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. 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 |
  2. John

    Why can't the people who believe in this "birther" myth spend their energy on discussing the actual important issues facing the nation.

    Oh I forgot they are loonies and can't actually add value to any intelligent discussion.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Roberta

    For all those people who want to see the "original" birth certificate, show me yours and I'll show you mine. Does anyone honestly think that if President Obama were not a citizen the folks running against him would have let him be voted into office?

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

    Time to pull out those tin foil hats again, birthers.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. D. Tree

    These are the people that hated Obama before the election, and they will hate him no matter how good of a president he is.

    It just goes to show what's left of the Republican Party indulging in this kind of veiled bigotry.

    Progressive Americans are now in the firm majority, so the GOP has nothing but the loonies left over to pander to.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Erick in AL

    This is eerking me! He is a citizen. Somehow, this has racial undertones to me.The birth certificate is out there. Go and see it.It has been ceritfied. Get over it!! Im nearly embarrased to be an American if there are dumb, ignorant Americans that can't accept the truth.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Potomac Wonderfool

    There will always be some people who will not like Obama to be the president and they will start any rumor to question his right to be a president. If you prove one of their allegation to be wrong, they will start rumor questioning the proof or start another rumor. They don't want to be satisfied. So we should just tell them to go to xxxx or wherever they go to create new rumors.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Jason

    So big deal, his parents flew to Hawaii from Kenya or Saudi Arabia or Iran just to have Obama born in the U.S...doesnt make him a "natural born citizen"

    July 27, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Peggy - TX

    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 to media.

    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 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    What a moronic issue for the GOP rabble to center on.... It's about as valid as the stories that circulated about Bush being a lizard.

    July 27, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. J of K

    A 'short form' that is available even today from Hawaii to those NOT born in Hawaii IS NOT A BIRTH CERTIFICATE. The problem would go away if the real one – that includes the doctor and the hospital etc. were produced. This is not the case. I believe this issue is continued to stay active so that Americans DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THE WH IS REALLY DOING. Obama has tried or actually pushed through so much, that unraveling will be a major problem once it is proven he is NOT a real American Citizen. Even McCain proved he was valid to run with a real certificate, what is the media and obama hiding??? What is the WH threatening people that go to talk with obama about something and come out saying " the powers that be say....."

    July 27, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. laurie

    My oldest daughter was born in Charlotte,NC 15 years ago – at home. I had a midwife and therefore, my daughter has a state issued birth certificate – but, no hospital records. If I was asked to provide proof of her citizenship it would just be a state issued birth certificate (which was good enough to get an American passport). By the way, my family is Lumbee Indian from Appalachia – and my grandparents were born on a reservation – I can't imagine what kind of proof of citizenship would Inhofe require of them? This is a stupid non-issue. Pls. let's move on and deal with fixing our economy.

    July 27, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Typical GOPers. When the truth doesn't fit – rewrite the truth.

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

    Do people NOT remember their Civics class in high school? If you have one parent who is an American citizen, then you are an American citizen. Also, he was born in Hawaii, an American state.

    What is with these birthers? Do their IQ's not reach the 3-digit variety?

    July 27, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. J. Hayes

    Right wing fanatics don't let pesky annoyances like FACTS get in their way. They will continue with the conspiracy theories. I guess Obama's birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser in 1961, yes 1961 was a big 47 year plot to have the first African American President.

    If these birthers, or more increasingly referred to as "BMers", aren't bona fide xenophobic nutballs I don't know what is.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. JB from Kansas

    This is just distracting noise from "Flat Earthers" who want our President to fail. McCain was born is Panama and I never heard any problem with that either time he ran. We have as much proof as it is possible to give that Obama was born in the 50th state of the USA. Further, his mother and grandparents were born in Kansas so if he would have been born on the moon, he would still be a natural born American. Grow up people. An it is time for the press to stop giving any coverage to people who want to say the earth is flat or the sun revolves aground the earth, or Obama is was not born in the USA.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. RAY

    First of all, President Obama is a U.S. citizen. This story is a non-issue just like...well...oh yeah, anything at all about Sarah Palin.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. S M R

    Great phrase used Robert "fictional nonsense". We are in 2 wars and skyrocketing unemployment and these clowns want to ask questions about a birth certificate. PATHETIC

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. peter

    I do not understand what is the need of an issue about Obama place of birth. Because he is smart or clever? America is the most civilized nation in the world for that reason record keeping of birth certificate is nothing or not an issue, he is an elected president of the USA, every body should proud on this president who has two-race Black and White doing the best job since he has been the office.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Kate in SW Fla

    Mark from Louisiana, you have been watching FOX News, haven't you? The birth certificate IS on the internet, plus it has been verified by the REPUBLICAN Governor of Hawaii, as well as the entire Hawaiian Health Dept. Obama's entire family has stated he was born in Hawaii too, even the white ones! This is an entirely made up non-issue, created by some Russian immgrant dentist who got a law degree from who knows where. Seriously, this is nonsense.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Anna from Milton, FL

    President Obama's mother was a citizen of the United States, so the entire issue is moot, regardless of where he was born. He could have been born on Mars, he would still be a natural-born citizen of the United States.

    In any case, this isn't about his birth. This is about a black man living in a White House, and they know they can't say that, so they try to find some other reason why he can't be President. Failing that, they make stuff up. They should be ignored. Or laughed at. Take your pick.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Sally

    We have more important NEWS to report!!! People are going to believe what they want to believe... Let's move on to bigger and better things like health care, jobs, housing, etc....

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Tina, NC

    Birther = Racist

    enough said

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. John Boy

    When all you can resort to is name calling and hurling insults to make a point, your argument loses all credibility. Calling people rednecks is also as bad as calling African Americans you know what. Can't we all just get along?

    July 27, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Henry

    Repuglicans, Rethuglicans, Repiglicans. Choose your poison you right wing tools.

    July 27, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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