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. Doc Ock

    Trump takes credit for something Obama has done before....that's been verified for years by the US government......that every major media outlet in the world (except for Fox news) has verified....that everyone with an ounce of common sense already knew..... do you have to fail an IQ test do be part of the teaparty, birther, dinosaur saddle carrying, movement? Good Lord.

    April 27, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Mustard

    Both political sides – and the news media – milked this issue dry. All intentionally. We – in the public – are all a bunch of suckers for even listening to the kind of soap-opera drivel that keeps viewership ratings high enough to merit commercial sponsorship for the airing of the many, many low-tier issues that fill the broadcast air.

    April 27, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Doc Ock

    OBTW.....just wondering if Fox news, Beck, Hannity, Limblah, Palin, Trump, Tea Party, 25% of the GOP...will any of these clowns now publicly apologize for all of their accusations and out and out lies? Or will they now move onto bigger and better racist based attacks?

    April 27, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Squealy

    Trump is taking credit for this is so like him. He is the ultimate me, me, me person who thinks the world revolves around him. Do you really want an ego-centrist as your next president? If you want someone who cares aboutt "the people", you better look elsewhere.

    April 27, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Tony

    Again, this is not a proper document. Where is the raised seal. Here are the requirements for a US Passport:

    *A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar's signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

    Beginning April 1, 2011, all birth certificates must also include the full names of the applicant's parent(s). For more information, please see New Requirement for all U.S. Birth Certificates.

    Check out the mother's age. She lived out of the US for many years. Did she meet the requirements for residency? I believe it's 5 years, so she moved back when she was 13??? Remember, YOU GUYS, want to follow the letter of the law - you questioned McCain's birth because he was born in Panama. If you want to see who started this birther issue, just look in a mirror!!!

    April 27, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Kathy

    Way to go Trump, now check out the rest of the story.

    April 27, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Tim

    Okay. So....if this is a SCAN of the document, why can I delete layers from it when I open the PDF in Illustrator? A Scan would be a flattened raster. Not a layers document.

    April 27, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. AngieS

    My god you people are stupid. The President *has* provided repeatedly the same documentation that everyone else in this country has: A Certificate of Live Birth. I have one, you have one, my children each have one, my husband has one, your family members have one. The short form certificate is legal tender accepted at any DMV in the country, any bank, any institution of learning, any recreational sports registration, any voter registration, ANYWHERE THAT A BIRTH CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED. Could you "birther" morons *please* get over this nonsense! No one has Photoshopped or fabricated a birth certificate on behalf of the President. No one is keeping anything from you. Of course the people of Kenya celebrate the election of President Obama – he's the first black person to hold that office and he shares part of their heritage. They, at least, are PROUD OF HIM...the same way *we* should be. Now go away and please put all that tea to it's right use – drink it!!

    April 27, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. hardy

    Why did it take him 2 million, 3 years, and a Donald to release it?? It's about time. Now, let's move on. What will CNN do without tyring to keep alive the "lunatic birther" stories??

    April 27, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. patriot

    Trump is not an American,he is Romanian,
    Sarah Palin was born in Russia.
    McCain was born in Panama.

    notintendedtobeafactualstement

    April 27, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. patriot

    Not sure if anything is true ...but anybody can claim anything.
    ntbafs

    April 27, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. patriot

    Everyone should post an imagined scenario,post it as fact and i bet the entire republican party will crumble

    April 27, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. patriot

    The Republican party is over. They have no credibility,they do not speak for the educated.
    They will go the way of the whig party.
    They have nobody because nobody can deliver their ideals without seeming moronic or crazy.
    You can wrap poo in paper but it is still poo.

    April 27, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. John K

    has anyone seen this? a natural born citizen is (1) born in the United States or on United States property and (2) born to American Citizens.
    BO is not a natural born citizen.

    April 27, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. MC

    Wow – look how many morons on these comments are saying "where is it?" "I can't see it!" There are links to it in the article, all over CNN and all over the web. I guess you can't see what you don't WANT to see.

    April 27, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Bob

    Shut up and eat your grits!

    April 27, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. Me, myself and I

    Perhaps there is truth to the idea that Trump is Obama's secret weapon. Trump stirred up the Birther dirt ... only to be trumped by the President. Incisive move, Mr. Obama! (It will be interesting to see what other stupidities Trump can incite.)

    April 27, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. VB

    Can we talk about what really bothers Trump? The fact is we have an intellectual Black American sitting in office that is much Smarter than an average wealthy under achiever (Trump). Like it, Love it or Hate it … Obama is the President.

    April 27, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. TC Jones

    I have heard both sides of the argument; but what if the long-form is PhotoShopped? As far as that goes, even if it was, it is still certified by a State, which issued it. When fully certified by Congress, should not matter one way or the other, even if the document was synthesized to replace a damaged or lost one; it is still official.

    If this is the case, those facts should have been made available to quell any rumor or allegation of impropriety. Allowing this topic to continue, diverts attention to more-pressing responsibilities citizens and government need to focus on.

    In any event, for those who believe one way or the other, exercise your vote and minds at the next election and vote-in or vote-out the candidate or official of your choice. Everyone who has questions about validity and transparency of government should ask intelligent questions, which are relevant, and have meaning and practical references to the "real" problems we truly are facing.

    As a Citizen, of the United States, will accept the document provided by the President; and this fact is supported by the document, in-question, being issued by the State of Hawaii of the United States of America. Let's all move beyond trivial items, which do not matter, in the long-run. And focus on things that are.

    April 27, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Name

    As far as I know, being born in the United States was not good enough to lead the country. I was under the impression that both of your parents have to have lived in the U.S for more then 2 years, before the birth. You still have U.S citizenship for being born in the U.S, but it's not good enough to be the leader of the U.S.

    April 27, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. John

    Lets see the tax-return Trump! You said on State of the Union that you would release your tax-return if Obama showed his birth certificate. Obvioulsy, you won't, because you're a coward.

    April 27, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. chuckl8

    Only Trump would say that he is 'honored to have played a roll" after being outted as a liar and a fool.

    April 27, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. aireal

    "If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you're not a racist,

    you'll have to vote for someone else in 2012

    to prove you're not an idiot."

    April 27, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. clearvoice

    Birth Certficate or not, Obama doesn't deserve to a president. Community activist yes, president! what a sham..
    Double gas prices, double food prices, failed stimulus, 6 million still out of work, more excuses and lies to try a justify what a hack he is.
    Gee, I wonder what teams he picked for the NBA... You know that's more important.

    April 27, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. BvS

    The President provided us proof of his certificate of birth, while Mr. Trump provided us with proof of his ignorance. You call yourself a man of substance … I call you a Bigot!

    April 27, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49