February 22nd, 2010
08:23 PM ET
3 years ago

I believe Obama is a U.S. citizen, Hayworth says

'I believe that Barack Obama is an American citizen,' Republican J.D. Hayworth said Monday.
'I believe that Barack Obama is an American citizen,' Republican J.D. Hayworth said Monday.

(CNN) – Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth is putting to rest any notion that he is a "birther," a believer in the unsubstantiated theory that President Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen and, therefore, not eligible to be president of the United States.

At a press conference Monday, the former congressman was repeatedly asked about recent comments which appeared to suggest he believes Obama was not a citizen.

"I believe that Barack Obama is an American citizen," Hayworth said.

After several questions Hayworth added, "Barack Obama is the president of the United States."

Hayworth is challenging Arizona Sen. John McCain in this year's Republican primary..

Last week in an interview with CNN's Campbell Brown, Hayworth raised the issue of identity theft as one reason some members of the public might be concerned about Obama proving he is a U.S. citizen. Hayworth was responding to Brown's query about comments he'd made in late January where he called on Obama personally to produce a birth certificate instead of relying on the State of Hawaii to do so.

In his Monday news conference, Hayworth, who recently left a stint as a conservative radio talk show host, said his earlier comments about Obama's citizenship had been inspired by his time working in radio.

"I was talking in another context about what I was hearing on the radio," Hayworth said.

He added, "To bring up a topic and to talk about it is not the same as endorsing a point of view."

Hayworth also took the opportunity Monday to accuse McCain, of being a flip-flopper on the Wall Street bailout.

McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, recently told the editorial board of The Arizona Republic that he had been misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about "TARP" otherwise known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

"And now it seems that [McCain] would have us believe that he would change positions on that vote [for TARP]," Hayworth said.

"That type of flip-flop is more reminiscent of John Kerry than the John McCain with whom I worked for so many years," Hayworth also said, making a reference to the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee who was attacked by the GOP as a flip-flopper.

McCain's re-election campaign quickly fired back at Hayworth.

"Senator McCain has long questioned the management of TARP, declared that the funds were being misused and voted repeatedly to defund it," McCain campaign Communications Director Brian Rogers said in a written statement.

Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN


Filed under: 2010 • Extra • J.D. Hayworth • John McCcain • Popular Posts
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Capsaicin

    Hope McCain remembers dear-departed McCain-Feingold and stands up for moderate Republicanism that works for the American people rather than the doppelganger he was during the campaign.

    Someone on R side of the aisle needs to call out the right-wing talk show loose cannons and their nihilistic yammering when our nation is hurting so badly and needs attention–both D and R–that is serious and compassionate.

    February 22, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. Robert Warner

    These idiots want to run our country but still mire themselves in this non-issue? Anyone who considers this birthers nonsense to be worthy of discussion or consideration, except to denounce such claims, is automatically unfit for office.

    February 22, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. jack

    Another politician who will say and do anything to get back into office.
    Pathetic. But just like a repuke.

    February 22, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    LIAR, but anyway so is John McCain.

    February 22, 2010 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. Larry in Houston

    Dang, what gave it away? Maybe the certified birth certificate he produced a year and a half ago?

    February 22, 2010 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. Paul Illinois

    McCain is just embarrassing himself thrashing about in a cesspool of ambiguous, stupid and opposing viewpoints of his own creation. He has gone from a young man of stalwart backbone to an old man of no backbone. Now he didn't like TARP after he liked TARP, why? – because it was convenient for political gain. I feel sorry for him. he should retire to one of his 7 homes and relax, he has earned it, relax and please stop making a fool of himself – he's an American Hero, let us remember him that way, not the way he is now.

    February 22, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  7. B-Koi

    Is this the same John MCcain that suspended his campaign for President to go Vote YES to the TARP?

