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. J.S.

    ..Just release the birth certificate with the doctor's signature and/or the hospital's signature on it. ..think what is on the internet is called a certificate of birth. One of my relatives was born at home and had to have witnesses/relatives say he was actually born in order to draw their social security–certificate of birth notarized much later than actual birth.

    July 27, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Russ

    I cannot believe that CNN, the only reputable and objective news channel on television (Fox is right wing, MSNBC is left wing) would continue to allow Lou Dobbs to air a show on their network. His continued rant about whether or not President Obama is american born, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, is absurd. His own show shot down this crazy campaign by the birthers last week when Dobbs' show was hosted by a fill in anchor. Does Dobbs not watch his own show? I used to like Lou Dobbs, but now, I think he is terribly non objective and says things that defy reason. He is hurting CNN's reputation as fair and objective jounnalists and should be fired. Let him go to Fox. He would sell well the their audiance.

    July 27, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Chicago Jeff

    Are you kidding me? There isn't always a point-counterpoint to every issue. Some issues are just stupid and, as in this case, are used as a political football. By running stories that say anything on the issue other than these people are crazy, should be beneath CNN.

    Take a look at the picture CNN choose to run with this story: Obama (in dark glasses) is in an exotic location (palm trees and foreign architecture) and the picture was taken from a distance with him apparently unawares (as if he is doing something wrong or in someplace he shouldn't be). One half expects a gotcha moment to immediately follow.

    Please CNN, get back to a modicum of respectability as opposed to operating as if you need to compete with Fox.

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

    A part of GOP, if not the whole, is hell-bent on hecklin' the Hawaiian-born BHO, and harassin' the haves and have-nots together into believin' a balatant and transparent tuft of lies. We do not see any difference between them and a whole host of home-grown terrorists. Could RL, NG, AC, LI, and SP be some of 'em? The possibilities are endless, and therefore we will let the imaginations run wild.

    July 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Robert

    I was born in Madison WV in 1963. I have the documentation and enough proof otherwise that it could never be questioned. The fact that this continues to be a question without a response from the president should make people take notice.

    I am not saying that I believe that he was not born in the US, I am saying WHY IS IT NOT EASY REFUTED????

    The argument of "they will never be satisfied" dosent hold water for me and any thinking american.

    What is he afraid of? Why not just produce it? Dosent make sense....

    July 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Karl in SLC

    The rightwing loons are sad and pathetic. The fact is they are racist. They can't accept the fact that a black man is president of the USA.

    And to make matters worse for the already laughable republican party are the morons that don't deny it or stop it themselves, Inhofe for example, or the idiot rep in california that is trying to pass a bill.

    Grow up you morons, and CNN, tell Lou Dobbs to shut his piehole too.

    July 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Kate in SW Fla

    Another cowardly Republican who will try and use the issue to keep the support of their crazy right wing lunatic fringe supporters, then try and walk it back just enough to not appear completely insane himself. If one of these jokers tried to say Obama was from Mars, I doubt if they would have the guts to dispute even that, if they thought it might cost them even one or 2 VOTES!!!!! They collectively make me sick.

    July 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. P. Freely

    Gibbs has a gift for gab. Why don't they just show the certificate? Where there is smoke there is fire....

    July 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Craig Shearer

    Russel, why don't you come up with an original response and quit reading from the dry-rotten "progressive" playbook. It is way too old.

    To the White House, please post the Birth Certificate, so we can see, once and for all. Shouldn't be a problem, really, right?

    July 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Diane Panama City Fl

    Birthers = Blubbering Conserviidiot Sniveling Moron class. The Party of No-Class-for-the-Stupid (Republican'ts) once again attempts to distract from the fact they are trying to run this country off a cliff while wrapping themselves in their American Swatzika flag.

    July 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Kelly

    "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."

    Notice Gibbs DID NOT say "natural-born" citizen.

    July 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Babatunde

    Its unbelievable that this is what people are talking about when there are bigger problems in this economy. Citizen or no citizen, Barack Obama has work to do. Let him get to it and finish it and you can decide his fate in 4 years. As Americans you should't distract your leaders from the task that they have at hand. The people bringing up irrelevant issues such as this should be ashamed of themselves and they need to ask themselves "Is this whats best for the country at this moment?"

    July 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Alicia

    The Birthers are just racists who will not accept the President of the USA is a Black Man! Period!

    **For the nutjob Birther that said her father fought in the Pacific theatre........so did BLACK Soldiers lady! Also, what are the American Indians saying to her 'She is a guest in their country?'

