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. DemocratforRomney

    For years before his election, President Obama and his literary agents declared that he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. Can you blame people who may be confused as to his nationality? Apparently, Obama himself doesn't know where he was born. lol

    September 9, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  2. N0TaLIB

    "He released a certification of live birth during the 2008 campaign, and in the spring of 2011, released his long-form birth certificate."

    Both were proven to be fake.
    Still waiting for the real ones, Barry.

    September 9, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  3. Jane

    Really dumb remark from the president. Maybe he should show his "original"

    September 9, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  4. PJH

    Did you guys see the footage of Romney in VA giving a stump speech? With Pat Robertson in the background he went on and on about religion, stating how he would never remove religion from his platform, and from coins?. It's funny there are several interviews unto which Romney went on and on about how religion does not, in anyway, influence his politics. I specifically remember one with a radio interview and a camera unto which he became belligerent with the interviewer and walked out. There he goes again, etch a sketch Romney. Think this guy has finally lost it. Seems he can't handle the pressure of a race for president., how could he handle being president.

    September 9, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  5. truth

    This is the wrong question. It should have been, "do you have a social security number that was issued by the state of Hawaii?" Of course, Obama's truthful answer to this for himself would be no.

    September 9, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  6. Bribarian

    Obama was born in Kenya.

    September 9, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  7. Anna

    Really Obama???????????????? A littl thin-skinned maybe.......

    September 9, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  8. WIMPY38

    Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Monroe were all born before the U.S. was officially called the Uniited States. Does that make them not offical presidents?

    September 9, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  9. Fred Smith

    I am glad I don't have to have birth certificates for each bum baby i give birth to in the porcelain hospital.

    September 9, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  10. smartmovedude

    The only other Mitt I know is Mitt Jagger and he is a Canadian.

    September 9, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  11. RepubLican Barf

    Romney – "No one ever asked to see my birth certificate"

    Obama – "No one ever asked to see my tax returns"

    September 9, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  12. abbah r. agor-agalanga

    He's a natural. Flows with people.

    September 9, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  13. scruffydude

    So Obama made a 'birther' joke. Good, I thought it was funny. Now, maybe the media can give Romney some slack for his joke a few weeks ago. I wonder if that will happen...probably not.

    September 9, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  14. FHTEX

    Obama may have been born in Hawaii, but that may be one of the few things that is truthful about his life. Check out Wayne Madsen's well-researched book The Manufacturing of a President. Obama's grandparents were not the furniture salesman and bank secretary they are claimed to be but rather CIA assets who traveled throughout the world. And, his mother, father, and stepfather also worked for CIA front organizations, as did Obama himself. You owe it to yourself to read Madsen's book before you vote in November.

    September 9, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  15. Ted McD

    What the hell do you think he meant? ....he was born in Hawaii too and every right wing idiot out there asks for his BC...even after he has shown it . You guys are looking for anything to try and create a controversy ... Just watched Don Lemon go after Debbie Shultz about the way the DNC added language about Jerusalem at their convention , the way Lemon went after her was ridiculous and he embarrassed himself he was like a rabid dog with a bone and actually called her a liar at one point. Outa win a Pulitzer for that one Don....reminded me of how he had a little hissy fit he wasn't invited to the WH press dinner. He's one of the big reasons I rarely watch your network anymore.

    September 9, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  16. Loren

    Unfortunately for Obama he did not reliece his full birth certificate! On the Bottom it tells if it was a live birth or a report from the midwife stating that he was born. There only has to be a report that he was born and he does not want anyone to find it! It would lead us to the midwife/nurse and we could find out if he speaks the truth! No Pictures!! It also tells a few other things.

    September 9, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  17. TanteWaileka

    And once more Obama tells a baldface lie. He was not born in Hawai'i as I have said before and will continue to say... how do I know? Because I'm almost two decades older than ham and I applied for a job at the hospital where he supposedly was born... but it was IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO HAVE BEEN BORN THERE. iMPOSSIBLE you say? Yes. Impossible... because when I applied for a job at that hospital, it had just been built and opened.... SEVEN YEARS AFTER OBAMA WAS BORN.

    September 9, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  18. TanteWaileka

    And once more Obama tells a bald faced li e. He was not bo rn in Hawai'i as I have said before and will continue to say... how do I know? Because I'm almost two decades older than him and I applied for a job at the hospital where he supposedly was born...

    September 9, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. Sam the Man

    And once more O ba ma tells a bald faced li e. He was not bo rn in Hawai'i as I have said before and will continue to say... how do I know? Because I'm almost two decades older than him and I applied for a job at the hospital where he supposedly was born...but it was IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO HAVE BEEN BORN THERE. iMPOSSIBLE you say? Yes. Impossible... because when I applied for a job at that hos pi tal, it had just been built and opened.... SEVEN YEARS AFTER O BAM A WAS BO RN.

    September 9, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  20. Sam the Man

    And once more O ba ma tells a bald faced li e. He was not bo rn in Hawai'i as I have said before and will continue to say...

    September 9, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  21. Common sense grandma

    Well played, Mr. President. Now THAT'S funny.

    September 9, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  22. Pail

    Dumb misleading article

    September 9, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  23. Logan

    Obama is the joke.

    September 9, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  24. davia55

    and for the next question Prez Obama....would you run your family finances with the same grace you handled our finances?

    September 9, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  25. Geoff

    The republicans have been taken over by the tea party nuts and the wacko "Christian" radicals whose guidance does not come from the Bible but rather from the words of the KKK and other hatemonger groups.

    September 9, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
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