    February 22, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  8. Turnabout is Fair Play

    FFS, anyone worth a half a brain knows Obama is a true red-blooded American, more so than McCain. Even though McCain was born on a U.S. Warship in the Panama canal, there's nothing like being born on good ole U.S. soil to certify the term, "BORN IN THE U.S.A" as the Brucester would sing. So give it up ignorant neo-cons, Obama is more of an American than McCain and a REAL American.

    February 22, 2010 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  9. jai

    Like a lot of the biased propaganda purported to be journalism, this story makes a joke of journalists worldwide.

    The first sentence is pure tripe. The only "unsubstantiated theory" about Obama's eligibility for President is that he is a natural born citizen. In fact he substantiated the fact that he is 'not' eligible for the Presidency by admitting in his fictionalized autobiography that his father was a British citizen.

    The Saudi backing of the press is showing. Fact it, journalists are about as respected as lying politicians. And stories like this are a big reason for the public's disgust.

    February 22, 2010 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. jai

    Hayworth's cowardice is exceeded only by that of McCain and CNN.

    February 22, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Hayworth was a snake oil salesman when he worked as a conservative radio talk show host. Taking back the extreme comments he made will require magic from his bag of dirty tricks.

    February 22, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  12. Jay

    The more I hear about Hayworth, the more I distrust the guy. I'm not particularly fond of McCain, either; but, better the devil you know than one who, at least on the surface, looks far worse!

    February 22, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  13. steve fielder

    My questions to you, Mr. J.D. Hayworth, are these: Were you being deceitful to your radio show fans back in January when you put forth the insinuation that President Obama was not a U.S. citizen by demanding that he, himself produce his birth certificate, or are you being deceitful to Arizona voters now by proclaiming your belief that Obama is, in fact, a native-born American? Which position do you actually, believe, sir, and what are Arizona voters supposed to believe with regards to your honesty?

    February 22, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. Steve from WI

    So, now that Hayworth has moved from talk radio back to politics, he actually needs to make rational sense to voters. Welcome back to the real world, Congressman!

    February 22, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. eddie

    This dunce is admitting that when on Talk Radio, anything goes! Those idiots on Talk Radio are more dangerous to America, than any terrorist could be!

    February 22, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  16. Clark

    President Obama probably is a citizen .... just hard to imagine why he just doesn't take the very simple step and publish the proof. Like any of the rest of us would.

    February 22, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  17. KM

    Say what you mean and mean what you say!!!!!!

    Just another politician who will say anything to get elected.

    February 22, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. Will

    The Republican Party is the party of hate, racism, divisiveness, homophobia, fear mongers, pseudo christians, bigots, and negativity. They continue to hold back this country from progress and unity. They disgust me!!! And they are an embarrassment to this country.

    President Obama is way above all this nonsense.

    February 22, 2010 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  19. Greg, MN

    It just seems to me if the guy has an actual Birth Certificate identifying him as a natural born citizen he would have shown it by now...

    What reason would there be not too, and shut everyone up!

    February 22, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  20. tim

    Hey, Hayworth, how about talking in the context of reality? Yes, by bringing up a topic and talking about it, given your political views, you were tacitly endorsing it. I don't know about anyone else, but this is the worse case of flip flopping I've ever seen, Republican or Democrat.

    February 22, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. thgirbla

    Let's see..............

    ........WE have the Party of "NO" and the Party of "DON'T KNOW".............

    .........and the Man Child currently playing in the Oval Office..........

    ........which one do I choose ???

    February 22, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. disgusted in iowa

    Dumb and dumber...GOP's mantra

    February 22, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  23. AK steve

    These nutballs want to run the country? I can't believe the support their wacko theories get.

    Come on now, we all know the truth – Barack obviously has his US citizen ship. It is a well known fact that he is actually Elvis! Geez, you'd think they'd be on top of this?

    February 22, 2010 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  24. John in Tampa

    I liked him better when he was a birther. Then I only dispised him. Is the twit saying now that in some settings it is okay to lie, but now he's in a place where he shouldn't? Yeah. Right.

    February 22, 2010 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. FenixZeratul

    What a phony.

    February 22, 2010 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
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