September 8th, 2012
09:52 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama to young Hawaiian: 'You have a birth certificate?'

(CNN) - What does President Barack Obama ask when he meets another native of Hawaii?

About their birth certificate.

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While campaigning in Florida on Saturday, the president stopped in at Gator Dockside, a Florida sports bar that boasts 19 big-screen televisions and 15 chicken-wing sauces. After grabbing a beer, shaking hands, and leading a chorus in singing “Happy Birthday,” Obama met someone from his home state.

"My young son," a woman said to the president, pointing across the table and conferring further with Obama.

"He's a Hawaiian!" Obama exclaimed, looking up to face Andre Wupperman, who now lives in Orlando and will turn 7 next week, according to pool reporters.

"Do you know how to do a shaka?" he asked, making the Hawaiian gesture with his thumb and pinky finger.

"You were born in Hawaii?" he asked the child next, then pointed at him. "Do you have a birth certificate?"

Behind Obama's grin and laughs from those nearby lie the conspiracy theories of some conservative Republicans, who maintain that Obama was not born in the United States, and is therefore not eligible to be president.

He released a certification of live birth during the 2008 campaign, and in the spring of 2011, released his long-form birth certificate. Both show that he was born in a Hawaii hospital on August 4, 1961. Contemporaneously published newspaper announcements also noted the birth in the Aloha State. Only "natural born" citizens of the United States are eligible to be president.

Among the highest-profile "birthers," as they are known, are Donald Trump and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio, the top law enforcement officer in Maricopa County, Arizona, earlier this year held a press conference to announce findings of an investigation he led into documents.

Trump, who has endorsed and fund-raised for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, threw a wrench into the Republican candidate's messaging this summer with tweets and comments, including on CNN's "The Situation Room," skeptical of Obama's birthplace.

And Romney himself raised the issue two weeks ago. At a rally in his home state of Michigan, Romney made what he later claimed was a joke about his own birth certificate.

"Ann was born at Henry Ford hospital, I was born at Harper hospital," he said. "No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."

In an interview later that day, Romney said, "This was fun about us and coming home, and humor - you know, we've got to have a little humor in the campaign as well."

Humor needs a punch line.

And Saturday in Florida, Obama was laughing.


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Florida • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (384 Responses)
  1. b

    Obama said " if I had a son it would look like you" then realized, "oh crap, who's your daddy?"

    September 8, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  2. abrahim

    i love obama

    September 8, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. Bob

    Thanks CNN for another unbiased news story. It might be a little more honest if you started going by the Obama News Network instead.

    September 8, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  4. GEdwards

    So Pres Obama can make fun about the BC issue using a 6-year-old?

    But when Gov Romney makes a joke about it, all h311 freezes over?

    September 8, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  5. Lee McBride

    Just goes to show you that Barack Obama really does love the "birthers". They make themselves look like idiots while creating sympathy for him. And after that August jobs report, he needs all of the sympathy he can get!

    September 8, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  6. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    How can you not like president Obama????and the economy .is getting better in spite of the gop obstruction and lyin Ryan obstructionist in chief in the house ,so what are you going to do ,
    Reward these gop bums for proventing job growth at every turn and I find it interesting that the gop gov keep laying off public employees every time the private sector jobs go up to bring the numbers down , interesting??????

    September 8, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. Switched

    The Birther issue. Just one of the many reasons that this (ex)republican will be voting democratic for the first time in his life.

    September 8, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    This is a horrible article. The statements at the end make this an opinion piece, not fact. Or are you dictating to your readers what humor should be? What a joke.

    September 8, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. Gov Quittypants

    Oh come on. Everybody knows that Hawaiians aren't rill Amerikkkans like me!

    September 8, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  10. llatpoh

    This shows just how cynical our Community-Organizer-in Chief is... time to clean house...

    September 8, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Lee McBride

    Just goes to show you that Barack Obama really does love the "birthers". They make themselves look like idiots while creating sympathy for him. And after that August jobs report, he needs all of the sympathy he can get!

    September 8, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  12. Jim

    Obama is just as insensitive as Romney. When will America get serious presidential candidates?

    September 8, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  13. cliff

    At least the kid has a birth certificate!

    September 8, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  14. Pat

    Posted by CNN political unit. Biased much?

    September 8, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  15. jesus martinez

    He was born in Hawaii, but when he went to college he claimed to be a foreign student to receive fiancial help.

    September 8, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. jon

    Birthers need a re-birth.

    September 8, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  17. california99

    Can Romney show that he only has ONE wife? prove it! He is a Mormon and they are Polygamists that is why his Grandfather fled to Mexico to avoid jail for having several wives!

    September 8, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. Real American

    There is so little written on CNN that doesn't have a left-winged bias. It is truly sickening.

    September 8, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. JasonP

    I knew it must bother him. He pretends that the Republican shenanigans don't bother him, but it has to. He's dealt with too much from those clowns. The GOP disgusts me.

    September 8, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. Garth

    He's a bit to confident. That gay plank still stinks. If he wins, should we call his second term "The Sympathy Term?"

    September 8, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. kathy/Minnesota

    Sweet!!! the President, has something to say to any/everybody.He does truly care about people.

    September 8, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  22. Garth

    Comments are not pre-screened before they post – CNN

    September 8, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  23. Big_D

    Being a bigot is so funny Mitt? A guy is half black so you can question his citizenship? At least his family didn't flee the USA because of differences.

    September 8, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Acer1234

    Nothing beats a sense of humor.

    September 8, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  25. packerfans

    Obama claimed King and not President United States and above the Law!! He does not serve second terms!! He broken vow several times and lied and broken many Promise!! He alway same person for second terms!

    September 8, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
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