White House releases Obama's birth certificate
April 27th, 2011
09:56 AM ET
4 years ago

White House releases Obama's birth certificate

(CNN) – President Obama released his original birth certificate Wednesday, saying the controversy surrounding the issue had become a "sideshow."

Obama's birth certificate

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

The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States.

“Over the last two and half years, I have watched with amusement. I have been puzzled with the degree with which this thing just kept going,” Obama told reporters Wednesday.

Responding to the development, Trump said, "I have accomplished something nobody else has accomplished."

"I want to look at it, but I hope it’s true," he told reporters in New Hampshire. "He should have done it a long time ago. I am really honored to have played such a big role in hopefully getting rid of this issue."

Other Republicans weigh in

Earlier Wednesday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said the debate has been "really bad for the Republican Party."

The so-called "birther" debate is "good politics" but "bad for the country," said Pfeiffer.


In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper Monday, Trump repeated his doubts and said he had been told the certificate was "missing."

A new CNN investigation revealed earlier this week what most analysts have been saying since the "birther" controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign: Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.

While the president has made light of the controversy, the question remained political red meat for some of his critics. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll showed that nearly 75% of Americans believe Obama was definitely or probably born in the United States. More than four in 10 Republicans, however, believe he probably or definitely was not born in America.

See Obama's Certification of Live Birth

The U.S. Constitution says only "natural born" citizens can become president - a vague clause that some members of the birther movement contend disqualifies Obama because, they insist, he was born outside the United States.

Skeptics contend, among other things, that Obama was born in his father's home country of Kenya.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (1,207 Responses)
  1. Mando

    Why did he spend over 2 million to keep it secret? Now its, here it is? Bad way to spend money, but then we all know that by now Obama doesn't know how to manage money. And Tom, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist is Obamas own Van Jones, a true leftist. He that throws stones.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. mili

    It is just a shame for Republicans to question the 'President of the United States' , I wonder if its related to Mr. President being the first "black" president. I have never seen so many questions arising in U.S history about any White President? Come on Americans! just rise out of this narrow mindedness. No wonder the Republicans don't have anything good to talk about.....

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Syed

    Poor Donald Trump, He spent millions of dollars for verifying the established fact. In such a bad economic situation, this money can be utilized for creating jobs.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. anne

    Oh good. Now we get to see Trump's tax returns!!!

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. Super American

    LOL, it's a forgery!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NIce try, but STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-RIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. Quit the Hate

    Finally, we can put this issue to rest. Unfortunately, this is only a brief pause in the Republicans vicious personal attacks on anyone they disagree with politically. Let's see what they come up with next. Like the mythical monster, they will regrow another head for this beast, point to it and say "be afraid"! It's only going to get worse as 2012 gets closer.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Ike

    The lack of journalistic integrity shown in the past months is disheartening. Only when liberal media types began questioning whether these claims had any merit did this 'release' even get tabled. I really didn't care about the BC; moot point. It was obvious politics were driving its prior secrecy.
    How about releasing all the rest of the records that are being kept secret, hmmm?

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. reality check

    why does his long form have the name barrak Hussain Obama and his original birth name was Barry Soetorro,same last name as his sister?and he has admitted that was his birth name.Go figure

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. rickbrad

    But THEY told me he already released his birth cert. Could THEY have been disingenuous.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. Bamboo

    Obama the Drama King. He could have done this 18 months ago. Game over...can we move on to something much more damaging to this White House – their track record in office?

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. k.d.

    Anyone who supported this movement that has directed focus from far more serious national and world issues is a stumbling block to the success of this country and should be regarded by all as an enemy.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. marie

    WHY???? Obama... WHY??? YOU CAVED IN AGAIN!!! We know your a natural born citizen. They just want to get under your skin.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  13. Anonymous

    i want to see it first, then carbon 14 dating, and an proclamation from the govenor of hawaii,

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. KinNYC

    Can't believe the president came down to their level. I would have let them all squabble over it while getting the economy back to par and winning in 2012.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. Anthony

    I say it is about time he showed his birth certificate. I was rather neutral in the whole process when the "birther" concept ignited in 2008. However I also believe that every candidate for the Office of President of The United States should show their birth certificates. I state this not as a political issue, but as part of the job hiring process. We as americans have to prove that we are allowed to work in the US and in order to do this we have to show two forms of Identification. One of those could either be a Social Security Card or a Birth Certificate. If we have to show our documents to our employers; shouldn't the candidates have to show theirs to their potential employer (the citizens of this country)? It only makes sense. But yes, I wonder what the "birthers" will say now?

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. TampaMike

    I'm sure all birthers will simply call this a forgery. Nothing will change unless Obama miraculously turns white!

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Forreal

    Much ado about nothing!

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. Yolanda Perea

    The President is not giving in to the idiots that are wasting precious time with this issue. He just wants to get this major distraction out of the way. There are many more important matters at hand! "The president believed it was becoming a major distraction from the issues we are having in this country," said communications director Dan Pfeiffer, calling it a "fake controversy" and "a sideshow."

    Now Trump, start helping the people in need. There are so many of us that need help from people like you! Do something about about it. I dare you!

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. Ron

    Transparency!! Finally!! Both sides were wrong on this issue...the "birthers" made too much of a big deal about it and Obama could have answered all of the questions years ago. If you think the "birthers" did it for political reasons, you are being intellectually dishonest if your thinking doesn't also tell you that Obama did it for political reasons.

    This is great–now let's look at what the President has done/failed to do and make a decision based on his body of work.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. Tonlok

    Best president in generations? Good lord that statement is skewed. Even for an Obama supporter like myself that is stupid, he really hasn't done much compared to his promises.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  21. matt

    Now was that so hard???? Now let's move on to his law school and undergrad grades.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. Sam

    About time! I thought he was waiting for it to get closer to election first.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  23. mojo3

    Never seen a president DISSECTED and picked apart in my life! Ummmmmmm. I wonder why!!!!!!??????

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  24. Jim Koski

    43% of Republican voters don't believe President Obama wasn't born in the United States. This leads me to believe the Republicans are relying on the moron vote to push them over the top.

    April 27, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. Adam

    Now watch as the birthers move the goal post once again and claim it's a fake. They'll never be satisfied!

    April 27, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
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