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. Emerson

    I guess she is spending her time and energies on fighting breast feeding (instead of being a responsible member of Congress and working on creating jobs for Americans.)

    February 17, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. jimm

    Sidestep...please. Its a ploy to discredit the president. Nothing else. These tea baggers hate him...not his policies, because they started before he even did anything. They hate him., Whether its because he;s black, has a different name, or is a democrat, or all of the above. They just hate him. Its bling hatred and its very personal.

    February 17, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. P77

    Bachmann is a certifiable nut job and ANYONE who believes that she is intellectually capable to hold the position she currently holds is a true danger to America. (...and I know this doesn't say much) She's one of the most inept politicians we currently have in office. Enough is enough with this birther bull crap. He's a natural born American. He is a Christian (but who cares if he is not?). Disagree with his politics all you want, but the rest of this garbage that keeps getting regurgitated is just salacious and incendiary and has no bearing on the important issues we face today. It is only meant to serve as a distraction and I pity anyone who can't see that for what it is.

    February 17, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. ellid

    Michelle Bachmann is quite possibly the stupidest person in politics, and that is saying something. I can't believe Minnesota keeps sending her back to Congress.

    February 17, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. A. Goodwin

    Please, Michele, run for president. It would be my pleasure to see you fail! Michele Bachman – the new Sarah "you betcha" Palin. Lord have mercy on us all!

    February 17, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. shadysider

    The Republican cop-out on the question of Obama's ethnicity and religion is similar to the constitutional cop-out of our founding fathers regarding slavery. It's because he/they were black. They can try to formulate the issue any way they want, but the truth is pretty obvious. The Republicans who sidestep or avoid the issue don't want to lose the bigots within their base.

    February 17, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Bill NY

    They will never ever accept the fact that he's president. Hey republicans!!! WHERE ARE THE JOBS?!?!?!

    February 17, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. jim

    he is a citizen. he produced his birth certificate back in 2008. numerous third-party organizations have checked it out and found it to be authentic. that should be the end of the story. why can't conservatives accept facts?

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

    ""When the president makes his statements, I think they need to stand for their own." clearly, she failed Language Arts.

    February 17, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. The Other Dale

    This is the standard line of most Republicans – the feaful, "he says he is, but I doubt it" line that plays well with the birthers. This way they can draw doubt to OBama's birth while still saying that they have nothing to say about the topic. Cute.

    February 17, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    GOP dirty tricks at work again. Swift boating your opponents has become the standard operating procedure.

    February 17, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. appalled

    I think we should boycott in some fashion all media outlets that keep making these so-called stories news. You're simply encouraging the bad kids in class to be more disruptive by giving them a voice and platform. We don't care if Sarah Palin blows her nose and tweets about it. We don't care what Ms. Bachmann thinks about Pres. Obama. Both are irrelevant to the betterment of our country. They don't have anything constructive to add to the conversation. What happened to journalistic integrity? Is it something forbidden now or is it a rare jewel that has to be excavated from the ruins of yesterday? C'mon man, you guys can do better tthan this.

    February 17, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. kierthos

    Bush/Cheney nothing. Do you honestly think that if there was any proof that Obama wasn't a citizen, that Hilary Clinton wouldn't have found it? Or McCain?

    February 17, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Joe

    His "contention?" Is that what passes for journalism Alexander? How about the fact that the president was born in Hawaii and is obviously a US Citizen.

    This is a non-issue.

    February 17, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. shadysider

    Also, the Republican base thought McCain was soft for correcting that one woman during the campaign about Obama. As a result, Republican politicans are not willing to confront the bigotry and ignorance within their own party. They would rather the rest of the country see them as dumb or racist than for their base to see them as soft. They realize the rest of the country doesn't vote in their primaries.

    February 17, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Claire

    Unfortunately Bachmann is a reflection of the majority of voters in her district. Too often we call the politician ignorant, stupid, uninformed, bigotted etc. It's the people that put these pols in office who are to blame.

    February 17, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. pjfla

    Headline says here comment "turns heads."

    Turned mine right to the porcelain throne so I could toss my lunch. Why give this nitwit press coverage?

    February 17, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. maine liberal

    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.

    Isnt the purpose of these session breaks in congress for going back home March 21 – March 25 Constituent Work Week

    February 17, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. edpeters

    When Bachmann says something you know she doesn't know what she is talking about! How do I know this? She proves it every time she opens her mouth (for anything other than eating), including when she inserts her foot. There is a good thing about news organization covering her statements, less time to talk about Beck and Boehner...

    February 17, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Martha in CF

    I agree with opbilly. Every time Bachman opens her mouth there is venom coming out. Maybe the tea party should check out where McCain was born, a naval air station in the Panama Canal zone. I believe that was outside of the 50 US states. Why aren't they questioning this...........................
    Bachmann is not news worthy......................

    February 17, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Jeff in TX

    Well, then, it's not in it for any of us to say if Michele Bachmann is a US citizen either! Or a high school graduate, for that matter.

    February 17, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

    As an Alaskan, I'd like to sincerely thank Rep. Michele Bachmann for proving that Sarah Palin isn't the only ditz in American politics.

    February 17, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. Susan

    Its not for me to say if Bachmann has a brain or not, I will let her actions and statements speak for themselves......Goes for Boehner too. Bachmann wanted all elected officials be checked for unAmerican beliefs a while back, maybe we should have a more basic test, like a minimum IQ for all elected officials.....

    February 17, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Mac

    ENOUGH!!! It seems ABC/Disney is really giving a lot of air time to Bachman & Palin, even had Christine O'Donell on as a 'comentator'. Now CNN is starting to catch up with additional 'coverage'. I guess it's time to go to Comedy Central to get unbiased news coverage.

    February 17, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. Jim

    Everytime this hater moves her lips she lies.

    February 17, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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