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. Harish

    Whay have Obama and his handlers sealed Obama's records at his law school and another College? How could Obama travl to paki-land when U.S. citizens were not allowed to go there? Why doesn't he show the 'official' birth certificate from state of Hawaii?
    If Obama is a natural born citizen as the US constitution demands, then there is nothing for him to worry about.
    And for the nincompoop who said why George's birth certificate was not demanded, you prove that you are as brainless as anyone can be. George's father was not a nigerian scum bag.

    July 27, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. John Lancaster, Seattle

    Birth certificate authentication aside...the mere fact that an announcement of Barack Obama appeared in the VERY local Honolulu Advertiser in 1961 should assuage any reasonable person's doubts that Obama was born in Hawaii. Why? The source of ALL birth announcement back then (and today?) was the Dept of Health Vita Statistics System and NOT parents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc.

    To keep this absurd "reasoning" moving forward, birthers must necessarily include in their theories an apparently VERY farsighted, and particularly insidious, state government. Seriously, when has any government, state or federal, been THAT farsighted? One could only hope...

    Really...if fomenting doubt about Obama's birth origin is the best some can come up with to attack the president, then he must be doing a pretty good job in extraordinarily difficult times.

    July 27, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. mr. Kman

    Why are these racists contiuing to make stupid claims about President Obama. He is our President now- so live with it. CNN you need to stop trying to keep silly issues likes this and Palin in the news as something that we want to hear about. Focus on the real problems in american and on the politicians who are against everything. We do need healthcare for all americans and we need to reestablish our role as the world leader in education, peace, economics and humanity.

    July 27, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. pistol

    John McCain was born in Panama, do you think it would be an issue if he were President ? I think not.

    July 27, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Keith, CO

    "FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it's stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka " source: FactCheck.org

    He has to show you "birthers" nothing. You guys don't realize that the F.B.I., C.I.A., N.S.A, Homeland Security & even RNC would have to be in on the conspiracy. Squirm you worms

    July 27, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Ryan G.

    Richard, if you're a Harvard-educated professor, why don't you know how to spell Harvard?

    This birther nonsense is ridiculous.

    Think about it this way. During the election, if the GOP had *any* evidence that Obama was born outside this country, they would have used it to get Obama disqualified. But their hundreds of lawyers couldn't find a thing.

    Yet somehow a lady at a town hall meeting — who, incidentally, is known among local radio listeners as "Crazy Eileen" for claiming to know about aliens and having met angels — somehow has all the facts they don't? No way.

    July 27, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. DJ in the Silicon Forest

    WHY is Obama spending upwards of $1 million to fight this and ALL of his other pertinent records that would indicate something is amiss?

    July 27, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. JP

    For a Harvard Professor you should be able to spell! Stop spewing your garbage!

    July 27, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. DJ in the Silicon Forest

    WHY is Obama spending upwards of $1 million to fight this and ALL of his other pertinent records that would indicate something is amiss? What is he afraid of?

    July 27, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Darren

    DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. Seriously, these people are idiots. It's against Hawaiian law to release the original brith certificate. The copy is readily available and the Rebublican Governor of Hawaii has seen the original. There is no issue here. Bunch of stupid idiots who think otherwise.

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. jen

    President Obama's mom dreamt that his son will be one the greatest man in the US right? how smart of her...tired of all you Republican haters, party of 'NO SUBSTANCE'

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Ethan

    Fact: You can't have a party controlled by Rush Limbaugh and expect the Republican "grassroots" to use facts or common sense.

    While that means we get such awesome comedy as this and Palin stand-up hour, it also means that we have Republican dittoheads screaming an endless screed of provably false talking points on any number of subjects from "socialism" to "wise latina" to health care.

    ANYTHING to drown out debate on the important issues of the day.

    We all know the GOP always prefers the Status Quo.

    I'm sure I am speaking for MANY Democrats when I say that in all seriousness I'd rather debate policy differences with someone who understands the difference between fact and fiction than try to convince today's GOP that the Earth is, indeed, round and the sky is, indeed, blue.

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Shawn

    I have never seen anybody react so childishly to LOSING an election as these "birther" freaks. What a bunch of babies. If you come up with some absurd, bizarre conspiracy theory, it's up to YOU to prove it. So what do you have besides paranoia and lies? Put up or shut up.

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Jason

    It has nothing to do with him being a black president, I work for a black man, and have many black friends that are at my house all the time.
    Its because he is a terrible president with no courage and no experience...we are the laughing stock of the world, everyone of our enemies are emboldened. The economy is a mess, jobs are being lost faster then when Bush was in power. Obama has proven himself worse then Bush.
    Dummycrats all made fun of Bush's gaffes, look how many Obama has made already...

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. D

    This just shows how stupid poeple are in the US. If Limbaugh told them the sky is yellow and the sun is blue they would fight you to the bitter end defending that statement. Don't you guys think John McCain looked into Obama's BC BEFORE the election. You people just want a conspiracy to flap your gums about. My God get a life!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. tonybama

    Let the Republican "base" keep it up. This is great for our country-it will insure that they remain as insignificant as possible.

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Samantha

    richard martin the only harvard education you have is the harvard times. the state of hawaii is who released the birth certificates of his birth. you and the people who keep pushing this lie are ignorant and he nothing else do do with you time.

    July 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Bill

    We were not Happy with Bill Clinton
    We were not Happy with Bush
    We are not Happy with Obama, he was born on Jupiter.
    We can Have a President "MADE in CHINA". :P

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Theresa

    I am not a conspiracy theorist but there are some unanswered questions here. As far as I am concerned, everyone should have to produce their certified birth certificate if they are running for POTUS. The President has NOT given sufficient evidence of this. There are many gaps in his life that have not been accounted for but the media choose to ignore these during the election. We deserve to know the truth because we learned the truth on every other president, why not this one. Why all the secrecy?

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Gop

    Well if they have proof then hand it over! Seem they keep saying they have this record, but still won’t put it up on the web for every one to see.

    I like his point that no matter what the White House has to say on the topic there will be those who won’t believe he was born in our country.

    But he fails to notice that by not showing any proof at all, you feed into the belief that Obama has something to hide!

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Curtis

    There is no physically embossed seal on any form presented thus far. The one living grandmother, of whom we never hear, witnessed the birth in Kenya. Since no actual birth certificate with the embossed raised seal has been presented, and his grandmoher said he was born in Kenya, why don't we just admit the truth: The American public has been deceived, yet again.

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Robert

    If you're born of an American mother or father, you automatically have US citizenship. End of story.

    And he was born in Hawaii, and he provided his Birth Certificate which was declared official by Hawaii... so he's a US citizen on 2 accounts.. born of an American mother and born on US soil.

    Good Lord people, let it go..

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Chelle

    oh boy!! he kicked John McCain's butt left him in the dust... Real slowly now class B-A-R-A-C-K is the 44th president of the divided states of america!!! Get a life people

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Steve

    The birthers are right. All the Obama supports should be put in a large ship sailed off the edge of the flat earth.

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Scot

    I believe Obama is an American because like most liberals, he hates America and is hell bent on destroying it by deliberately bankrupting the country relegating us as a 3rd world country....Change we can believe in......I also know why he hates America just like most liberals....It's very simple....He and the liberals resent America because they don't have the talent, energy or ambition to compete in a free market economy, thus it must be destroyed!!!

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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