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. AC

    ME, you got me.......................AC

    April 27, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. A Canadian

    In my opinion Obama is a smart, intelligent, educated, curious to understand things, naturally good person, and a great US BORN president. President Obama, keep up the good and extremely complex work that you've been doing, Sir.

    April 27, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. potvin

    "We do not have time for this kind of silliness." No, but he has time for a little b-ball, many rounds of golf, a White House party every other night, filling out his brackets, vacations every other week and travelling around the world prostrating before foreigners. Will this document be examined by experts to see if it's a forgery? Doesn't matter liberal loons, your boy isn't coming back for a 2013 encore. He is a failure. Winning? Not! Bye-Bye now!

    April 27, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Indy Watcher

    I really wonder if the tea partier/birthers have ever read the constitution. I am not a scholar on the subject but in plain English it state that if one parent is a citizen then the child is a citizen by birth. If he was born in the moon, he would still be a natural born citizen.

    Secondly, college transcripts, none of your business. If someone as dumb as Bush was not required to show transcrpts, then it follows that Pres. Obama shouldn't need to do so.

    Finally, Trump. I really had to laugh, he is indeed a carnival barker – just watch 'You're Fired' once and you will see the narcistic arogance of this little man. That he sould try to take credit for this is just one more reason why Mitt Romney should be the Repub candidate.

    April 27, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. conoclast

    Sure Donald, you played a big role in getting rid of this issue-as if we're to believe that 'getting rid' of the issue was what your aim was! Your goal was to bring down a sitting president-let's not equivocate here. That you might just bring down the government with him is merely "collateral damage", eh Chump? But, given the nihilism of the radical-racist-right it's all part of the game. Go build a bunker, rich man!

    April 27, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Chris

    It's truly amazing that the facts always seem to ruin a good story. Folks, Article II Section I of the Constitution staes no person except a natural born citizen, OR a Citizen of the United States shall be eligible to the office of the Presidency. If he was born on U.S. soil, HE IS A CITIZEN. In 1961 Hawaii was a U.S. State, ergo he is a citizen. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal region. was he ineligible? NO! Please educate yourselves...

    April 27, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Stephen

    The absolute best part of the President's speach today was his discription of some as "carnival barkers". lol
    I will never vote for a man like Donald Trump because he said on CNN's Larry Ling show that he takes his own revenge. Sorry Don, vengeance belongs to God, not you.

    April 27, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. the white rose

    To All, Ask any government office worker if the "certificate of live birth" is good to prove anything for legal or lawful purpose. The only legally accepted document is a State Certified Birth Certificate with a raised seal!

    April 27, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. root vegetable

    Obama did not 'refuse' to release this earlier; it a law in Hawaii that the original (everybody's) is not released, only the certificate of live birth. The original is kept in storage but officials got so tired of explaining all this to reporters that they finally gave the White House permission to show the official document. Evidence that he attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School is also available to anyone who wishes to see it but it is more advantageous to say that Obama is 'hiding' the truth about his past!

    April 27, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. anononandon

    They're just right wing pigeons from outer space. Sent here to destroy the human race. They don't give a damn about you or me. They just buy guns and watch TV. Let's go!

    April 27, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. babytank2000

    For those of you who thought you were electing Obama as King ... the supreme rule of the land is not in any of our government, but in the Constitution, (Lex Rex .. "the Law is King"), and that Constitution tells us who is eligible to be elected President. The fact that this President has not, (till now, it appears), proffered the actual qualifying document is a shame. Why blame those that demanded he follow the rules. The "silliness" is pinned on Obama, not those that called him on it.

    April 27, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Barnacle Bill

    "Mr. Obama, you really must think we are stupid."

    aireal, you ARE stupid.

    April 27, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Illuminati

    The certificate shown is obviously a FAKE merely a FORGERY by the US government. Our government printing offices can make anything from money to birth certificates. They certainly had enough lead time to make it.

    April 27, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Kaisikan

    Now Donald Trump should release that thing on his head so that we can all see what is written underneath it, namely, IDIOT.

    April 27, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Merlin

    So this is what they finally came up with, another certificate of live birth. Maybe it's real, the last one that was posted turned out to be a total fake once it was analyzed. most curious though that they don't have the typical statistics recorded on this one, like the weight and length of the child, I've never seen one from any State without those facts, plus the footprints they usually have, at least back in the 60's they were still including those things. And why does it say certificate of live birth. Do they issue a certificate of dead birth? Every one I've ever seen just simply says Birth Certificate. Is Hawaii that different? My Grandson was born in Honolulu, I'm going to go find his certificate and see if there are any differences between the two. But IF this is real then why did he spend a million bucks on Attorneys trying to keep it hidden. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about this guys past. Maybe that's because the media has done a lousy job of digging out the truth and presenting them to the People. Obama says he is only bemused by all this, me, I'm disturbed by the whole thing, by both sides.

