RNC Chairman dismisses birther talk
April 26th, 2011
12:24 PM ET
3 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. Mike

    The GOP (right wing extremists) should grow a ball and admit that they can't swallow a non-white president. All these so called birthers or teabagers are nothing but a closet racist people!

    April 26, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Read This

    Thank you Mr. Trump. The more ridiculous you come off as a Birther and shower other chronic insults to Obama, the more you turn people off to the Birther baloney, and the more support (and money) Obama get's for his re-election campaign. If that is what is happening then please continue Mr. Trump. Please continue to help re-elect President Obama.

    Thank you Mr. Trump.

    Obama/Biden 2012 and Forever.

    April 26, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Kim

    I immediately dismiss any politician that plays the birth certificate game – why? Because by playing it, they're essentially saying "I think you're stupid enough to believe this" – nope, I'm not, I've seen the evidence, this is just playing down to the rubes. This birtherism nonsense sure doesn't speak well to the content of the republican party.

    April 26, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. FM

    Trump said his supporters love/want to hear about "the birth certificate". If they ask for salt, why one should give them sugar"? They get what they ask for!

    April 26, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Can we just call him something like Heinrich instead, so that everyone can actually pronounce his name correctly...it'll be easy to remember too since it sounds like the name of someone who would espouse the GOP's policy positions.

    April 26, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. ja

    enlightenment, suddenly, well you a gained from the birther mess, shut ##^&* up, all gopers speaking up now are spinless, who the hell is trump

    April 26, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Can you say "dilute the TEA?"

    April 26, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Positive

    The birther issue is the shiny object many in the GOP are using to distract people from the Republican's destructive policies. Pay attention to the birth certificate while we dismantle Medicare and give more tax cuts to the top 2%.

    April 26, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. GonzoinHouston

    Wouldn't it be wonderfully ironic if the Republicans wound up being attacked in the next election for their ties to the birther movement? They cranked this madness up and nurtured it into full-fledged insanity and it will hopefully come back to bite them.

    April 26, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. R

    @Dave,
    It really speaks to your character when you say "This is not surprising in that well over half of the GOP voters can't spell their own names without assistance" and then your last sentence is "You should’ve just kept our mouths shut, but it's too late now." I'm guessing that "our" should be "your"

    By your logic, that would make you a GOP voter then.

    April 26, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @Walter:
    I bet you voted twice for George W. Bush.

    April 26, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. once upon a horse

    as much as I read a lot of posts on Politcal Ticker from GOP supporters and other right wingers I can see why many support this birther stuff. They go along with the still many of Americans that think......
    Lydon Johnson was in on the assasination of JFK
    the US knew beforehand about the bombing of Pearl Harbor
    Man NEVER set foot on the moon
    President Bush knew beforehand about 9/11
    The Rams/Patriots Superbowl was fixed

    I think you get my drift.

    April 26, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Katie Thomas

    Too little TOO LATE.

    As an independent, I can't RESPECT a party that, for OVER a YEAR, encouraged this lie as a means of trying to marginalize a sitting President.

    Even when a GOP member sort of refudiated it the bogus claim [ yes, I purposely used HER madeup word], the Republicans had a "WINK – WINK" attitude about it. Now, it's starting to backfire on them and the GOP is trying to distance themselves. They believe they've wrung as much fundraising and base-bolstering as they can out of this backhanded slur at our leader.

    I'm sorry, I don't forget, nor do I dismiss behavior like this lightly. The GOP has miscalculated. It will take this independent at least into 2013 (after the election) to take ANY of them SERIOUSLY. The GOP's lack of honor and integrity on this topic is indicative of their overall honesty, or lack thereof, as far as I'm concerned.

    April 26, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Name

    I am a voter and the birther issue interest me. Once again the RNC misreads it's own base, which is why the tea party is so popular.

    April 26, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Chuck

    BOTH are important. So let's take care of both problems, walk and chew gum at the same time okay?

    April 26, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. MiddleOfTheRoad

    I will still push for the "sanity" certificate for GOP candidates. That will narrow the field.

    April 26, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Lisa P

    With a name like "Reince Priebus" I guess he would take all the Birther talk a bit personally. Too bad he doesn't have any more of a plan to fix the economy than the rest of the GOP complainers and destroyers. When it comes to the serious stuff, to building up the people and the country, the Republicans' silence has just been deafening.

    April 26, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Citizenny

    Well if you stop and think about it....when the birther issues first started, there seemed a possibilty something not so sure on Obama's citizenship, however slight that possiblity was/is may have existed. There was much talk and speculation, and then there came the flurry of those motions a few people tried to bring up before our Courts arguing how Obama was not eligible for presidency. And really, the more this issue hangs around and gets publicity, the more it is revealed how absurd and false it is. Trump's interview with Anderson Cooper last night proved the more publicity the birther issue gets, the more it is revealed to be absurd and incorrect. We should really thank Trump for doing that. It's kind of a reverse psychology thing, or somekind of reverse bommerang effect. The more absurd something becomes, the less likely it is truth. I think Trump was the one to finally put the birther issue to rest and I don't think he believes any of it anyway. Nor do I think he is going to seroiusly run for presidency either.

    April 26, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. rs

    This is a very bad sign for the Republican/ Tea Party at this late stage. We know they spet all of their efforts for the last 2 years attacking Obama, and trying to make his Administration (and by extension, America) fail. They have nothing to run on for the past two years. Their "Birther" nonsense, however, worked. Nearly 50% of the Republican Tea Party actually believe Obama isn't American. How can they undo that, and have a real platform and a real candidate? Trump, Palin and Bachmann are their darlings. The are in trouble. DEEP trouble.

    April 26, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    ha - they can't herd those birther cats they call the tea-baggers. HA HA HA

    April 26, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. ConservaFascists -aka- Mammon

    The RNC is on the run and it's too late Mr. Priebus to run away from your whacko racist base. You made your bed, now sleep in it. These birther racists have done every dispicable thing besides call the President the "N" word. But I'm sure they do around their kitchen tables.

    April 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    The RNC and top GOP leaders are two years too late in suppressing the birther issue. They only have themselves to blame when this type of swift boating dirty politics back fires.

    April 26, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. AB

    It is interesting that the Republican Party leaders are coming to their senses and realize that the birther issue is a non-issue and a fatal distraction to any 2012 presidential aspirations. Donald Trump is really not interested in running for president and is merely using the 2012 Presidential Campaign and the birther issue to garner ratings for his reality show, promote himself which is his name brand and promote his other business ventures.

    April 26, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. king

    good luck trying to talk fact to the right wing repugs. if your not fearmungering, telling lies and conspiricy beck theory, the far right repugs dont want to hear nothing you have to say, and pleeaase pleeeaase again dont ever mention fact to these folks, because they dont like that.

    April 26, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. rusty155

    To little to late ,you Republican let these IDIOT to keep saying It now It to late. youm should have stop It two Years a go. He has been proven over and over. Now CNN just prove It and you till have IDIOT that keep saying It. just go to show you Republican just how dumb you really are.

    April 26, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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