge", LegalNewsline.com.
  98. ^ Keyes, Alan (December 4, 2008). "The end of the constitutional republic?", WorldNetDaily
  99. ^ Malcolm, Andrew (February 21, 2009). "Alan Keyes stokes Obama birth certificate controversy". Los Angeles Times. 
  100. ^ Winant, Gabriel (August 13, 2009). "What Orly Taitz Believes". Salon.com. 
  101. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (October 12, 2008). "The Man Behind the Whispers". The New York Times. 
  102. ^ Olkon, Sara; Janega, James (December 3, 2008). "Tax activist's ad challenges Obama's eligibility for office". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 8, 2008. 
  103. ^ Weigel, Dave (December 12, 2008). "Stay Classy, Constitution Party", Reason.com. Also see "Got Birth Certificate? Constitution Party Calls For Barack Obama To Prove Eligibility For Office", Constitution Party Website (December 9, 2008) (archived from the original on 2011-07-25).
  104. ^ a b Crummy, Karen E. (December 12, 2008). "State's 9 electors unmoved by anti-Obama pitch". The Denver Post. 
  105. ^ a b Barr, Andy (December 7, 2008). "Whisper campaign persists despite election". The Politico. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2008. 
  106. ^ Louis, Errol (July 22, 2009). "Obama's critics launch the birth of a nutty nation". Daily News (New York). Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  107. ^ Folkenflik, David (July 31, 2009). "Dobbs' Focus On Obama Birth Draws Fire To CNN". NPR. Archived from the original on April 23, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  108. ^ Lynda Waddington (March 8, 2011). "Congressman 'Gopher' off Beltway airwaves". Iowa Independent. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  109. ^ "What Obama and My Wife Have in Common", Chuck Norris, August 9, 2009
  110. ^ Meet Luke Scott: He’s a Baseball Birther, HyperVocal.com, December 9, 2010
  111. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (April 20, 2011). "Charlie Sheen A Birther: Doubts President Obama's Birth Certificate". The Huffington Post. 
  112. ^ a b c Zahn, Drew (August 23, 2008). "Democrat sues Sen. Obama over 'fraudulent candidacy'", WorldNetDaily
  113. ^ "Petition for Public Release of Barack Obama's Birth Certificate", WorldNetDaily (2008) (archived from the original on December 8, 2008).
  114. ^ a b Farah, Joseph (December 20, 2008). "Quoting WND", WorldNetDaily.
  115. ^ Dion B. (Skeeter) Lawyer-Sanders (August 3, 2009). "The 'Skeeter Bites Report: Letter From the Editor: 'Birther' Movement Reeks With the Rotten Stench of Racism". Skeeterbitesreport.com. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  116. ^ Stein, Sam (June 10, 2009). "James Von Brunn Apparently Part Of Obama "Birther" Movement". The Huffington Post. 
  117. ^ Smith, Ben (June 10, 2009). "Shooter was a Birther". The Politico. 
  118. ^ "James W. von Brunn: 'Obama Is Missing'". Talking Points Memo. December 2008. 
  119. ^ McCreless, Patrick (February 23, 2009). "Update: Shelby comments draw fire nationally". The Cullman Times (AL). 
  120. ^ Smith, Ben (February 22, 2009). "Alabama paper stands by Shelby story". Politico.com. 
  121. ^ Weigel, David (July 29, 2009). "And Now, Roy Blunt". Washington Independent. 
  122. ^ Messenger, Tony (July 30, 2009). "Roy Blunt on birthers: Barack Obama born in U.S., BUT ...". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. [dead link]
  123. ^ Zapanta, Victor (September 5, 2009). "Rep. Jean Schmidt Tells Birther: ‘I Agree With You’". Think Progress. 
  124. ^ "Debate Over Video of Congresswoman At Tea Party". Cincinnati: WKRC-TV. September 10, 2009. Archived from the original on October 14, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  125. ^ Miller, David (July 31, 2009). "Jean Schmidt Not A Birther: Firedoglake couldn't get an answer – Loveland Magazine does". Loveland Magazine (Loveland, OH). 
  126. ^ Stark, Mike (July 29, 2009). "Birthers on the Hill Part 2". Firedoglake. [dead link]
  127. ^ Galloway, Jim (November 5, 2009). "Nathan Deal says he'll ask for Barack Obama's birth certificate". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on November 8, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2009. 