    April 27, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. MarineDad

    All Presidential candidates MUST from now on show the following:

    Original, LONG FORM birth certificate.
    Original, LONG FORM birth certificates of both parents – to make sure they were human (and American).
    Original transcripts of all colleges and schools the candidate has attended.
    (and if they are from an Ivy League, they MUST tell us how they got in – GW Bush got in with a C)

    Military release date, type of discharge. If they never served, we want to know why?
    And lastly, a formal release date from a mental institution (REQUIRED for all Birthers). We want to why they were released, and if they are now capable to run for the presidency.

    And for Donald: Do you have a license to wear the thing on your head? And release those shady financial dealings and your 'net worth' immediately – you promised.
    And where the heck is YOUR birth certificate, Donald, you MORON?

    April 27, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. deke4

    Everyone forgets that though not all hicks are Republicans nor are all Republicans hicks, It was The Republicans that are hicks and the hicks that are Republicans that made this such a burning issue to the exclusion of all other important problems this country faces today. It was Bush who raised the National Dept Limit 4 times during his 2 terms with the support of every Republican and most Democrats. What are the all Republicans saying now when a Democrat proposes
    raising the debt limit? It was Bush who got us into 2 unnecessary wars, paying for them on a supplemental budget (a credit card) and at the same time squandering a surplus left him by Clinton, yes, Clinton to give the wealthy a tax cut and a few years later gave them another tax cut on borrowed money. I will not go into the various and sundry reasons of why he got us into two wars o0ther than to say his reasons were nothing but outright lies.

    April 27, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Laura

    This is a 'certificate of live birth' – not the original birth certificate. My brother has one of these – he was adopted. It lists my parents – his adoptive parents – as his mother and father. It lists the name they gave him – obviously not his birth last name of his birth mother or father. This proves nothing except the fact that the WH and POTUS believe the American people to be stupid and gullible. Try again Barry – we're not buying it! I wonder if we'll ever find out what you were truly trying to cover up with this shell game of yours?

    April 27, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. potvin

    Trump gets it done. Trump is a doer. Trump for President! If this was such an easy thing to do why did it take so long for Obama to release it? This "birther" issue has been going on for years and he just releases it now. Why? This is a secretive and suspicious man. I wouldn't believe a word he says. Keep drinking the kool-aid lefty loons!

    April 27, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Crazy H

    Now will he admit he is white???

    April 27, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Sametestsameresults

    After watching this crazy issue unfold and unfold and unfold over and over again from the fringe (20%) of the nation I question Obama's timing on releasing this. Why? Becaues he could have now waited until election time and made a mockery of any who brought it up near the end of campaign season. My point is that over 75% of American's already thought it was a non-issue, why not wait until releaseing the obvious information could be politically useful during the campaign. Let those who bring the issue up during the campaign and push it look stupid after being told for 2 yrs by everyone and there mother that hew as born in the U.S.....just saying...

    April 27, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Jeroen

    I think it is very sad that it has come to the point that it's neccessary that the birth certificate of a US president has to made public to silence a large group of US citizens, including one that seems to have the ambition to be the next one. I hope that someday the US citizens will return to their senses and be the proud people again bound by the fact that they are all US citizens.

    April 27, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Pam

    Birthers are DUMB!

    April 27, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. benjamin

    The President birth certificate should'nt be any further issue, unless CNN keep beating an already dead horse. If this continues then the beater mental state is questionable. This is journalism for the sake of rating and this is the only reason to continue this by CNN, because CNN months ago establish this. Our society has serious problems perpertrated by media baiting and subsequent public feeding. Intellectually yes-intelligent no. Continue on more positive options.

    There are lots of stupid people.

    April 27, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Constitution Guy

    Why is only ""natural born" citizens can become president – a vague clause?" It isn't vague at all. While I never doubted Obama's citizenship, had the birther's claims been true, it wouldn't be a vague question at all as to whether the President was constitutionally fit for office. This same question was raised regarding McCain who was born in the Panama Canal Zone. It is the reason we cannot have a President Schwartzenegger or Granholm for example without amending the Constituion. Again the birthers are off base, nuts, crazy, insert your adjective, but that doesn't mean that Consitution is vague on this point.

    April 27, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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