Bachmann sidesteps Obama's citizenship issue
February 17th, 2011
08:43 AM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann sidesteps Obama's citizenship issue

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Michele Bachmann Thursday noticeably sidestepped the long-standing issue of President Obama's citizenship, saying "it's not for me to state" whether the president is or is not an American citizen.

"That isn't for me to state, that's for the president to state," the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and Tea Party favorite said on ABC's "Good Morning America" when asked about lingering doubts among some Americans that the president was not born in the United States.

"When the president makes his statements, I think they need to stand for their own," Bachmann also said when asked if she believed the president's own contentions that he was, in fact, born in the United States.

"We should take the president at his word," Bachmann said. Then asked if she'd be willing to flat out state the president is a citizen and Christian, the congresswoman said she was more focused on economic concerns.

The comments come days after House Speaker John Boehner addressed the issue in a way some Democrats thought was not definitive enough.

"It's not my job to tell the American people what to think," he said on NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday. "The state of Hawaii has said he was born there. That's good enough for me…the president says he's a Christian. I accept him at his word."

Bachmann, who also told ABC she has not made a final decision on a presidential bid, heads to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire next month to attend a fund-raiser for New Hampshire's Republican Party.


Filed under: Michele Bachmann • President Obama
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    in other words....she's a birther who is not brave enough to make her idiotic beliefs known. She knows full well that anyone who adheres to that drivel is sunk and even though H3ll would freeze over before she'd get within a mile of the nomination, she is keeping her mouth shut, but that won't keep her beliefs a secret

    February 17, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. Inmyopinion

    Even if it is true that his mother gave birth in Kenya while visiting her in-laws and because her husband wanted his child born in Kenya when she returned to Hawaii she was able to give Obama her U.S. citizenship just like many other American women have done when they have given birth abroad and return to the U.S. As for the newspaper announcement of his birth most likely his grandmother in Hawaii took care of it on his parents behalf.

    February 17, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. blaqmajik

    this whole citizenship this is sooo old and played out, just like his religious affiliation. Who he believes in is between him and God, and why is it that he is the only president ever questioned about citizenship? its sad to say but it seems his skin his is sin.

    February 17, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  4. Nadeem

    I don't think Michelle Backman is an American I think her and Sarah Palin are both Russian spies. Tall dark hair, it is so obvious. Remember Alaska was part of Russia until the 50's, it is so obvious that Palin is Russia.

    February 17, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Steve, New York City

    While I believe that America has some smart, very decent people "on the right," it is hard to see any redeeming qualities from a loud-mouthed imbecile like Bachmann.
    Maybe she and Ann Coulter could have a contest to see which one of them is more obnoxious and narrow-minded.
    Of all of the important work that DESPERATELY needs to be done in Washington (like cutting the deficit), Bachmann has done nothing to quell the Birthers' worthless, waste-of-time, IDIOT's pursuit to disprove Obama's citizenship. No, you can't tell Americans what to think, but as a (so-called) leader, some thought-leadership would be welcome (and currently seems to be lacking from BOTH parties).

    February 17, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. NJfinest2009

    She needs to show that she was born on earth! She is alienating herself from her own base, pretty soon she is going to turn Sarah Palin against her.. That would be so funny, I am going to start this cat fight! SARAH PALIN HAS MORE BRAINS THAN MICHELLE BOMPED HEAD!

    February 17, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. m 1sterlurk

    This isn't a "long-standing issue". Obama is a citizen, and a few nutcases can't be convinced of such.

    February 17, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. Taioseach

    The first African-American runs for President and Tea Party and Hate Groups membership swells. The only other presidential nominee in the history of our nation who caused this much concern was Caucasian and a Catholic.

    Do American's actually think that Bush/Cheney didn't bother to have the FBI, CIA, and NSA do a thorough background check on Barrack Hussein Obama? In light of all that happened during the Bush administration and all the high talk of National Security? All this questioning of his credentials boils down to is the rights indignation that an African American is president. You'd only have to attend any Tea Party to figure that one out.

    February 17, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  9. opbilly

    please dont give this idiot any more air time. she and the rest of the nuts she hangs out with are trying to destroy this country, although i believe she isnt smart enough to realize it.

    February 17, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  10. iconcerned

    NUT CASE!!!! "WORK ON JOBS!!!!!! Thats your job!!!!!

