April 27th, 2011
10:04 AM ET
4 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. Henry

    @Rudy NYC – At least the heart appears to have been cut out of the birther beast.

    I hope so but I am afraid the birthers will just re-package themselves as another conspiracy and light another fire. I hope you are right, I sure do.

    April 27, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. john

    interesting type set used for a document that suppsoed to be from 1961

    April 27, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. ReallY!!?

    Yes we do have better stuff to do!!! Like where r the freaking jobs? Tax the rich? U payed less in taxes than me Obama! & my family maded less $200K! I paid 33% of my income. Obama made $1.7 million and paid 24%. So I should pay more? Bring it Mr. President!!! If u took every rich person's money, u still could not pay off a $14T deficit!!! So now what? Continue to print more money, devalue the dollar, which inturn cause gas prices to go up, cause inflation, more spending?? We r worse off than we were in Jan 2009 b/4 the coronation. OH Lets not forget Obama's brilliant solution to high gas prices. Trace in your car. Yep Change we can believe in!!!

    April 27, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Dave

    I'm disappointed that he caved into these morons. It doesn't matter anyway. There are people who have never accepted Obama's legitimacy and they never will. I see no reason why he should even acknowledge their existence.

    April 27, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Ohio man

    Next they will make kids so a Birth cert. to run for student council.. lol.. this was and has always been crazy , but lets see what issues the GOP can talk about now..luv a re-raise all in bet, i bet you Trump folds ..

    April 27, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. PalmReader

    Hey, Frank (what took him so long). You do realize don't you, that Obama's Hawaiian Birth Certificate has been on record in Hawaii since the day President Obama was born ... August 4, 1961. And has been viewed many times, by many *interested* parties since his presidential campaign began in earnest back in 2007?

    April 27, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Donna

    The dishonesty of "The Donald" and his tactics frightens me. I hope the media will move away from this "non-candidate" and cease giving him so much press. I believe he is preparing to announce a new tv program and will not run for president. But, he will have created this circus for his own benefit. The Donald cares about one thing in this world: The Donald. From now on, when he appears on tv, I shall turn off the tv. Enough is enough.

    April 27, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Ohio man

    @ Anonymous.. Trump didnt get him to do anything .. all Trump did was took his self out of the presidential race, he just played his self and will have nothing else to talk about.. u dont even see the big picture here .. so tell me what will trump talk about now ?.. what China again ..lol.. we all knw that aint gonna happen

    April 27, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. JLS

    Ditto!!

    JLA wrote:

    "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 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. from the North

    Oh this isn't over. Now the nutjobs will claim the document is a forgery. Stupid is too stupid to understand 'fact'. The birthers are from the 'my mind is made up – don't bother me with facts' school. Obama didn't want to dignify the idiocy for a long time. I guess he was finally persuaded to give in – but it won't matter. I can't believe how many gullible dupes will believe any conspiracy theory. It's depressing.

    April 27, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Padraig

    He finally says something that makes sense and I am still waiting for him to tackle the important issues. The nitwit.

    April 27, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Bemused

    First, he was a fraud, and now he wasn't Presidential for releasing it earlier. Some people don't know when to say when.

    I think he did a masterful job of letting the "Carnival Barkers" just look stupid.

    April 27, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Karen L. Wright

    I love President Obama...I am in love with him...he is a great President and person...and I love his family as well...the fact that I am in love with him I say with the respect for his wife and family but I cannot help myself...he is attractive, smart, kind and spiritual...2012 cannot come fast enough.

    April 27, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Robert

    The release of the birth certificate proves what 75% of the country already knew....that the birther conspiracy was a lie based in racism and deep hatred. The republicans spent millions and millions of dollars and set up a huge organization to propagate a slander campaign. Any normal citizen propagating such evil lies would have been brought up on charges of Slander. With the country in deep trouble, all the republicans could do was propagate a smear campaign. The republicans have still NOT ACCOMPLISHED A SINGLE THINGS SINCE BEING RETURNED TO THE CONGRESS. What comes around goes around and it is intensely satisfying to see the republican get what has been coming to them for a long time. Actually, this country would be much better off without the republican party. Think about it and be honest. Can you honestly remember even 1 positive thing that republicans have ever done for this country? NO. All they have done is start costly wars and give tax breaks to the 1% rich and the big corporate polluters. All the republicans are good for is spreading lies and smear. Same with Climate Change. That is the next conspiracy that is about to backfire in the low IQ republican's faces.

    April 27, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Sgt Schultz

    I would have preferred the GOP falling on their own sword...but yes it was getting out of control. Let's stop the ridiculous media obsession over Trump now CNN.