  128. ^ Weigel, David (August 11, 2010). "Nathan Deal: Exhibit A of Why Birtherism Isn't a Career Killer". Slate. 
  129. ^ Smith, Ben (December 3, 2009). "Palin: Obama birth certificate 'a fair question'". Politico. 
  130. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance (December 4, 2009). "Palin flirts with Obama birth certificate question". The Washington Post. 
  131. ^ Shapiro, Lila (December 3, 2009 (updated March 18, 2010)). "Sarah Palin Goes 'Birther': Obama Birth Certificate 'A Fair Question' (Video)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  132. ^ Milian, Mark (December 4, 2009). "Sarah Palin revives 'stupid conspiracy' of Obama's birth certificate". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 10, 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  133. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (December 4, 2009). "Palin Puts The Trig Question Back On The Table". The Atlantic. 
  134. ^ "U.S. House News withdraws endorsement of Tracey Mann for 'birther' views". The Hutchinson News. July 21, 2010. 
  135. ^ "Kansas Congressional Candidate Just Can’t Stop Accidentally Being a Birther". New York. July 23, 2010. 
  136. ^ Clarkin, Mary (August 27, 2010), "Republican from Fowler takes 1st Congressional District primary", The Hutchinson News
  137. ^ Kleefeld, Eric (July 12, 2010). "Vitter: I Support Birther Lawsuits (VIDEO)". 
  138. ^ "Republican Senator Says He Backs Birther Lawsuits". ABC News. Associated Press. July 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  139. ^ Costa, Robert (September 12, 2010). "Gingrich: Obama's 'Kenyan, anti-colonial' worldview". National Review Online. 
  140. ^ Stephanopoulos, George (September 13, 2010). "Will Boehner's 'Blink' Make A Difference on Tax Cuts? Not Before Lame-Duck". ABC News. 
  141. ^ Dwyer, Devin (December 30, 2010). "Birther King Andy Martin Seeks GOP Presidential Nomination". ABC News. 
  142. ^ Millerick, Shawn (February 20, 2011). "Behind the scenes: The GOP’s birther, anti-Semite debacle". NH Journal. 
  143. ^ a b Shear, Michael (March 1, 2011). "Huckabee Questions Obama Birth Certificate". The New York Times. 
  144. ^ Loeb, Steven (March 3, 2011). "Huckabee: I Misspoke When I Said Obama Was From Kenya, What I Meant Was He Was Never A Boy Scout". Business Insider. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  145. ^ Marr, Kendra (March 14, 2011). "Michele Bachmann: No birth flap for me". Politico. 
  146. ^ "Joe Arpaio: Obama birth certificate a fraud". Politico. July 17, 2012. 
  147. ^ "Brewer disagrees with Arpaio findings, believes Obama birth record real". East Valley Tribune (Tempe, AZ). March 6, 2012. 
  148. ^ "Arizona Officially Accepts Obama's Birth Record". Fox News Latino. May 23, 2012. 
  149. ^ "Arpaio goons sent to Hawaii for important birther investigation". Salon. May 22, 2012. 
  150. ^ Clark, Kyle (May 16, 2012). "Coffman Speech in Elbert County". Denver Post. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  151. ^ Coffman, Mike (May 24, 2012). "Mike Coffman: Obama comment was boneheaded". Denver Post. 
  152. ^ Wing, Nick (June 5, 2012). "Donald Trump: 'Birther' Is A 'Derogatory Term'". Huffington Post. 
  153. ^ Marr, Kendra (March 17, 2011). "Donald Trump, birther?". Politico. 
  154. ^ "Pants on Fire: Donald Trump says people who went to school with Obama never saw him". Politifact. February 14, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  155. ^ "Donald Trump, Whoopi Goldberg, Spar Over Obama on 'The View'". The Wall Street Journal. March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  156. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (March 30, 2011). "CNN's Carol Costello Tears Into Donald Trump: 'A Joke,' 'Ridiculous'". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  157. ^ "Time to Fire Donald Trump from Political Arena?". CNN Newsroom (CNN). March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  158. ^ "Trump goes after Obama on US citizenship, says citizenship questions remain unanswered". The Washington Post. Associated Press. April 7, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2011. [dead link]
  159. ^ Smith, Ben (April 14, 2011). "Trump and the blacks". Politico. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  160. ^ a b "Birtherism Is Dead, But the Birther Industry Continues". Time. April 27, 2011
  161. ^ Goldman, Russell (October 24, 2012). "Donald 'Bombshell' Fails to Blow Up". ABC News. 
