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. Ken in Maryland

    Oh, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease run for President. Please please please. I really want Obama to have a landslide victory. This nutjob makes Sarah Palin look intelligent.

    February 17, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. chris

    I dont understand why these people dont think Hawaii is part of the United States???

    February 17, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. moderatejoe

    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."

    I think, "I accept him at his word is definitive"..........and if its not good enough then the Dems have insecurity issues.

    February 17, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. Paul

    I just watched this interview not 2 minutes ago and it made me laugh. George asked her four times if she believed Obama was a Christian and an American citizen and every time she ducked the question. This woman is an idiot. Oh no, Michelle Obama wants kids to get out and exercise, schools to increase nutrition, and women to breastfeed their children. That's the parents job! Don't make us a nanny state!

    What's next? Lifting the legal restrictions on sending our children to school? This woman needs to learn to pick her battles.

    February 17, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Rsprings

    The reason the journalist keep bringing this issue up is hat there is no way to answer it that can't be spun negatively. It is the intention of the press to make the Republicans look like the fringe idiots who still believe that nonsense. When ever the Press picks someone to interview who is not a politician they end up with some idiot who can barely talk. Look Obama has been in office over two years now. Get off this subject

    February 17, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Dan

    And this is the intelligence level of the people elected to fix a financial crisis and make our country more competitive. God help us all!! Thanks republicans for truly ruining our country once and for all. At least we'll still have religion while Rome burns!

    February 17, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Laverne

    After the republicans have put that out there for the past 3 years, now all of a sudden seem to want to sidestep. It is because they have known all the while he is a citizen. Listen people, if Barack Obama wasn't an US citizen, he would have never made it to the White House because these conservative old white men would have never let that slip by. Barack Obama's past and citizenship has been more thoroughly investigated probably than any other person in these United States of America. The republicans and tea party are such phonies, they throw rocks and then put their hands behind their back as if they have done nothing. Also, this whole thing was first perpetuated by Mark Penn who was the brains behind Hilary Clinton's bid for presidency and then they decided to go in a different route so the republicans decided to pick it up.

    February 17, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Anne

    I don't understand. Notwithstanding the issue of Obama's citizenship, does Michele Bachmann not realize that not everyone who is an American is "a Christian"? I am tired of the right-wing "Christians" assuming that everyone is a Christian and that being an American equates to being Christian. Couldn't she just have easily have said, "The state of Hawaii has said he was born there. That's good enough for me…the president says he's an American. I accept him at his word." I hear this time and time again by the right-wing and it is getting really annoying!

    February 17, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Pam

    Michelle Bachmann makes me embarassed to be from Minnesota.

    February 17, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Debbie

    She knows (as do the other tea partiers) that if they keep saying it often enough, most voters, who aren't really going to do any fact checking, will believe it.
    I'm afraid for the future of America, because the average voter doesn't even know what is going on. It's too much like those urban myths that started circulating decades ago.
    Every day, those myths are forwarded by ignorant people that think they are making the world a safer place.

    February 17, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Dan

    Bachmann is such a nut job!

    February 17, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. PD.

    This is so stupid! Only 50 percent of the Republicans believe this crap! Why? Because they only listen to Faux News and Hate Radio. Any rational American knows this argument for what it is. An attempt to diminish Obama and appease the 'Tea Party'. Plain and simple.

    February 17, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. cyndi

    First off, those harping on such non-sense as the President's birth place need to consider this; do you actually think that America is that idiotic as to not have the intelligence to know whether or not someone in the highest office is a citizen of the U.S or not? Please, the haters don't even give their own country credit! As Taioseach stated, if such were true, Bush/Cheney, Limbaugh, Beck, etc., would be all over it if they could prove that he was not born in the U.S.A. They can't and so they won't, but instead use this ignorant argument to try and discredit him and spew hate and prey on the poor and ill-informed. Hatred will be the end of America, mark my words!!

    February 17, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Johnny B

    She's doing what Palin is doing...saying outlandish things that will appeal to some group of people, and laughing all the way to the bank, and hey, if people are stupid enough to give her money, then she deserves every dollar. The part that gets me is that many of those who make claims to be the "true patriots" and accuse anyone who doesn't goose-step with them of hating America are in fact showing by their actions that they have no love of our country, or understanding of it's laws. Once again, plenty of people simply swallow whatever gets said enough, and take it as truth. Wake up people, and judge people on their actions, not their words.

    February 17, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Indy

    We can be very certain of one thing and that it is a fact "Bachmann is Anti America" and one has to wonder why she is so full of hate of the black President.It is anti American to carry so much hate towards your countries President. You can disagree on policy and ideas but to be filled with so much hate is anti christian and very much against your country.

    February 17, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. Rayburn Hale

    Michele Bachmann has made so many erroneous statements while serving in public office that she no longer has any credibility on the national scene. She is a twit who resides in the same league as those who think they know what's in the best interest of the country, but in reality they are clueless. Not even her own party would give her a leadership role on any committee. I do not understand how she survises as a politician given her stupidity on most issues.

    February 17, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Adalbert

    Bachmann’s appeal is mostly to those who believe in lies and fairy tales. Unfortunately, we have more than our share of ignorant and naive people in this country. Many of them are dangerous right wing and religious fanatics from the middle ages with twisted and outdated views on just about everything. Unfortunately, with the help of the media this bimbo is getting lot more attention than what she deserves.

    February 17, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. BL09

    Sensationilzation of a non-issue doesn't do anything to forward this country. What ever happened to statesmen? (and stateswomen) Now we mostly have a bunch of loud politicians trying to make the political process into a bad reality tv show.

    February 17, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Seriously?

    This woman and he ilk are idiots!

    February 17, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Turd Ferguson

    Maybe Bachmann will definitively tell us whether or not she is a robot.

    February 17, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Dave

    Gotta love these Tea Party dolts... They and their GOP lapdogs never miss a chance to tell people what to think. The issue of Obama's citizenship just doesn't fall into their narrow view, so they sidestep it like the flaming hypocrits they really are.

    This is a settled issue and the folks that buy into this garbage are simply dumber than dirt. It seems that there are fair amount of you out there.

    February 17, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. helpermonkey

    This woman is a disgrace. Just the latest in a long line of inflamatory, ignorant commentary from Minnesota's delusional 6th district.

    February 17, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. BOHICA

    That this vacuous moronic cretin serves in Congress says more about her constituents than they realize.

    February 17, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. RBTL

    This is so typical of Bachmann and other Republicans seeking to get a rise out of an issue that should be long considered closed. Like John Boehner earlier in the week, Bachmann is backing off of earlier remarks ever so slightly but not to the point that she can be quoted by Tea Party followers as reversing her earlier opinion. What's truly sad is that she has so many followers who like her, choose to be so uninformed by either denying actual history or leaving out the parts that they don't agree with.

    February 17, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Consider This...

    All this craziness from the right is only a smoke screen to attempt to hide the fact that they have no solutions, no ideas and are a DUMBED DOWN party of non thinkers.

    February 17, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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