    April 27, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. JMR49

    Play out some line, steady steady...now Pull !!! Sunk that hook right into the Birther's Jaw. Why did he wait so long? Waitng for the right fish to grab the hook...well done Donald. Best part...Trump's numbers will go even higher amongst wing nuts when polled. Trump card has been played...Bada Bing!

    April 27, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. al in memphis

    Does this mean that every person born in Hawaii now need to release their birth certificate in order to qualify for any benefits due a citizen of the United States?
    Next people will want hand writing samples from Obama to show that he actually wrote his own ABCs in kindergarden. Or maybe DNA test for his children so that we could believe they have the right to stay in the white house.

    It is issues like this that really define the inteligence level of American– we are losing our place in the world because this is really what our political leadership is about.

    April 27, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Robert

    Watch Michelle Bachman, Palin, Trump, Ryan and all the other republicans that jumped on this slanderous bandwagon back pedal and start to lie even more to deny they were involved in this. The American people are not buying it this time. The republicans think Americans are stupid and that we want smear campaigns, conspiracies, and innuendo. They are dead wrong. All the negativity and toxicity that the republicans have given out is about to come back at them 7 fold.

    April 27, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    I agree, we all have better things to do! So why did it take you 3 years to finally end this nonsense? I guess you must like all the attention you were getting. Or maybe like everything else, you're just slow on the uptake?

    April 27, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, the far Right is a freak show, and Trump is the carnie barker. No wonder he runs with Vince McMahon.

    April 27, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    We do, have time for this silliness, if the questions have been raised for good reason.......and in my view, they have been.

    April 27, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. SophieCat

    Oh, I see, so Obama is "BEMUSED" that "this thing just keeps on going", well it just KEEPS ON GOING, because he just kept REFUSING to produce a REAL document.

    In other words, Obama doesn't think that proof of his United States birth is "relevant" as indicated by the United States Constitution.

    In other words, Obama thinks that the United States Constitution is an irrelevant document.

    Not to mention the fact that the font used is rather "modern" for 1961, don't you think?

    I don't believe in this document FOR ONE SINGLE MINUTE. NOT ONE MINUTE!!

    FAKE, FAKE, FAKE. FAKE. FAKE. FAKE. FAKE. FAKE. FAKE. FAKE.

    If the birth-record documents produced in 1961 are in some sort of numerical order, then the document produced before this one, and the document produced AFTER this one will look similar.

    AND I BET YOU THEY DON'T.

    This is a RECENTLY-manufactured document and WE ALL KNOW IT.

    April 27, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. K-Post

    I as an educated African American, I had a lot of respect for Donald Trump Prior to this Birther Issue. However, since he has accused Barak Obama of not being legally born here because Trump himself had not witnessed seeing the President's Birth Certificate, Donald Trump has totally turned me off as well as many other African Americans and Minorities. This whole issue centers around traditional racist fears, rights of priviledge, etc. Mr. Trump has belittled himself to not focus on Debating the true Political issues, but in my opinion focused on playing to a group who are not at ease with a Mixed Race President in office. I say to Mr. Trump you have now LOST my VOTE and RESPECT, just as you did when you were on the View with Whoopi Goldberg (and Lost Her Respect) because You Have played a racist card under the disguise of a Birth Certificate. Let's call an Ace an Ace and a Spade a Spade. Let's call it what it truly is and not sugar coat this Action or Intent! Even if he wanted to dispute the racist intentions, one would have to wisely Question Donald Trump's JUDGEMENT ability when faced with more difficult situations a President is daily faced with, being as those presented with all the witnesses, facts, and supporting documentation, Donald Trump refused to acknowledge The Truth about The President's Validity. Now in my Opinion the residual damage from this action you have done Mr Trump is, my Vote is "Barak Obama 2012" All The Way, All Day!!!!

    April 27, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. rs

    The commentary today is hilarious! Except that for the dopey birthers who still don't believe it- and probably never will. The truth is far too inconvenient. Does anyone for a second think that had there been a molecule of doubt that McCain wouldn't have been all over it. Republicans will rue the day the took the lid off of the wackos with the Tea Party and "Birtherism".

    Anyway- for all the Birthers now struggling with that suppossed $2 million cover-up. That was Obama's legal defense fund- shoot all Presidential candidates heve them. His, by the way hasn't been expended. As to his college records- The reason YOU CAN'T SEE them is a federal Education Regulation called FERPA. Look it up dimbulbs!

    April 27, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Trump continues to be an IRRELEVANT pompous buffoon deluding only himself and his 2 drooling followers into believing that it was his single-handed idiocy that got the President to RE-RELEASE his birth certificate.

    Obama 2012
    The ONLY rational choice.

    April 27, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
1 2 3