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. No More Cheney

    These "birthers" need to provide proof that they are mentally stable. Is there a certificate for that?

    July 27, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Ed Tallahassee

    Do you think Hilary Clinton who have let this slip by in the Primaries? I don't think so.

    It's like the moon landing some people will never believe the truth no matter how many times you tell them.

    July 27, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Deb in Colo

    These are the same idiots that think Sarah Palin walks on water....what can you do?

    July 27, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Robin

    Even if he was born outside of the US, he is still a citizen. BECAUSE HE HAD AN AMERICAN MOTHER.

    Still does not mean he is qualified to be our President. But he is so legally, all we can do is vote him out in 2012.

    July 27, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. NC DEM

    Mr Gibbs is right. I have received e-mails from some of these people that state that "even if he was born in Hawaii, he is not a natural born citizen because his father was Kenyan". There is nothing that will stop these people including the fact that John McCain was born in the Canal Zone. They simply cannot stand the fact that President Obama was elected by a sizeable majority against their "wishes"

    July 27, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. russell

    and believe me , the anti Americans are the one 's yelling that Obama's not a US citizen , most of them that are questioning this are probably not US citizens either , in fact their probably republicans with hoods and pitch forks , .......get the picture !

    July 27, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Amy in Wisconsin

    This is a non-issue. There are many legitimate issues that result in honest disagreements, but this is not one of them. This non-issue is the result of right wing commentators' need to spout the most ridiculous ideas to get attention,

    July 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Kerry

    how come Obama doesn't just address this on prime time like he does everything else? I would like to hear it from the horses' mouth.

    July 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Emma

    Bill, the certificate was on the internet. All the news media carried a picture of the certificate.

    So what is your answer to the stupid Americans who are still asking if President Obama is an American citizen?

    Does anyone in your family have cancer (any king), HIV, herpes? We should be talking about universal health care, not whether the President is an American citizen. Don't you think that if there was a problem, the researchers for the Republican Party would have made this information public? Get a life America! MOVE ON.

    July 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. banshee196

    The White House HAS done all they can to prove the President was born in the U.S. Now it's time for Senator Inhofe and his ilk to find their backbones and stand up to these nutjobs.

    July 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. John Black Hills/SD

    The people who bring this up are the same people who believe the Apollo lunar missions were faked. It must be embarrassing for these people to have their faces seen in public.
    Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, and yes Hawaii is really an island in an ocean named Pacific. Hawaii was also a state in 1961.
    Sen. McCain was born in Panama, when it wasn't a US territory/installation during the canal. He was born to American parents working for the USA. McCain is also an American.

    July 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. russell

    most of you Anti -Amercains are probably white back woods rednecks , and even some that hide behind the farce of actually being patriotic, .......most of you really need to lay off the meth.

    July 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Kenney in Albany

    The term 'natural born citizen' is not defined in the US Constitution. The Republican Hawaiian Governor has validated President Obama birth certificate. President Obama's biological mother was born in Kansas, which last time I checked was still in the United States, making President Obama a citizen of the United States naturally.

    All the time and effort put into this loosing battle could be used to actually do the work the citizens of America expect the US senators to do. This is just one more attempt by the GOP to distract the American people.

    July 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. DP

    If the repubs want to impale themselves on a non-issue, go right ahead, but we know they have no solutions, they just have stupid non-issues.

    July 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Steve

    He's got a point – no matter what evidence is provided, the "Birthers" will claim it's forged or otherwise falsified or that someone was paid off to say something. No level of proof will satisfy them short of them going back in time – personally – and standing in the delivery room. Even then, they'd probably claim babies were switched later at the hospital or something.

    July 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Shari, NY

    Questions: Is ignorance bliss? Why is this issue still in the air? Is it because the haters and are running out of ideas on how bash the President? I guess that if you are not born in the contiguous states some people will dispute the fact that you are American. Well, what do we now do about Alaska and Hawaii? While you ponder this why not throw in the territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, etc., etc. ? America is trying to take hold of Navassa Island but smart Haitians won't have it. Peace!

    July 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Rebecca

    This Black Man who is president is only 1/2 black. The other 1/2 is white. I'm sick of folks saying he's black. He's not. He's both!!!

    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. chris

    If they showed a paper copy everyone would think they just created it.

    Foreign people that moved here when they were 5 yrs old, served in our military and love this country are NO different than someone that was born here and loves this country.


    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. J

    Same morons who think Palin is qualified to run a taco stand. What can you do?

    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Suzan

    Inhofe a lame duck republican in OKLAHOMA must not have seen the report on the news that showed the birth certificate with the seal and everything....even the birth announcement that was put in the paper by his parents when he was born........no matter what the President provides to this country about his birth certificate they will continue to complain and wouldn't believe it no matter what (because they are sore losers like Inhofe and racists).......and for Inhofe to take part in and make such stupid remarks, he better watch his words cause this state has had their fill of this jerk......he is such a loser

    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Lou Dobbs is adding fuel to the fire insisting the President is an undocumented alien. CNN is starting to sound like Fox News.

    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. vyker


    Mr. Obama went to Pakistan in 1981, and returned to JFK in New York in 1981 from visiting Pakistan.

    The USA had a 'hold' on Pakistan, meaning if you had a US passport you could not travel there.

    Question is....what passport did Mr. Obama use?

    p.s. The Liberal's were sure salivating on Bush's national guard records....but question the mighty Obama and it is heresy.

    The smart thing is....if Obama had to resign....we would have Biden. Barack knew how to pick his running mate.

    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Benaiah

    The Constitutional issues isn't whether Obama is a "citizen" of the United States, the Constitutional issue is whether he is an Article II "natural born citizen" of the United States, which he isn't as his father was a "foreigner"...

    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Luke

    Pretty stupid we are still hearing about this brith certificate tomfoolery. People just have to find another way to hate Obama. You see same the same crazy irrational people every time Bush or Cheney is mentioned so the sword cust both ways.

    July 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. CJ

    Please get a life birthers. We all voted AFTER this lame issue was in the press. Use your time and energy to volunteer or something useful.

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