RNC Chairman dismisses birther talk
April 26th, 2011
12:24 PM ET
4 years ago

RNC Chairman dismisses birther talk

Washington (CNN) - Donald Trump has spent weeks raising questions about President Barack Obama's birth certificate, but Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday that so-called "birther" claims are a distraction from more pressing issues facing the nation.

"Trump and the candidates can talk about it all they want, but my position is that the president was born in the United States," Priebus told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Priebus said his main priority as party chairman is winning elections.

"I don't think it's an issue that moves voters," he said of the birth certificate chatter. "It's an issue in my opinion that I don't personally get too excited about, because I think the more important question is what's going on in this country in regards to jobs, to debt, and the deficit and spending. Those are the things that people are worried about. People aren't worried about these other issues."


Filed under: Birthers • Reince Priebus • RNC
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Walter

    The media is more focused on this issue than the public in general. The reason – because there is so little (actually none) good Obama news to push, they focus on this issue hoping that people will ignore the economic reality and look at Obama in a better light. Thankfully, that won't work.

    April 26, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    let's just face the truth..the reason the so called "birther" talk keeps going is because the GOP really has nothing to go afgter Obama on. They do not want the economy to get better, and it is, they have done little to nothing to help create jobs, yet the unemployment rate is going down, and now they can't call him out on Healthcare since they voted to end Medicare and Medicade that has many senior Republican voters p/oed. So back to the old fear factor he is not one of us mantra to try to get the far right part of the base still excited. Trump is actually doing the Democrats a favor with his nonsense and claiming to run as a Republican and this bothers the Karl Rove wing of their party.

    April 26, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. OneMoreTime

    Good for him. Now dismiss faux news. Kudos to Anderson Cooper for showing who Hannity & Co. really are.
    Manipulators of the truth. Mr. Cooper has every right to call out Hannity's distortion of his CNN story.
    Mr. Cooper has more class, integrity, honesty, and true journalistic instincts in his little finger than Hannity has
    in his entire body. I wouldn't expect an apology though, the faux people are too far in the gutter to get it.

    April 26, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The haters will need to find a new rallying cry, and they will. But, some will never let go of that 'comfort zone.'

    April 26, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Video Guy

    jobs, to debt, and the deficit are the things the GOP should not be dealing with. They cannot be trusted.

    April 26, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. TommyTT

    Well, the GOP and the RNC tacitly supported the birther nonsense as long as it mobilized their base. Now that the issue is making them look stupid, they claim the media was promoting it and they're backing away. Not much integrity there.

    April 26, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Trump just used the "birther" BS to get attention and a HUGE amount of free publicity. He done that very successfully. Now he needs to use all that attention to hammer Obama on the endless list of failed policies and leadership issues. If anybody can do it, it is Donald Trump. He can tell it like it is because he isn't a politician hedging his words. I mean who else is out there saying Obama will go down as the worse president in history?!! Dead on accurate and straigh forward. GO TRUMP!!!

    April 26, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Irma in North Carolina

    What the heck is with this Trump guy, something ought to be done about him. Does he think this kind of garbage is going to win him the presidency.

    April 26, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. The Situation

    @Rudy

    Trump now is saying that Obama wasn't quailfy to be going to an Ivy League School.

    April 26, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. maf

    This is a NON ISSUE!!! The more people give it the "issue" connotation, it continues to be in play.

    STOP ALREADY.

    April 26, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Awwww, itsn't that cute? It's so adorable when Gopers try to sound like the voice of reason and level-headedness after 2 years of frothing-at-the-mouth conniption fits. The disingenuous moonwalk the GOP is doing on the birther issue is like looking at that expression on your dog's face when you find the poopy he made on your nice rug...yeah...you know what you did...bad dog, BAD.

    The GOP started and encouraged this crap...they're going to answer for it no matter what they say or do.

    April 26, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Joan

    Some people are saying why doesn't the President just request the birth certificate and present it to the media. Well, then he is giving in to the craziness and taking part in the nonsense. He has shown exactly what all Hawaiians have to prove they were born there. He got passports, driver licences and any other legal documents using that same piece of documentaion. Technically, Trump and all of the other birthers are calling the President, his mother, grandparents, friends and family, hospital administrators, newspaper editors, politicians such as the Republican ex-Governor and many others in Hawaii liars. Maybe if the birthers request that all of the presidents from Carter on up to Bush, McCain, Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Trump and anyone else who is thinking of running for president show their birth certificates and they are willing to show them, then he could do it if he wants. Until then, he should just let them carry on with their illogical movement and self-implode.

    April 26, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Dave

    Sorry, but despite ample evidence to the contrary, almost half of the GOP voters believe that Obama was born outside of this country. This is not surprising in that well over half of the GOP voters can't spell their own names without assistance. You people are just plain ignorant and dumb and you’re not getting out of this that easily. You should’ve just kept our mouths shut, but it's too late now.

