April 27th, 2011
10:04 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama 'bemused' by birther story

(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he has watched the birther story "with bemusement."

The president said he has "been puzzled" at the staying power of the story. "This thing just keeps on going."

"Normally I would not comment on something like this," Obama said. But the country has pressing fiscal and other priorities, Obama said, and the so-called "birther" story has been a distraction. He made his remarks shortly after his office released his long-form birth certificate.

"We have enormous challenges" to deal with, Obama said. The country will have "important debates" and needs to make critical decisions in the months ahead, but "we're not going to be able to do it if we're distracted."

The president criticized what he characterized as a recent focus on "side shows" and "carnival barkers."

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," he said.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    This situation was like when Black people had to take literacy tests in order to vote – we have to prove ourselves at every turn. Its wrong, bigot and disrespectful to the office of President. But, I do hope that when another minority with the last name of Hernandez, or Chun, or Polinski is elected President, we will be able to conduct ourselves with more maturity. This is ignorance – but its really fear. People are people – no matter what color we are.

    April 27, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. a in austin

    Take that donnie – stated so well, dt is nothing but a carnival sideshow.

    April 27, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Frank

    WHAT took Obama sooooo long?

    April 27, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Baby Boomer

    Amen Mr. President. Now can the 24/7 news cycle PLEEEEEZ move on...

    April 27, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. valwayne

    So easy! So simple! Why didn't Obama just do this 2 years ago? What kind of leader lets a silly meaninglelss issue like this boil this far out of control when it is so easy to resolve? Finally! Getting the tiniest bit of leadership or commons senses out of Obama is really hard work!

    April 27, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. JLA

    President Obama is so far above Tea Party idiots like Trump. President Obama has been working hard at solving America's problems and focusing on the middle class as much as he can. I do not agree with everything President Obama has done (I cannot think of any President that I agreed with everything he did), but he is undoubtedly the adult in the room. He is willing to compromise even when his base is not happy about it. He is pragmatic and looks for solutions over ideaology. He is taking us in the right direction - not as fast as I would like, but that is hardly his fault alone when the GOP has been ridiculously obstructionist and unwilling to compromise. President Obama cares about the middle class. Trump cares about how much attention Trump is currently getting. Trump and his Tea Party/GOP ilk care about whether the rich are getting enough tax cuts and they are willing to pay for those cuts by taking from the middle class and the elderly. OBAMA 2012 - it's the only way forward. A vote for ANY GOP candidate is a step toward more tax cuts for the rich, more pain for the middle class, and the destruction of medicare and social security.

    April 27, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Tired of the nonsense

    It's amusing to watch these GOPers and Tea Partiers showcase their stupidity.

    April 27, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. onefrotheteam

    I did not vote for Obama, however I thought this issue was ill-fated from the beginning. If he were born somewhere else someone would have come forward with that evidence or story by now. It is simply too big a secret to keep. Obama is OUR president and I support him. And despite the state of the economy, I think he is doing his best in a difficult time. He like Bush before him, has been faced with many tough issues that any President would have problems solving. No matter who was president, anyone would be struggling.

    April 27, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. Alaskan Sourdough

    All birthers please get in line... I am the owner of all the bridges in the world and they're ALL FOR SALE for birthers only. You can own a bridge close to your own home...

    April 27, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Carl

    The President is five steps ahead of any form of Republican strategy. The idiots painted themselves into a corner of being compared to UFO nuts who claim to have been "probed".

    Donald Trump is dangerous. He is single handedly making the Republican Party irrelevant. He is deliberately threatening our party system of governance. Wow – amazing, the tea baggers are swallowing his conspiracy rants about "missing" birth certificates to somehow justify their ignorant bigotry. America will be “fundamentally” changed – God bless you – God bless the United States of America.

    April 27, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. kyactivist

    not a huge fan of Obama, but this was really unnecessary, as the Tea Baggers have shown they aren't concerned for America's well-being. They made a huge hissy-fit about a non-issue, and if this doesn't shut them up, then it will prove how ridiculous they truly are

    April 27, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Gary Bowman

    I personally don't think the POTUS had any reason to respond to these very very stupid people...But he has done , so let us move on now...Donald Trump and his delusional friends of the GOP has not one ounce of dignity in their entire bodies.