    February 17, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    She doesn't want to totally insult the president. This issue has been decided already. The president was born in Hawaii. Until people can provide certified guaranteed proof that is beyond dispute that Obama was born outside the US, then drop the issue.

    If people don't like him because he is Black, then be honest and upfront about it. Do I like all of his choices – no I don't, but he is the legitmately elected president. The next presidential election is 2012; run against him if you don't like him. Bachmann is going to do that. I doubt that she can get past the primary even with all the "tea partier" support she claims to have.

    February 17, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  12. AME

    Are we seriously still talking about this? If Obama was a white guy who had a "Christian" name like George, would we even be having this conversation in the first place?

    February 17, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. Realistic

    Birthers are peopel who seek attention by spouting nonsense. The agencies that defend our national interests would allow a non-american, muslim, anti-american(according to conservatives and birthers) and whose associated with terrorist(according to birthers and conservatives) to control the most powerful military in the world, control nukes( the codes to launch) and an economy as diverse as this. Yes, CIA, NSA,GSA and all other agencies we have no idea that they exsist would allow that to happen. Yes, only in the minds of conservatives, birthers and tea party whackos would believe that the president is not an american. Stupid people are so easy to make fun of.....And birthers are as stupid as they come, followed by conservatives and tea party whackos.

    February 17, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Can we please make it a Felony offense to allege the President is not a citizen without hard proof? After all, I could start a rumor that Michelle Bachmann comes from the planet Neptune and was sent here to destabilize the American Government and demand she prove otherwise! Of course, we all know that is not true. She really comes from the second planet of Proxima Centuri!

    February 17, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  15. gino

    In a stupid contest between this moron and Sarah Pay-ling, who would win?

    February 17, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  16. Name Jeremy from Dallas

    What does this Congress woman stands for? Does she know that presidential vetting process is thorough than titration? She is another liar in Congress. Liars should not be making laws.

    February 17, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  17. snafu

    She really destroyed the name of Bachman, Turner, Overdrive. I didn't realize how many sour grapes came out of Minnesota, generally it is smelly fish that rotted her brain.

    February 17, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. Don

    Bachmann does more to benefit the Democrats then she will ever be able to do to benefit the Republicans.

    You also must seriously question the seriousness of her state in electing her.

    As for the citizenship issue, anyone who cares to look for it can find his birth in Hawaii to be proven fact. Those who are unwilling to accept it are showing an ugly, ugly, side of the right. One that will come back to haunt them among minority and younger voters.

    February 17, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  19. mike canada

    the hate filled christian riight rep. will end up making this country a communist country by taking away thing like unions just like in tennessee

    February 17, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. 16halo

    Let me see if I understand her. She is a Tea Party favorite becuase she carries their message everywhere she goes. For the last two and half years she has been questioning his citizenship and religion, now she wants to sing a different tune becuase she might be running for president. Got it Michele. The fact that this person is still a representative says something about the mind frame of the people she represents in her district.

    February 17, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  21. T'sah from Virginia

    ["It's not my job to tell the American people what to think"]

    But it’s your job to tell the American what YOU think and BELIEVE IT!!!

    If you believe he is a Christian, then say President Obama is a Christian and I truly believe that. If YOU believe President Obama is a citizen, then say “I believe President Obama is a citizen and it disturb me when people think otherwise!!! That’s BELIEVING and the RIGHT – all 50% of them who TRULY believe President Obama is NOT a Christian; President Obama IS a Muslim; and President Obama is NOT a US citizen – always state “what he says is good enough for me.” Almost in the same category when a bigot says, “one of my best friends is BLACK!”

    I am still PISSED about the Michelle Obama remark about “Breast Pumps” – Bachmann is an “opportunist for self gratification” – that’s all – and so is Palin!!

    February 17, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. Quintus Aurelius

    Why is "Good Morning America" asking about the President's citizenship? The level of their reporting is sinking to the level of CNN's.

    February 17, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. PATRICK

    "NUT CASE!!!! "WORK ON JOBS!!!!!! Thats your job!!!!!"

    She can't ... the right religi-nut jobs can't give up advancing their religi-nut agenda. Thats why they should never be elected... give them an inch and they will try to take a mile.

    February 17, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    I hope you Republicans (domestic terrorist) like what you've elected. At least this country is starting to get better in spite of their attempts to destroy it if an effort to get total control of the country.

    February 17, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. BlackPanthers2020

    A total disrespect to the office of the president of the United States.....

    February 17, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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