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. Jason

    There is a non-partisan organization, f a c t c h e c k .o r g, that has seen and analyzed the birth certificate for article titled "Born in the USA" on August 21, 2008. CNN will not allow me to provide the link so...

    w w w . f a c t c h e c k . o r g /
    In the search box, type "obama birth certificate", read the "Born in the USA" article dated Aug 21, 2008.

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Roger

    Obama and the Democrats promised transparency: now there is only obfuscation.

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Mike

    Inhofe's comments just goes to show that if a rumour is to his political advantage he'll use it to "oppose Obama's liberal agenda", even though it's untrue. "Ends justifies means" thinking – what about the truth? For goodness sake

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Oregon calling

    Bill, the birth certificate WAS put on the internet, I printed out a copy to give to a supporter of his. That supported was a FIRST TIME VOTER!!! I believe in OUR President. President Obama, keep fighting for us AVERAGE AMERICANS please!!!

    Peace :-)

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. ANGIE

    people that think President Obama is not a citizen of the USA will always think that, because they didn't want him to be president. did anybody question any other president about a birth certificate? nope. hmmmmmmmmmmmmm! let it go you losers. get a life.

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Colin

    The hilarious thing about these "birthers" is that they can't even agree on WHY Obama isn't a citizen! There's about a dozen different theories. They all cancel each other out. Even in the "comments" section here, we see a number of contradictory lines of reasoning being "articulated" (and I use the term very loosely.) This shows that the conclusion precedes the reasoning: that these people have decided in advance that Obama is not a citizen, and then spun their various separate theories to justify said conclusion, after the fact. There is no reasoning going on here. Just blind unthinking mindlessness.

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    What do you expect when Media personnel like Lou Dobbs keep stoking the fire

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Oregon calling

    oops I meant supporter

    July 27, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. JM

    "...doesnt make him a "natural born citizen"..."

    Actually it does. If you are born in this country then you are a natural born citizen.

    July 27, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. misanthropicus

    So Gibbs assures us that Barry Soetoro is not a liar. Thaks God, Gretchen, see, how people of integrity rally around Soetoro?

    July 27, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Dan

    What people do not seem to understand is that weather or not Obama was born in the US is irrelevant (e.g. John McCain was born in Panama). Children born of parents who are US citizens are themselves citizens. There is no argument that his mother was born in Kansas. This is another fine example of why the founding fathers put in place the Electoral College. Unfortunately, that institution does not keep stupid people out of congress

    July 27, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Jessica

    what a magnificent cover up since birth!

    if it's a true cover up...i say KUDOS!

    the real question is...why, since birth? were they psychic and knew he'd be president one day?

    July 27, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Limbaughs drugs

    you know, I never saw a birth certificate for George W. Bush, hmm....
    maybe we could just cancel his presidency.

    July 27, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. mariela

    Is this because his father was from Africa? If he was from Ireland would it be different?

    July 27, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Okey Anozie

    Obviously not Mr. Martin... you have no education.. During the campaign they had his Birth certificate put on the internet for those to see. U would know Mr. Porfessor that Americans don't hold on to their Legal certificates.... Good work Harvard!!

    July 27, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Dami

    There is only one country capable of defeating the US of A and that country is the United States of America. It is unfortunate that the worst enemies of this country are its citizens if not please explain why Lou Dobbs has a T.V show. That guy is not a serious person.

    July 27, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Bob

    I'm with Dale, conspiracies abound.

    July 27, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Nic

    If ever I forget how much dimwitted, self-deluding racist trash still lives in this country, I need only to read the comments here to remind myself. Idiocracy here we come.

    July 27, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Julia

    Ok, I think that the rule is that they must be born on American soil-not just be a citizen. So the implication is that if not born on American soil he wouldn't be able to be president, but since proof has been provided that he was born in Hawaii there is no problem.

    I guess it is hard for some to remember a time when a majority of Americans like the president.

    July 27, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Benaiah

    A "citizen of the United States at birth" is NOT synonymous with a "natural born citizen" of the United States.

    Obama "may" be a "citizen" of the United States, but he isn't a "natural born citizen" of the United States, as his father as a "foreigner".

    Thus, Obama is NOT "eligible to the Office of President" under Article II of the Constitution of the United States..

    July 27, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Lucas

    In case it helps:

    Hawaii destroyed all of its paper records around 2001. No Hawaiian resident has the "long form" document the "birthers" are currently requesting that Obama present – they all have the same "certificate of live birth" that Obama's staff posted on the internet.

    I suppose you could argue that this suggests some larger possible conspiracy. But then again, the "birthers" are trying to avoid being labeled conspiracy theorists. Gibbs is right – they likely wouldn't be satisfied no matter what evidence is presented. JFK, the moon landing, the holocaust... it's the same deal, as far as I can tell.

    July 27, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Get Real

    All those that this ia all because of racism are diminishing actual racism. The reason for the question is not because of race. It is because as we all know his father was from another country. There were questions asked about McCain because his actual birth took place outside of the US was that because of racism????

    July 27, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Repubs will Lose in 2010...2012...2016 and onwards

    LISTEN UP...

    If these birthers and repugnant continue to question the citizenship of President Obama.. they surely know they won't be able to get Bobby Piyush Jindal run for the office or VP in 2012 or 2016. Both his parents were born in Banglistan or some other "country" like "Africa"...

    July 27, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Conti Gill

    What is wrong with these people! So now the powers that be are too stupid to uncover every blithering aspect of a presidential hopeful to possibly destroy him during the campaign that a foreigner made it to the highest position in the country? PLEASE GET OVER IT! BARAK OBAMA is the 44th President!

    July 27, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Azar

    One should not expect much from the 'birthers' and their supporters. After all, these are the people who believe that the earth is only six thousand years old?

    July 27, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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