    April 27, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Mountaineer

    Now, I hope the media can quit giving Trump and the Birthers a platform just so they can get a story. It's over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. brian

    @Frank – nothing "took him so long". The birth certificate was made public a couple years ago. It has been available for anyone who wanted to see it.

    April 27, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    It is actually pretty sad. Unfortunately, the issue is not dead and never will be completely dead. At least the heart appears to have been cut out of the birther beast.

    April 27, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. V

    Valwayne...He should not have had to do this 2 years ago on now period...Has any other President had to?...

    April 27, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. Johnny

    Funny how they are trying to say this is the President's fault because he did not release this earlier. He produced the same document that is used for Passports...and they called him a liar and it was a forged document. The fact is the loons and partisan thought they had something and kept running with it. Now, the are seen as the morons the are, were and always will be.

    April 27, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Chicago John

    “We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do," said Obama.

    Of course he does. He then, as reported on CNN, immediately left the microphones and rushed to make his flight to Chicago to visit Oprah. Yeah, much better stuff. You just can't make this "stuff" up.

    April 27, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Anonymous

    republican party all agreed Obama born here before this. the issue was kept going by the president himself ,by not issuing this birth cerificate before now. Trump got him to do it ,so we could get this over now. this way we can all work on getting Obama out of office 2012. his record so far terrible,no jobs,the bad economy,high gas prices,mandated big price health care,illegal aliens ,far left socialist agendas and programs, big spending,the buget. all of this is what we will need to straighten up after Obama is gone back to community organizing,rev wright,and his anti american friends and associates.

    April 27, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Finally

    Finally this nonsense is over. I am sick of both sides on the matter. I could not hear another extreme right person say that "there are questions" when the courts had already heard the arguments and dismissed them. I also cannot stand to hear all of the accusations of racism. Similar issues were brought up against McCain in 2000 and the rehashed by the left in 2008. Despite the leadership on both sides (like with Obama) saying that this was not an issue, the fringe left kept pushing it, even after McCain came forward with a birth certificate. It did not go away until after McCain lost the election. It is not racism; it is people who share opposing philosophical view points looking for any way to discredit the opponent. If it was race motivated against Obama, then you have to say it was race motivated against McCain.

    April 27, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. Morgan

    Why did he "take so long"? Simple. The man cleverly allowed those perpetuating the silliness to throw themselves on the fires of their own subtly racist stupidity. Only complete idiots think that the political machinery of the United States would have allowed a non-citizen to get to the Oval Office.

    If you took the entire "tea party," every single so-called "birther," about 50% of the GOP, and threw them in a blender you'd arrive at a cumulative IQ score of approximately 3. That, and a really disgusting smoothie.

    April 27, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Kim

    This still won't be enough to satisfy the birther rubes. Now they'll clammor for his transcripts – well, why didn't anyone ask for GW Bushs transcripts (I bet they'd be a hoot) – and for Mr. Trump, how come no one in the national guard recalls having served with Mr. Bush?

    April 27, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. LacrosseMom(real one)

    @ FRANK: Barach Obama like ALL candidates had offered his birth certificate from the minute he started his campaign.

    FRANK......... DO YOU........ actually believe that GEORGE W. BUSH would have allowed a non-citizen to become president of the U.S.?

    April 27, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Ohio man

    To all those that sit here and say how come he didnt just do this 2 yrs ago or why it took so long dont understand that this has never been asked of any other POTUS so why now ? .. and we have had some wierd and not good Prez b4, but he is better than me becuz i would not have showed them anything the fact that a man has to so proff that he is a American citz is crazy by its self no other POTUS had to go thru this and now we talk about his college day when lil bish was a "C" student and he was elected twice, see the point is this has nothing to do with his birth cert. but hmmm we all knw what really is going on here, so now you have it. so let see what issues that really matter can they start talking about with " solutions not just talking points.. and for the people that think Trump made this happen .. nah .. in the poker world Obama just did a Re-raise ALL IN on trump , i bet he folds now ...

    April 27, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Dee

    Donald Dump, now maybe you will find time to get "YOUR ANALYIST out to find you a new stylist for your friggin hair.....

    April 27, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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