    April 26, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Trump now is saying that Obama wasn't quailfy to be going to an Ivy League School.
    ====================================================================
    Given Obama's dismal job performance over the last two years, I would agree. But he DID learn how to party in school it would appear. He sure knows how to throw those celebrity parties and go on golf outings.

    April 26, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. DENNA

    What's the matter GOP? You people have been sucking at this issue since before President Obama was elected? Maybe it has been sucked dry now that the desired effect hasn't happened. President Obama was born in the United States and is the duly elected leader of this country. Get over it. Really, give yourselves a good hard slap and get over it. The GOP is becoming singularly responsible for the dumbing down of America. Oh, by the way, if you can't slap yourself, there are dozens of us who would love to do it for you. Now stop it already!

    April 26, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Interesting. The "mainstream media" start covering an issue that has been very prominent "outside of the mainstream" media. This "outside of the mainstream" (can I call it "extreme"?) media has been very popular in conservative conversations, and have openly criticized the mainstream for not giving the issue more coverage.

    So, the mainstream begins covering the issue, and all of sudden the conservative extreme media want to drop the issue and put it behind them. "Interesting."

    April 26, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. bill

    I would go after 9% unemployment, 14 trillion dollar deficit $4.75 a gallon gas rather than focusing on a birth certificate.

    April 26, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Trump says his investigators found nothing. No sign of a birth certificate in Hawaii.

    Translation: They burned it.

    April 26, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Bessy

    The GOP will never try to get jobs for the people. That is not what they want. They are big business and they will not do anything about jobs because they want Obama to look bad. They have always planned to destroy his presidency. It is too bad that folks can't see this. After all, " he's black ". That is all they know and they want him to fail. This is no surprise because they have already told the people this through their spokesman Rush Limbaugh.

    April 26, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. GOP reaps what they sow

    Sorry, this is like closing the barn door after all the animals have got out. GOP created this issue and now they have to live with it. This issue is going to haunt them time and time again in the coming year (can you spell loony). At least two other wanna be candidates have come out on this issue (Bachmann and Palin) and the others are on the fence so they don't tick off the lunatic base. Can't lose 45 percent of the GOP voter base and win.

    April 26, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    Sorry little boy but until every candidate states publicly that he's a citizen and then answers any question about it with "He's a citizen" this will continue to be an anchor around the GOPs' neck. As noted above, pushing it to the side and not refudiating it is tacit approval. I want to hear each candidate state without question that they believe Obama is american and any fool that still believes the birther propaganda needs to wake up from their Rushbo/Shamitty coma

    April 26, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. The Situation

    Trump just used the "birther" BS to get attention and a HUGE amount of free publicity. He done that very successfully. Now he needs to use all that attention to hammer Obama on the endless list of failed policies and leadership issues. If anybody can do it, it is Donald Trump. He can tell it like it is because he isn't a politician hedging his words. I mean who else is out there saying Obama will go down as the worse president in history?!! Dead on accurate and straigh forward. GO TRUMP!!!

    He has gotten attention for all the wrong reason. Trump has no creditibility on anything now. He couldn't answer no of Anderson Cooper questions, just came of like he has over the past decade as a bully. He was running because he claim like all those crazy birthers that Obama wasn't born in the US. Now that CNN sent there team, got something that Trump can get, "Truth and Facts" when question on who he and his so-call investigators has spoken to, he couldn't t name them. Trump is the biggest Jackass walking on god green earth. Don't worry though, he will find some excuse why he isn't running even though anyone with any intelligence knows ole Donny had no, and I repeat, no Chance in hell of winning a general election!

    April 26, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    TommyTT

    Well, the GOP and the RNC tacitly supported the birther nonsense as long as it mobilized their base. Now that the issue is making them look stupid, they claim the media was promoting it and they're backing away. Not much integrity there.

    -------------

    True. Conservative media has been promoting the birther issue for months and months, and even criticized the mainstream (doesn't that put conservative media in the extreme) media not covering it. I guess it looked as ridiculous to them as does to the rest of us. And now, the mainstream media is starting to cover the candidates with the same result.

    April 26, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Proud owner of a cert of live birth!

    If this delusional issue is all the GOPers have against Obama then his policies must be right. And tell me again, Republicans, how does this create jobs?

    April 26, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Rev Mkell,

    Since lying is now acceptable as long as you don't make money at it (CO. fed court ruling on 'stolen valor act')! Why are we shocked that the truth has turned into a little bird with lots of arrows in it?! Lies make for better sound bites and one of the staff can put the right spin on it! The public just don't care about the truth anymore if they did they wouldn't show to hear them lie and send them money to run for office!

    April 26, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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