    The Republicans love this. They love HATE.

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

    Uhhnnnn Swartzenegger is not US Born but Yet he is Governor??? and can run for the President with not conficts......................Give it a rest

    July 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Jessica

    I'm really just waiting for the final acqusation to be made that Obama is an ALIEN

    How is he ever going to prove he's NOT an Alien is the real question...

    Natural Born Citizen – "born in the united states"...therefore, being born in Hawaii AUTOMATICALLY makes you a natural born citizen. no other qualification needed.

    So unless they can prove he was BORN in 2 places at 1 time...why isnt this case CLOSED?

    July 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Albert Zaza

    The birthers didn't believe we landed on the moon and so Gates will not do anything to get them to believe that the President was born in the US.

    We all know the president was born in the US and if few detractors don’t want to know the truth, they can continue with their low life.

    July 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Brandon

    Obviously the White House isn't doing enough. Afterall, they aren't inventing a time machine so that we can go back and directly observe Obama being born. Why isn't the White house holding a seance to contact the doctor that delivered him (his mother would only lie about it)? Just because there is absolutely no proof Obama was born anywhere else, doesn't mean we shouldn't expect these small things as proof of his citizenship.

    July 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Sandra Day

    Stop dissing the President and quoting Rasmussen polls, made up of largely male, middle aged, fairly wealthy individuals. Heck, if 49% of them think our President is still doing a good job, if you throw in the rest of the U.S., somewhere closer to 60%+ must be thinking he is still doing a good job.

    July 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. David W

    These special people actually believe that in the most powerful country in the world that somehow we've elected an alien president. Like that could happen in any country LOL. I mean with the crazies out there, even a lady with a "No Hispanics" sign in her front yard, how can an alien would squeeze through to top office? Or maybe when the democrats were discussing amnesty, Obama was really trying to get amnesty for himself. We're talking about kicking out illegal immagrants. But we have an illegal immigrant president!!!! Oh WAIT NO, THIS ISNT STUPID LAND. Oh yes, I did go to college thank God.

    Losers there is no retroactive election; that time has passed, grow up...

    Sad thing is most of them are like 50+ yrs old, fully grown and probably with grandchildren with better sense.

    July 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. tommy perkins

    Progress for America no mater what you right wing weirdos say. Obama 2012. I know everyone I know is going to vote for him again. Even people who will just be voting age in 2012. And with the majority he won the first time. We won't even need all the people we had. So let all those losers who thinks race is more important than progress keep talking it wont matter. TA HE TA HE

    July 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Mickie

    Yep, these people sure have it right. Obama's mother and father were in on the conspiracy back in 1961, so they placed a phony ad in the Honolulu paper announcing the birth of their son - just so he could become president in 2009.

    Yeah, right.

    The copy of the birth certificate has been posted on the Internet, the certification of its legitimacy has been confirmed, and Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States. The Holocaust really happened, and men have walked on the moon.

    It is incredible to me that people are so stupid, blind, prejudiced or whatever that they deny reality. Unbelievable!!

    July 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Jason

    Why not prove it to the point where Americans are finally satisfied? This administration has not. In addition to all the other failures, double speak, broken campaign promises, lack of transparency, why should us Americans take this at face value until it is proven to us beyond a doubt. Obviously, this has not happened as of yet. Like everything else about this sketchy administration.

    July 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Just another lame tactic by the losing party of NO, remember the Rebups recently got together and came to the conclusion that Obama won on tactics, but what they really mean is that they lost because of tactics, so they are trying to improve their tactics. Birthers bring in $$ and raise discontent.

    Birthers are obviously just a few racist people who use the Birth-Certificate non-issue as a pretext to express their dissatisfaction with how “untraditional” our current President is (i.e. Not white old guy) without expressly disclosing their racist views, but their choice of words repeatedly betrays their racist leanings and they come across as simply nutty.

    July 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. USA

    There is enough evidence to question where he was born and whether he is a citizen of this country. His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she witnessed it. The Kenyan ambassador says he was born there. He went to school in Indonesia, who did not accept dual citizenship. When he was 17 or 18 he went to Pakistan when at the time it was illegal for a US citizen to travel to Pakistan, which means he more than likely entered Pakistan on an Indonesian passport. You don't get a passport from a country without being a citizen of that country.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. richard martin

    people of the united states......
    for a president to actually be in office legally,he/she HAS to provide PREOOF of a real birth certificate! hawaii has already PROVED they have NO record of him being born there! and i am NOT a redneck,backwoods meth addict.....im a hardvard educated professor..

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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