  162. ^ Video of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaking before The Atlantic '​s First Draft of History conference, October 1, 2009
  163. ^ Weigel, David (July 24, 2009). "McCain Campaign Investigated, Dismissed Obama Citizenship Rumors". The Washington Independent. 
  164. ^ a b c Bernstein, David S. (July 22, 2009). "Birthers In The Mainstream". The Boston Phoenix. 
  165. ^ Weigel, David (July 21, 2009). "Your Facts Are Useless on Me". The Washington Independent. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  166. ^ Lewis, Errol (July 23, 2009). "Obama's critics launch the birth of a nutty nation". Daily News (New York). Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  167. ^ Ingold, John (April 15, 2009). "5,000 attend tax-day 'tea party' at Capitol". The Denver Post. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  168. ^ Guadiano, Nicole (July 21, 2009). "Castle gets booed; video hits the Web". The News Journal (Wilmington, DE). Retrieved July 23, 2009. [dead link]
  169. ^ "Obama's Birthplace Still blog fodder", NBC Nightly News. July 22, 2009.
  170. ^ Murray, Mark (July 21, 2009). "First thoughts: Finding an enemy". MSNBC. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  171. ^ Sargent, Greg (July 29, 2009). "Michael Steele Blasts Birtherism As 'Unnecessary Distraction,' Says Obama Is 'U.S. Citizen'", The Plum Line (blog).
  172. ^ Pollak, Joel B. (July 29, 2009).The Political Alchemy of Birtherism. The American Thinker.
  173. ^ Montopoli, Brian (July 23, 2009)."Who Are the Birthers?", CBS News.
  174. ^ Andrew Sullivan (August 9, 2009). "Obama still isn’t president in the south". The Sunday Times (London). 
  175. ^ Wisckol, Martin (October 27, 2008). "O.C. suspicions over Obama's citizenship continue". The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA). 
  176. ^ "Rumour that Barack Obama is Muslim was believed by 22pc". Agence France-Presse. January 29, 2009. 
  177. ^ a b Thrush, Glenn (July 30, 2009). "58 percent of GOP not sure/doubt Obama born in US". Politico.com. Retrieved July 30, 2009. 
  178. ^ Nyhan, Brendan (July 30, 2009). "Disturbing poll on beliefs about Obama's birth". National Journal/Pollster.com. Retrieved July 30, 2009. 
  179. ^ Goddard, Taegan (August 3, 2009). "Just 32% of Virginia Republicans Think Obama is a Citizen". Congressional Quarterly. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  180. ^ Bernick Jr., Bob (August 7, 2009). "Some Utahns still doubt Obama birth stats". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Retrieved August 8, 2009. 
  181. ^ "Many Fault Media Coverage of Health Care Debate". The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. August 6, 2009. Archived from the original on May 8, 2010. Retrieved April 19, 2010. 
  182. ^ Etheridge, Eric (July 22, 2009). "'Birther' Boom". The New York Times. 
  183. ^ Barr, Andy (August 4, 2010). "41% of Republicans: President Obama foreign-born". Politico. 
  184. ^ Amira, Dan (July 26, 2010). "Senate Tea-Party Candidate Accidentally Reveals What He Thinks of Birthers". New York. 
  185. ^ Henderson, Nia-Malika (March 17, 2011). "Potential GOP candidates face ‘birther’ question". Politico. 
  186. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (July 20, 2009). "Castle versus Birther". Politico. 
  187. ^ Barnes, Fred (September 15, 2010). "Why Mike Castle Lost". Weekly Standard. 
  188. ^ Cillizza, Chris (September 15, 2010). "Christine O'Donnell upsets Mike Castle in Delaware Senate primary". Washington Post. 
