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. craig from washington

    A bunch of our presidents have NOT been born in the U.S. McCain was born in Panama. Goldwater was born in the Republic of Arizona. A bunch, such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, etc., were born in the British colonies that became the U.S. and one may have been born in colonial Canada right after the American Revolution. Why don't the birther idiots make a stink about that?


    July 27, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. MW in MD

    The White House should ignore this issue completely! Let the Republican idiots prove that he wasn't born in the US.



    July 27, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. spudmctater

    And John McCain was born in....Panama!

    Republicans, you lost fair and square. It's over. Get behind our commander in chief!

    July 27, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Jim

    An equally absurd argument:

    I think the "birthers" need to prove they are not foreign nationals or convicted felons before the concerns are considered. Until they prove they are citizens in good standing they have no standing to complain.

    July 27, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Chris

    I'm not really up to date on this news, but I do know that my birth certificate has both the city/state and doctor who delivered me. It also states my parents names and has my fingerprints as well as my mothers on it. Wouldn't Obama have something like this? As far as him being born in the US, this is a right we seemed to have given to everyone so I can understand if his mother was on one of those save the heathen crusades in Africa, fell in love with one of the natives, got pregnant, and came home to give birth so that he would be an American citizen. That's the way many Mexicans end up being citizens right now isn't it?

    July 27, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Pam

    Come on people! Do you really not have a life that you can spend so much time and energy on going over and over this.
    This administration inherited the largest mess ever from the Republican pres and his group, now it is clean up time for the Dems.
    Lets deal at least with what is real and true!

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Yo morons!

    His grandmother did not say he was born in Kenya–it was his step-grandmother who said that about 40 years after the fact, AND she was not present at his birth.

    I feel silly indulging this nonsense; it's like trying to prove a negative. Birthers, can you prove that Bush is not satan? Can you offer me one shred of proof that he is not satan? What's that? No proof?

    Can you prove that Rush Limbaugh does not survive solely on the consumption of human flesh? Do you have any proof whatsoever?

    Can you prove that Laura Bush is not a robot? And I don't mean your run-of-the-mill wire and steel robot, but a high-tech cybernetic organism designed to conrol your thoughts? C'mon birthers, prove it! I will not be satisfied until you prove it!

    The certificate is out there and has been vetted. For god's sakes, devote your energies to helping your communites, or alternatively, learning how to read and operate "the google".

    Otherwise, take another swig from your clay jug and remember to holler for Pa when the vittles is ready!

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. big john

    all i see is numerous blogs calling those that want access to president obama's birth certificate.."nuts and birthers.
    the more you attempt to shut down the requests for it the more you fuel it! "news flash" ..there are millions of democrats including me who want this issue closed.i and alot of other folks never saw the certificate on line!
    i'm a 40 yr registered ,voting democrat and i want to have the public to have access to view the original birth certificate. what is the big deal?even if as some say you have to do it over again?
    forget the republicans;just please satisfy us democrats!
    thankyou,big john

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Ronald Clowney

    Can we see Sarah Palin's birth certificate to make sure she wasn't born in Russia which she can see from her back porch!

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Rani McBride

    I bet you not one Republican in congress will admit he is a citizen. Because that would put them against their nutcake base.

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Robert

    Anyone that believes that this is not an important issue should read the constitution. Anyone who still dosent care can get out of MY country. There are too many question to just let it go.

    3.5 more years, please let him not ruin my country until we vote his sorry nigerian tail out of office.

    The pendulim is gonna swing hard right, mark my words.

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Reality Check

    The only story here is the fear some Republicans and some racists (not saying there's a relationship) have of the President succeeding.

    Your worst nightmares are coming true because the economy is turning faster than it took Republicans to destroy it and racism is being faced head-on.

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Royster

    If this is ALL the right-wingers have against Obama..Pretty LAME!

    Can't wait to see if the 'Einstein from Alaska' jumps on this incredibly unimportant debate........she usually does!.

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. bob

    In order to be a "natural born citizen" a person has to either be born to at least one parent who is a citizen and/or be born in the US or on a US military or other installation.

    Pres. Obama's mother was a US citizen (born in Kansas) and he was born in Hawi'i (a US state in 1961). He therefore fulfills both possible requirements. This is nothing but a witch hunt.

    July 27, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Randi

    Conspiracy theories are easy solutions for the weak minded.

    Why don't they just admit that they can't accept a black president? They'd still be bigots, but at least we wouldn't laugh them off as just being crazy.

    This is nonsense.

    I haven't seen Inhofes birth certificate – he's not a real American I guess, right?

    July 27, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Verchiel

    Keep driving your party right off the cliff, GOoPers.

    The longer you let the crazy aunt in the attic be the face of your party, the better it is for the President. The braindead, spittle-flecked ravings of the Birther bigots does infinitely more to undermine Obama's opposition thanit does him.

    July 27, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Scott W.

    Just show the birth certificate. That's all he has to do. Why won't he do that much?

    July 27, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Chester Drawers

    New home sales are way up- Go Barack go!

    July 27, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. jeff

    The Hawaiian newspaper listed his birth in Aug 1961, but that is not enough for these right wing nuts.

    July 27, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Melissa

    I am so tired of this crap.

    July 27, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. DC

    Everyone who works in Washington knows that Inhofe is a raving lunatic.

    July 27, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Royce Arakaki

    Barack Obama was born at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children

    July 27, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Lou from CT

    A couple of simple phrases:

    Hey Birthers:

    1. MOVE ON!

    2. Don't go away mad – just go away...

    July 27, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Esco

    You can blame the president all you want, but the truth is the economy stablized as of now. Some people are getting jobs, even though a great number have lost theirs and are still searching.

    When Repubs scream "Taxes on Health" everyone feared this health bill. No one wants to pay more than they already are, but the fact that you actaully listened to the Republicans and let them fear monger says you believe everything you hear/read.

    He is a Citizen. Its proven, its on the internet if you need it (it really went that far as to put his birth certificate online...wow).

    July 27, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Ozzy

    Roberto got it wrong. No surprise. He thinks: "By law, if anyone who is a son or daughter of a U.S citizien, then the that person no matter where was born….is still consider a U.S citizen…" That is only true if certain conditions are met. Title 18 USC, at the time of Obama's birth, stated that the U.S. parent had to have lived in the United States for ten years, and five of those years had to be after the age of fourteen, making the parent's minimum age 19. The Obama mama was only eighteen when he was born, so since he was born in Kenya, he does not get citizenship.

    July 27, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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