'Birther' debate alive and well in New Hampshire
March 9th, 2011
08:32 AM ET
3 years ago

'Birther' debate alive and well in New Hampshire

(CNN) - A New Hampshire House committee voted unanimously, 18-0, on Wednesday to recommend killing an amendment that would require presidential candidates to present birth certificates when filing their candidacy for the first-in-the-nation primary.

The bill is expected to go to a full House floor vote next week.

The chairman of the state's House Election Law Committee told the New Hampshire Union Leader that if passed, the law would not take effect until January 2013, after the Granite State primary and the presidential general election. The bill, which will be considered in committee Wednesday, was originally scheduled to take effect 60 days after passage.

"We recognize the potential problems," Republican state Rep. David Bates told the Leader Tuesday. "It created the appearance that it was all centered on a putting barriers in the way of President Obama."

Bates said the date change "is to diffuse any perception that this was directed at President Obama and is purely a policy decision designed to ensure that candidates for president are qualified according to the requirements of the Constitution."

The so-called "birther" controversy, stemming from questions over President Obama's birthplace, has ignited debates across the country. Lawmakers in at least 10 states have introduced bills requiring presidential candidates to provide proof they are natural-born citizens.

President Obama was in fact born in Hawaii, and on Monday the Supreme Court again rejected an appeal from a "birther" proponent questioning the citizenship of the president.

However, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last year, 27 percent of those surveyed said Obama was definitely or probably not born in the United States, compared with 71 percent who said he was definitely or probably born in the country. More Republicans with 41 percent said Obama was not a natural-born citizen, compared with 15 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents surveyed.

The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Updated 1:43 p.m.

– CNN Correspondent Lisa Sylvester contributed to this report.


Filed under: New Hampshire
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. majikbunny

    Then the arguement can still be made by the crazies that what is shown is a "forgery" or "not real", leading again to years of debate in the courts.

    March 9, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. Brian

    Now I know why they are called the granite state. Like a bunch of rocks. They are setting their state up for years and thousands of dollars in legal battles.

    March 9, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  3. Rdepontb

    Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Democrats are using Republican tactics,j like red herrings, to make the other side burn up its resources on a useless matter.

    March 9, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. abnguy

    If it has been established beyond a doubt that President Obama was born in Hawaii, then why would this law be seen as a barrier. I believe New Hampshire does not believe he is a citizen. Would they need to show a birth certificate or would a certificate of live birth do?

    March 9, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    Can we get over this? He was born here and he is an American. He is more of an American than Bush and Cheney will ever be.

    March 9, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Jerome

    If this, in fact, "... purely a policy decision designed to ensure that candidates for president are qualified according to the requirements of the Constitution.", why not implement it before the next Presidential elections? Political Correctness?

    March 9, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Jackalope

    Yeah, but even if these New Hampshire Republicans present their birth certificates, how do we know they're "real" birth certificates?

    March 9, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. Britannia

    Don't these people have more important issues to consider?

    March 9, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. fielding mellish

    Leave it to the GOP to come up with all sorts of ways to waste time and money. Let's send 'em all home!

    March 9, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. non-partisan in Georgia

    Does this mean the "birthers" believe that Hawaii is not a state?

    March 9, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  11. Catie

    I don't care anymore if Obama was born here or not. He is doing a horrible job and I regret rooting for him

    March 9, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. Kristin

    Why are we still wasting our time, our courts time, and other governmental time that could be spent on more important things on this ridiculousness.

    March 9, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. Paul1st

    Essentially, the bill shifts the requirement that the President be a natural born citizen to a requirement that the President must have a birth certificate. We can then discuss what is a birth certificate. This is reminiscent of tactics used in American history to block segments of the population from voting by creating artificial barriers for access to the polls. So, New Hampshire can pass the bill and ultimately the Supreme Court can decide its constitutionality – as if we have no more pressing issues to deal with.

    March 9, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  14. geecee

    New Hampshire is truly a weird state. Here they are in the middle of a bastion of liberal blue states, one of the original 13 colonies, and they are so backward sometimes. Can't figure them out. This birth certificate nonsense is so ridiculous. As if Obama had not proved he was a U.S. citizen before he was allowed to run as a Presidential candidate. Does anyone actually believe that if any person or agency in the world could have come up with proof that Obama was not a U.S. citizen, that they would not have used it to stop the guy? Obama has had more b.s. slung at him since he announced his candidacy and none of it has stuck, because none of it is true! But they nutjobs keep trying anyway. They must be desperate and bored. No wonder they have time to continue this charade.

    March 9, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. Indy

    To believe that Obama is not American, is to believe that the CIA,FBI,Secret Services,State Of Hawaii,RNC,DNC, and every Republican and Democrat along with all Independants got together on the day Obama was born and put this scheme together knowing that Obama would be elected President in 2008. Racism is alive and well in America, because there is nothing else that explains the birthers. The strory ends at Obamas mother being an American citizen.

    March 9, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  16. lgny

    It's long overdue to revamp the entire primary system in order to eliminate the absurd influence the early states have in the selection process. Here's one alternative:
    1. Divide the states into five regions.
    2. In each election cycle a different region goes first.
    3. Each other region runs its primary or caucus a few weeks after the previous region.

    This still enables a lesser-known (lesser-funded) candidate to gain visibility through a well-run regional campaign, yet balances the various regions.

    March 9, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. Anonymous

    that's fine.....make them present one, but obama was still born in the usa.

    March 9, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. Rsprings

    Yes, i know what it looks like..but it is the highest office in the land. There are many reasons one has to provide a birth certificate...why not this reason?

    March 9, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  19. greg the progressive in jacksonville

    and this is why their "first in the nation" should be taken away from them..

    March 9, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. Brian, NJ

    People always forget the President provided proof by placing a copy of his birth certificate (yes I know its a Certification of Live Birth) on his web site. When I got married, my father could not find a copy of the orginal birth certificate so I went to the hospital where I was born and got a certified copy, just like the President did.

    March 9, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. J

    For crying out loud... Over 2 years into the Presidency and we're still talking about this? What a rediculous spectacle these people are making out of themselves. I guess some people just can't accept they were wrong about this because it would mean they may be wrong about every other rediculous accusation toward Obama. Well, let them spend their money on the court system, it's good for the economy.

    March 9, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Barking Alien

    Tthe "Birthers" need to find something meaningful to do with their life. Obama's birth in Hawaii has been vetted already. They are just taking up valuable time the Supreme Court could be using for other cases. I think they should be charged for filling frivelous law suits

    March 9, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Chuck

    It is not the duty of each state to require this. With every tthing else that is wrong with each state, they should concentrate on those problems and leave constitional matters where the belong, the Supreme court.

    March 9, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Grundoon

    C'mon, birthers. Since it has been proven time and again, (Hawaii has certified time and again that he was born there, 2 separate newspapers published the birth announcement, he provided a copy of his birth certificate as required by the election commision, etc) that President Obama was born in Hawaii it must be that there is another reason you still refuse to believe he was born in the US. Now, what is the real reason you all are clining to this fallacy? Don't be a coward, just admit the truth.

    March 9, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. Greg

    I got a security clearance check for the military but it sounds like politicians don't get much of a check. Shouldn't people that pull the strings of the military have to go through strict security analysis? A birth certificate verification shouldn't be a big deal.

    March 9, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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