  189. ^ McGrue, Bonzo (July 4, 2009), "Austin Tea Party Protest", Flickr. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  190. ^ "The worst person in the world", WorldNetDaily, January 13, 2009.
  191. ^ Savan, Leslie (July 24, 2009). "The Birthers of a Nation". The Nation. 
  192. ^ Maddow, Rachel (March 13, 2009). "The Rachel Maddow Show". MSNBC. 
  193. ^ a b Malkin, Michelle (December 5, 2008). "Truthers to the Left of Me, Truthers to the Right of Me". FrontPage Magazine blog. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2008. 
  194. ^ Victor, Greg (March 8, 2009). "New Ideas, Sharp Opinions". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  195. ^ Abruzzese, Sarah; Ward, Jon (August 6, 2009). "Poll finds doubts on Obama's birth". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on February 15, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2010. 
  196. ^ Editorial (December 10, 2008). "Peddlers of lies about Obama are an unprincipled lot". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 
  197. ^ Hollyfield, Amy (June 27, 2008). "Obama's birth certificate: Final chapter". St. Petersburg Times (FL). 
  198. ^ a b Paglia, Camille (November 12, 2008). "Obama surfs through," Salon.com.
  199. ^ "Hawaii birth record request form".
  200. ^ Montgomery, Rick (December 2, 2008). "Anti-Obama bloggers challenge birthplace". Kansas City Star. 
  201. ^ Stanek, Steven (December 10, 2008). "Obama conspiracy theories abound". The National (Dubai). 
  202. ^ Milbank, Dana (December 9, 2008). "President Alien, and Other Tales From the Fringe". The Washington Post. 
  203. ^ Ron Reagan, on his July 23, 2009, radio talk show.
  204. ^ Gaudiano, Nicole; Shortridge, Dan (July 26, 2009). "Firestorm over Castle video has given birth to a digital dilemma". The News Journal (Wilmington, DE). 
  205. ^ a b Knickerbocker, Brad (April 30, 2011). "Are Donald Trump and his fellow 'birthers' racist?". Christian Science Monitor. 
  206. ^ Loeb, Steven (April 30, 2011). "Bill Maher: Donald Trump Is A Racist But He Doesn't Know It". Business Insider. 
  207. ^ a b James, Frank (April 27, 2011). "Obama Avoidance Of Race-Birther Link Consistent With 2008 Campaign". NPR. 
  208. ^ Thompson,, Arienne (April 29, 2011). "Letterman calls Trump a racist". USA Today. 
  209. ^ Gass, Nick (April 18, 2011). "California Politician's Email Depicts Obama as a Chimp, Sparks Outrage". ABC News. 
  210. ^ Malcolm, Andrew (April 18, 2011). "Orange County GOP official considers photo of President Obama as baby chimp 'amusing'". Los Angeles Times. 
  211. ^ a b "A Certificate of Embarrassment". The New York Times. April 27, 2011. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011. 
  212. ^ "Tea party member who sent racist email depicting Obama and parents as chimps cannot be fired – and refuses to resign". Daily mail (London). April 19, 2011. 
  213. ^ Smith, Ben (May 13, 2010). "Hawaii's 'birther bill'". Politico. 
  214. ^ Abrams, Jim (January 8, 2009). "Congress Declares Obama the Next President". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved June 12, 2010. "In centuries-old tradition, Congress confirms Obama as the next president" 
  215. ^ "Obama urges unity against 'raging storms'". MSNBC. Associated Press. January 20, 2009. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2009. "First black president takes office, facing an array of problems" 
  216. ^ "Eligibility Lawsuits". The Right side of life. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  217. ^ Gonzales, Veronica (November 14, 2008). "Hampstead man's suit contests President-elect Obama's citizenship", Wilmington Star-News (North Carolina).
  218. ^ McLaughlin, Sheila (November 1, 2008). "Lawsuit tossed on Obama's birth site"[dead link], Cincinnati Enquirer.[dead link]
  219. ^ “Judge tosses suit over Obama's birth”, Washington Times. October 26, 2008.
  220. ^ a b Holmes, Jamie (October 23, 2008). "Obama citizenship questions continue", WPTV (West Palm Beach, Florida).
