July 27th, 2009
06:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Gibbs shoots down 'birthers'

(CNN) - A reluctant Robert Gibbs struck back sharply Monday at those who continue to question whether President Obama was born in the United States, saying nothing the White House can do will put the issue to rest.

"No, the God's honest truth is no - let's understand this," Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said when a reporter asked if there is anything more the administration can do to satisfy those who question where the president was born.

"I almost hate to indulge in such an august setting as the White House briefing room discussing the made up fictional nonsense of whether the president was born in this country," Gibbs continued. "A year and a half ago, I asked that the birth certificate be put on the Internet. Because Lord knows if you got a birth certificate and you put it on the internet, what else could be the story?

"Here's the deal. If I had some DNA, it wouldn't assuage those who don't believe he was born here," Gibbs also said. "I have news for them and all of us. The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth. He is a citizen."

Gibbs comments come the same day Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe was quoted in Politico as saying those who question Obama's citizenship - who have collectively become known as "birthers" - "have a point."

Inhofe, a Republican, later issued a statement attempting to clarify that statement.

"The point that they make is the Constitutional mandate that the U.S. President be a natural born citizen, and the White House has not done a very good job of dispelling the concerns of these citizens," he said in the statement. "My focus is on issues where I can make a difference to stop the liberal agenda being pushed by President Obama."


Filed under: Extra • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. chav

    Obama is a bad president? Can he be in the office for a second before idiots like HAROLD.. say that. Then HAROLD goes on to say that only idiots question his birth..
    Well HAROLD only idiots question a presidency based on 6 months.

    I have said it before 95% of you have no clue.. Either way. any opinions. I laugh at the comments that are made on CNN. What threatens this country more the terrorism?
    How uneducated and clueless of reality the majority of you are.
    To answer the question. Yes I have a clue I have actually studied history.. Not the history from our school system. Real history.

    July 27, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. miles1967

    I love how you FoxNews right wing lemmings spew your lies and misinformation and think people actually believe you. Wake up dummies, the era of Karl Rove, Sean Hannitty, Rush dumbbell propaganda is over!!! it did not work during the Bush administration and it only caused distraction from the real problems that the USA is facing.

    July 27, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Not a birther

    If Barack H. Obama is a foreigner, then so am I...and I was born in Texas.

    July 27, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Alan Smith

    I have to agree with those who think racism guides this inquiry. I can't see these questions being raised about a white president.

    July 27, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Dave

    If he shows a birth certifricate...Neo-Cons will scream fake...its lose lose all the way around. Dow is up new homes are up...GO BARACK!!

    July 27, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Obama HAS produced his birth certificate. The ORIGINAL copy. Millions of people have seen it electronically, and multiple authorities have checked the original copy first hand. Even factcheck.org has certified its authenticity. If that's not enough for you, then I charge you produce as much proof about Bush's place of birth SUPPOSEDLY in Connecticut. Or even Ronald Reagan! No president has been as transparent about their private documents as Obama has!

    July 27, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Justin Miller

    Gibbs DID NOT "shoot down" the birthers rumor. He provided no substance, no evidence, nothing. If he showed us the birth certificate ... then he would have SHOT DOWN the rumors. Otherwise CNN Is just reaching out here, trying to make their followers happy.

    July 27, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. Jeff

    This just cracks me up. Wasn't it just a few years ago that CA REPUBLICANS were leading the charge to change the Constitution so that Schwarzenneger could run for President?! What a farce.

    July 27, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Gibbs is right:
    DNA, a photo of the live birth with a copy of the Honolulu Advertiser in the foreground on the grounds of the Iolani Palace would probably not stop "birthers" from their remarkable insanity.

    July 27, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Sky

    By every law and twist of the law, Obama is a natural born US citizen.

    He was born in Hawaii, a state of the Union, to an American parent.

    The questions these "birthers" try to raise are questions that can ONLY be raised if a person is NOT born on American soil. Which puts McCain's citizenship in question, NOT Obama's.

    July 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Peter E

    So then McCain should be president? He was born in Panama which was NEVER a US state to begin with! It was under US oversight at the time, but it was NEVER part of our country! So it's not as if the republican opponent has any more legitimacy to be president!

    July 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Diane Keichinger

    Ozzie is a right wing nut that was born on the planet Alaska
    with Sarah P. and the rest of the nut I wish that they would succeded
    from the U.S.A. we do not need them. Just fall off the face off the
    earth.

    July 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Mike in Dallas

    Based on political views I fall somewhere close to dead center, in this country. With that said I will never vote Republican. The Republican party has been taken over by fruitcakes and morons. Palin, Inhoffe, etc. The truth is just never enough for these folks. Any time the truth is presented to them they attack the one presenting the truth. Whenever someone disagrees with them they attack the one disagreeing. It goes on and on.

    July 27, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. TxMax

    Here's the line I have issues with "The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth."

    If the US is the greatest country on the face of the earth, how come so many of its citizens and residents live in poorly conditions? How about your veterans, look at how they're treated. You don't want socialism, yet you state you care for each other, where's the proof. Shouldn't you share the wealth with your fellow human beings ?

    Stop with the greed, take a few steps back and try to live a normal life. Look at how many vacation days they get in Europe. Americans should get some more time off. Share the jobs with others, so there are less unemployed.

    July 27, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Lenny Fink

    I do believe he is a citizen but he is hiding something embarassing such as the father being listed as Cheney or some such.

    He's a citizen and we need to move on, maybe he'll have to show it for the next election.

    July 27, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. JSL

    I ain't gonna give up ma' tin foil-hat fer no kerup govermint...911 wers an inside job!!!!

    July 27, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. dominican mama 4 Obama

    The real conspiracy theory is this: discredit, humiliate, subjugate this President in order to jeopardize his chance at re-election in 2012.

    The GOP has NO plan for anything, but they sure as heck are all in agreement on this one point. Across this great United States, governors are more than willing to deprive their constituents of jobs, healthcare, quality education centers in order to achieve this goal. They are counting on the usual voter stupor to pull it off.

    President Obama has been climbing up hill with no rest since he took office. What the Republicans, and those that "want him to fail" are not counting on is his stamina political or otherwise. Go Obama!

    July 27, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Peter E

    Myth: Obama never showed his birth certificate. Fact: he made it available online for millions of people to see, and has given the authentic, original paper to several authorities for review. Not ONE of them questioned it. Get over it! He's American.

    July 27, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Working Class American

    "Birthers" are a blight on the country!

    July 27, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. LacrosseMom

    At least President Obama was born ON U.S. soil....... McCain was born in PANAMA!

    July 27, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. ex illinois man, now a pennsylvanian

    my great grand parents were born in europe but their daughter-my grandmother-was born here, yet she has been a citizen since she was born. therefore, she was naturally born a citizen. obama was born here in america (hawaii was a state for two years in 1961 read your history) and besides, his mom was also. he was naturally born a citizen. thats all there is to it.

    July 27, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    There is a lot more proof that has been made public (including Obama's birth certificate which was made public by the Obama campaign and posted on the internet in 2008) that proves Obama was born in Hawaii than there has been proof made public that George W. Bush actually fulfilled the requirements of his Texas Air National Guard Commitment.

    July 27, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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