July 27th, 2009
06:47 PM ET
9 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. Proud Member..Party of No

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 30% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10.

    July 27, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Jason

    The dems went after McCain being born in Panama. McCain was born in Panama because his father was serving on a military base there. The media didn't go after the dems for going after McCain on this. This shows a double standard.

    July 27, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Linda from Minnesota

    These "birthers" just cannot accept the fact that Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States.

    I didn't like George W. Bush but didn't hope he failed, didn't try to find other reasons why he shouldn't be president. Can't these people just move on?

    July 27, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Bill

    If he asked for the certificate to be put on the Internet, why hasn't it been put there? Why not release it and put all this nonsense to bed?

    July 27, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. GOP = 21st century dodo

    There was a time when I had to go to places like redstate.com or freerepublic.com to hear what the GOP fringe was into, but never before had I hear elected Republican officials parroting the wacky conspiracy theories of the volatile base.

    I don't think it's a good idea for the GOP to continue to encourage its more unhinged, violent, and racist elements.

    July 27, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Mark from Louisiana

    To end all the rumor and but this issue to bed why doesn't obama release the original birth certificate instead of fighting to keep it private?

    July 27, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Chris - Denver

    Sen. Inhofe has a point as well. Right on top of his head. Dunce.

    July 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Robert

    I think Inhofe needs to show us his birth certificate. And ask Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and Carter as well.....

    July 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. LoLo

    It is not about his birth certificate at all. The nut -wingers just hate that a black man is president period. If it were left up to them black people would still be slaves. They need to get a grip and grow up. The US has changed and is moving in a new direction with or without them. They are really trying to draw a rift through the country with their foolishness. Now that the shoe is on the other foot they will try anything to keep everyone else off base. Underneath it all the republican party is racist, but they like to preach that race has nothing to do with it. They have their conservative base and that is all who spew hateful lies and violence.

    July 27, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Carlos L. Harrisburg PA

    No this story will never end. To be honest if it was a trace of evidence that it might be true the republican would it use it by now. They are sure sure hungry for power once again. The party of no.

    July 27, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. JHL

    At the end of the day birthers are like the know nothings, the flat earth society, the "we didn't land on the moon" crowd, and others for whom empirical reality doesn't overcome prejudice and ignorance.

    Saying that "we just want proof" is shorthand for we want anyone other than a black president. The elected politicians urging them on shoud be ashamed of themselves.

    July 27, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Neutralizer

    Gibb...Gibb...... don't blame the GOP for birthers, blame your OWN party. It was DEMOCRAPS who started questoning OBAMBI'S legitimacy not the GOP. The problem with DEMOCRAPS they blame the GOP for their own doing. It all started with PHIL BERG. Problem with DEMOCRAPS their LIES are CATCHING UP WITH THEM.

    July 27, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Shucks

    There is not a single republican that has not added fuel to this fire since it first started. It is just so sad that this little group of moronic individuals continue to push their rhetoric.

    July 27, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Neutralizer

    BTW Gibbs, DNA does not check for natural born US citizen; DNA is for lineage, blood relation. See! That's how stupid DEMOCRAPS are, and this administration is full of stupid people like Gibbs.

    July 27, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Casy

    Talk is cheap-–PROVE IT! This story isn't going anywhere! If anything it is going to get bigger! Just PROVE that he is constiutionally eligible to be President. Release the college records, passport from when he went to Indonesia and the ORIGINAL birth certificate!

    His citizenship and eligibility should be extremely easy to prove!

    July 27, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. PA Voter

    Inhofe is as crazy as Dobbs, if not worse. I can't even say the word "birthers" without laughing and I'm not even a Democrat. What's the matter with these people?

    July 27, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Bill Sampson

    Let me be clear about this. Those who traffic in this sort of nonsense would not do so if the president were white. This is pure and simple bigotry and should be clearly labeled as such.

    July 27, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Larry

    The right-wingers create their own reality. Still, the results of eight year's of right-wing control speaks for itself...

    July 27, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Carl from MI

    Duh!! This should be a NO-BRAINER for the Republican NO-BRAINERS!!

    Not only is the Republican party the party of NO... they are now also the party of NO-BRAINERS!!

    When did Republicans decide it was the smart thing to do to act and think STOOPID? How come this didn't go out of style when Dubya left office? Why did ignoring the facts become their party strategy?

    Why, Lord... tell me why?

    July 27, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. lil

    This is the republican way of encouraging the far right wing. These
    elected republican will never admit that they know President Obama is an American citizen becaus they want to keep their friends happy.
    Gibbs dont waste time worrying. Elected Republican want to keep this out there flying around because it will Be a distraction and keep them in their corner.
    Most people with common sense knows the President is a citizen of the USA only crazy republican like Lou Dodds dont.

    July 27, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. walleye

    First of all, his name is Barack Hussein Obama, calling him "Hussein Obama" is just a vain attempt to compare him with a tyrant. And bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia is a custom, it's like a Catholic priest kissing the ring of a bishop as a sign of respect. And Obama is not a Muslim, he's Christian, so please get your facts right rather than trying to defame his character. And even if he were a Muslim, it's not necessarily a bad thing. .01% of all Muslims are fanatics, so dispel that misconception. And if you don't agree with his policies, so be it, but spare us all the ridiculous belief that Obama's "one goal in life" is to destroy America.

    Finally regarding his birth certificate: We should ignore these losers. They are right up there with Holocaust deniers like Ahmadinejad and people who insist the moon landing was done in a television studio.

    July 27, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Suzan

    These people that continue to argue about the President and his birth certificate are the people that need to be corraled into one group and shipped to a Lost Island and forget about them......they are nothing by trouble makers....they are the ones that are holding this country up from progress.......they are the ones that will grip even if they were HUNG WITH A NEW ROPE

    July 27, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Viet.Vet

    Gibbs is right, even if he was to produce a notarized statement from GOD it would not satisfy these right wing fools.

    July 27, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Tom

    This entire brouhaha is manufactured and made up.

    The supposed QUOTE of Obama's Grandmother, is only partially disclosed by the birthers

    The rest of the conversation shows that the translator working on behalf of Obama's Grandmother in Kenya clearly states that Obama was born in Hawaii.

    July 27, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Angus McDugan

    Why is the WH not puting forth the effort to prove it? It just makes people wonder. Does not really matter for me because he could not do more harm to America if he were or were not a citizen.

    July 27, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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