  221. ^ "Conn. court upholds Obama's place on ballot"[dead link], Hartford Courant. Associated Press. November 3, 2008.[dead link]
  222. ^ "State declares Obama birth certificate genuine"[dead link]. Associated Press. October 31, 2008)[dead link]
  223. ^ Savage, David G. (December 8, 2008). "Fast facts on Barack Obama citizenship lawsuits". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 15, 2009. 
  224. ^ Jonsson, Patrik (November 26, 2008). "A last electoral hurdle for Obama". The Christian Science Monitor (Boston). Retrieved December 15, 2009. "A Web-driven challenge to his legitimacy targets members of the Electoral College." 
  225. ^ "Arizona Plows Controversial Ground With Birther Bill". Fox News (Phoenix). Associated Press. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  226. ^ "Gov. Brewer Vetoes Birther Bill, Guns on Campus". myfoxphoenix.com. Phoenix: FOX 10 News. 18 April 2011. Archived from the original on April 28, 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. "I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their 'early baptismal or circumcision certificates'… this is a bridge too far. This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona." 
  227. ^ Karabell, Zachary (2004). Chester Alan Arthur (1st ed.). New York: Times Books. ISBN 978-0-8050-6951-8. 
  228. ^ Sanchez, Yvonne Wingett (May 22, 2012). "Hawaii sends Arizona verification of Obama's birth". The Arizona Republic. 
  229. ^ "Arizona Birther Renaissance Sparked By Sheriff Arpaio, Secretary of State Bennett". The Daily Beast. May 24, 2012. 
  230. ^ "Hawaii verifies President Obama’s birth records to Arizona’s elections chief Ken Bennett". Daily News (New York). Associated Press. May 23, 2012. 
  231. ^ Seitz-Wald, Alex (June 7, 2012). "Orly Taitz's Birther Suit Backfires". Salon. 
  232. ^ Carpenter, Tim (September 13, 2012). "Kansas panel delays ballot decision on Obama". Topeka Capital Journal. 
  233. ^ Celock, John. "At Kansas Birther Hearing, Board Allows Obama On Ballot" Huffington Post September 17, 2012
  234. ^ Hendley, Matthew (Dec 18, 2012). "Arizona GOP Chairman Tom Morrissey Says He's Not a "Birther," but Obama's Birth Certificate Doesn't Seem Real". 
  235. ^ Fischer, Howard (Dec 17, 2012). "AZ Electoral College Delegates Voted Today". KNAU, a radio station in Flagstaff, Arizona. 
  236. ^ Koppelman, Alex (August 5, 2009). "Salon's handy-dandy guide to refuting the Birthers". Salon.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2009. "Myth #8" 
  237. ^ Official transcript of the May 27, 2009, WhiteHouse press briefing.
  238. ^ Press briefing by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, www.whitehouse.gov (July 27, 2009). Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  239. ^ Tapper, Jake (July 27, 2009). "Gibbs: Birth Certificate Controversy is "Made-Up Fictional Nonsense"". ABC News. 
  240. ^ Tapper, Jake; Miller, Sunlen (August 6, 2009). "Gibbs on Birthers’ Theories: 'You Couldn't Sell This Script in Hollywood'". ABC News. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  241. ^ Stein, Sam (February 4, 2010). "Obama Takes On Birthers, Uganda Anti-Gay Law At Prayer Breakfast (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 
  242. ^ Thrush, Glenn (August 29, 2010). "President Obama blasts lies, disinformation". Politico. 
  243. ^ "Obama Kills At White House Correspondents Dinner". The Huffington Post. May 1, 2010. 
  244. ^ Kiely, Kathy (March 13, 2001). "Obama, Daniels Crack Wise at Gridiron Dinner". National Journal. 
  245. ^ Negrin, Matt (March 17, 2011). "Obama keeps joking about birthers". Politico. 
  246. ^ Zennie, Michael (January 18, 2012). "Obama asks for Betty White's long form birth certificate on vivacious star's 90th birthday". Daily Mail (UK). 
  247. ^ Oliphant, James (April 15, 2011). "Obama: Donald Trump's birth certificate talk helps me". Los Angeles Times. 
  248. ^ a b "Text of Obama's remarks on his birth certificate". MSNBC. April 27, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  249. ^ "Made In The USA Mug". Obama for America. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 

External links

Analysis
Commentary
Multimedia