Bachmann sidesteps Obama's citizenship issue
February 17th, 2011
08:43 AM ET
4 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. ST

    Why are GOP leaders tend to dance around to any personal issue about the President?? The only person who gave the straight answer was Sen. McCain when he was asked the Presidents religion.

    February 17, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. NooYawkah

    I would imagine a lot of foreign leaders question whether democracy is really beneficial in the long term given that people like this are elected not only despite, but because of, the tenuous grasp on reality they seem to display (and revel in).

    February 17, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. ConservaFascists

    Well I question if Michelle Bachmann is human. She clearly doesn't know American history, so she may be from another planet because she say's things that are out of this world.

    February 17, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. chris

    I swear the two leading GOP women of their party can really leave a person with a very interesting impression of that party as a whole? I mean the RNC should really take a hard look at them and try to persuade them to be quiet!!!

    February 17, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This woman has no class whatsoever!

    February 17, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Wes B.

    It's not a "long-standing issue." It's not an issue at all!!

    February 17, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Dave

    When is this madness going to ever end? When is the media going to stop giving these people air time for this nonsense? We have real problems in this country and here we are pushing through abortion legislation and talking about Obama's birth certificate. When is the Republican Party going to work on the economy and jobs? That is what the election was about in November. If they don't start soon 2012 is going to be a disaster for them.

    February 17, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. Wes B.

    I think there is more evidence that Bachmann is from Pluto, than there is evidence Obama is from Kenya.

    February 17, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Charlie

    What is it with liberals and this obsession about where the President was born. They use this t o detract form his radical upbringing and philosophies. Heil Obama!!!!

    February 17, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Jon

    These expressions...by Bachmann and Boehner....represent faith at its apex. Even so, Obama needs to pony up and get into a full disclosure mode on his birth, medical, academic and early travel records. He has more to hide than Al Capone.

    February 17, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. vic nashville tn

    Elected official doesn’t want to stand up because half their base believes so shame

    Small wave (less than 35% of eligible voters voted for gop on 2010) gave victory to GOP in 2010 but they didn’t know big wave is there it may sink the GOP

    February 17, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. joel palmer

    Please stop covering this incredibly stupid, annoying woman!!!!!!!!!
    She is an abomination and an embarassment to Minnesotans.

    February 17, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. nintex

    One ultra-right winger told me that President Obama wasn't born in the US – and in the rest of the conversation, I realized he didn't know that Hawaii is a state – after all, it's way out there in the ocean! This is the level of stupidity of these people!

    February 17, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. keeth in cali

    Backtracking? She knows the voters won't elect a "birther."

    February 17, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. TheTraveler

    Criminy! Why is this still an issue? Why does American politics continue to read like the weekly headline on the Enquirer? We are struggling to recover from a serious recession and if we don't get some REAL resolution to our REAL problems, we'll have even harder times to come.

    February 17, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. John

    It is time to bury these people in their own kind of lies. I'm sure that someone can dig up some garbage about them that cannot be disproved by these worms.

    This is all to be able to use the same tired lies in the next election cycle. The worst part is that there are enough fools out there to believe these people, or to create violence that scares off possibly good candidates.

    February 17, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. James, AL

    Bachmann – enough said! She just got elected and already trying to run for president. Do the job you were elected to do; go find some jobs for our citizens!

    February 17, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. JG

    We need to run this nutball for president. What a fun election year that could be.

    February 17, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. bjk

    Republicans LOVE to keep this and all that's negative in the news. Just what does Meet the Press and Good Morning America hope to accomplish? It's been proven over and over and over. Give it a rest! Why aren't they asking about the jobs?
    Let's see. The wealthy have been given a tax break-again! WHERE ARE THE JOBS THEY WERE GOING TO CREATE AS A RESULT??? Republicans and the wealthy now that's the gift that keeps on giving---eachother!

    February 17, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. FLB

    Please stop giving crazy people airtime. Please start giving airtime to people who are trying to advance the country. As it is, the way to get your name out there is not through hard work and accomplishments, but rather being as ridiculous as possible. Let's get our priorities straight!

    February 17, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. don

    Keep talking Michele B., the more you show us how stupid you are the more we love you. Beck/Bachmann 2012

    February 17, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. Dan McCullough

    Michele Bachmann runs a religious Cult in Minnesota.. Completely Shocked that the media has not dug this up yet. It IS a Cult.

    She ran another Charter school "New Heights Charter School" and Quit after Parents bacame upset at her teaching "advocating that "something called '12 Christian principles' be taught,creationism "

    She started up her own religious school in Minnesota that demaninding Parents give the majority of their Money to the School (CULT) and that students Main school book is the Bible. (essentially like the Far Right Islamic madrassas in Pakistain..except it is far right Christianity..(not the Sunday Christians but the radical branch) )

    The curriculum is based on fear and hate and demands loyalty to that cause or you are expelled ..

    If she runs for President then it will all be exposed..she has real mental issues amazed that she has gotten this far without being exposed

    February 17, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. John Kane

    As Jeffrey Toobin said the other night on AC360 (quoting the late Patrick Moynihan): 'You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own set of facts." Obama is a citizen. The end.

    February 17, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. MAGGIE2010

    The only thing I can think of is CURLY, LARRY and MO .......... BAUCKMANN, PALIN AND ANGLE ........... these three are giving the female version of Beck, Rush and Hannity a bad name......... good for laughs, but let's hope that all they are is a distraction from the mandain............. LOL

    February 17, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. rodk

    Wow. And we expect to solve this countries problems with nut cases like her in our Congress? I can't really blame her. She is what she is. The people to blame are the ones that actually voted for her or did not vote at all. Seems like one of the requirements to run for office now days is you need to be a loony.

    February 17, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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