Obama to appear on Kansas ballot after 'birther' challenge dropped
September 17th, 2012
03:54 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama to appear on Kansas ballot after 'birther' challenge dropped

(CNN) – Efforts to keep President Barack Obama's name off of the Kansas presidential ballot were halted Monday when a state board ended its probe over questions about the president's place of birth, the Kansas Secretary of State's office confirmed.

The all-Republican board made its decision after the person leading the objection, Manhattan, Kansas resident Joe Montgomery, dropped his challenge on Friday saying he had received threatening phone calls.

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Last year, Obama released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii to quell speculation that he was not a U.S. citizen and may be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president. He has previously released a certification of live birth during the 2008 campaign. Both documents 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.

Monday's meeting by the State Objections Board, however, did not go down without some drama. Orly Taitz, an outspoken figure in the so-called birther movement, appeared at the gathering and demanded to speak, according to local television station KTKA, a CNN affiliate. She chided board members for overlooking other questions about the president's citizenship.

Obama supporters forcefully responded at the meeting, and both parties were ordered to leave the building by a security officer. It's also worth noting that Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, is known for his tough stance against illegal immigration and has served as an "informal adviser" to Mitt Romney's campaign.

The Kansas ballot measure is one of several examples of the birther movement's still-persistent presence this election year. Officials in Iowa and Arizona, for example, called for presidential candidates to show proof of U.S. citizenship before they can appear on the ballot–a not-so-veiled nod to birther conspiracists.

While the Republican Party at large brushes off the movement as a distraction, and despite proof to the contrary, some continue to give voice to the issue, notably real estate mogul Donald Trump. Romney, meanwhile, drew criticism recently for making an apparent quip about the issue.

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

Obama's campaign quickly seized on the comment and faulted Romney for not "standing up to the most strident voices in his party."

The president, however, pokes fun at the issue himself. Campaigning in Florida recently, Obama ran into a six-year-old from Hawaii and jokingly asked to see his birth certificate.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Peter Hamby, Jim Acosta and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Kansas • President Obama
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. concordantmind

    These birthers have no idea how foolish they look. I would like to thank you, birthers, for your ceaseless entertainment. Its hysterical watching you try to make it work in your brain.

    September 18, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. concordantmind

    These Birthers have no idea how foolish they look. I would like to thank you birthers for your ceaseless entertainment. Its hysterical watching you try to make it work in your brain.

    September 18, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. yawn

    I was born at Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit) and the nurses accidentally switched babies - my mom was handed the wrong child initially. Given evidence of this type of issue, I absolutely believe that Ann Romney might not have been born in Detroit and we should absolutely waste taxpayer money (hundreds of thousands) to investigate this. Harper Hospital has an even worse reputation. Canada is less than one mile from both hospitals - I think we better demand Mittens' long form, official, notarized, gold-plated birth certificate.

    September 18, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. lou

    The GOP could have prevented themselves from becoming the laughing stock of the country, by stopping this from the very beginning. When the first inkling of birther came out, they could have shut it down then. They knew it was a lie. Do you really believe the party that stuck to Clinton's lie until he was impeached, would have let a little thing like lack of citizenship proof go? But instead, they pandered and prodded this along to win votes from a certain group of people, they now wish would go away. Their chickens have come home to roost and their stinking up the place.

    September 18, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Voice Crying In the Wilderness

    I know there are ignorant people in this world, but this goes beyond ignorant.These people just don't want President Obama to get a second term and will do anything to stop him, even something as silly as keeping him off the ballot. Yes,they are ignorant,but this goes beyond ignorant. Maybe it's something about the President himself. It's pretty obvious to me.

    September 18, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. dahdit

    Mr. Thompson says he was intimidated into withdrawing his objection, I think he meant to say humiliated.

    September 18, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Disgusted

    Heaven help me! I live in Kansas City, wedged in between a state housing an extremist election board who is willing to use ignorant arguments to defeat Obama (Kansas) and an ignorant Senate candidate who believes a woman's body can just shut those things down (Missouri)! I'm very hopeful that since I'm on the Missouri side my vote will help Claire retain her senate seat. So sorry for the people of Kansas, the state of my birth!

    September 18, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. David

    The GOP continues to step on their tongues with golf shoes...what's even more frightening is some Americans actually believe the crap there handing out...it is amazing....

    September 18, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. jurby

    it never ceases to amaze me that Republicans and their supporters will try/do/say everything/anything they think will bully voters into believing and voting they way they want voters to vote. this continuing birther cr*p is a perfect example of their ridiculous strong-arming, suppressive and bullying tactics in their effort to get what they want. it all reminds me of toddlers who throw themselves on the ground and throw temper tantrums in order to selfishly get what they want until mommy and daddy buy/give them what they want. Republicans are no different.

    September 18, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Matt

    While Obama has done a poor job as president in his first term, think about this: Our government isn't smart enough to pull off a scam like this. It would take a lot of effort to bring in someone not born here. make him president, and cover everything up. There are plenty of other reasons to get on Obama.

    September 18, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. bouree

    The birther issue begs the question whether there are racist sentiments against Obama prompting such silliness, I think the answer is that race plays an important role in our politics and will continue to do so for a while to come. Candidates always try to use race issues to their advantage. Things are a little different on the surface with Obama causing a dent in the line of all white Presidents and the game has changed a little bit. But below the surface, the politics of race remain the same.

    September 18, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Peter Guild

    Whatever will put Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in office, I'm in-favor of.

    September 18, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. oman

    Now I know why President Obama's mother left Kansas.

    September 18, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Eric

    Even if Obama wasn't born in Hawaii, he could still be considered a natural born citizen since his mother was a U.S. citizen. The COTUS only says, "natural born Citizen." It doesn't define what that means. I was born in Germany to U.S. parents while my father served in the military. I'd like to think that I am a natural born citizen. That is a question for the Supreme Court to decide, not Kansas.

    September 18, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. scarf

    My mother was born on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks in the 1920's. She (and many others at that time) never had a birth certificate. I was born in Kansas and DO have a birth certificate. My question: Does this situation make my mother an illegal immigrant and me an anchor baby?

    September 18, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: If you liked GW Bush's economic, military and foreign policies, vote for Mittens

    Calling all birthers: Has it ever occurred to you that the GOP wanted to win in 2008 – and that with their millions of dollars and hundreds of lawyers, they would have proven in court beyond a shadow of a doubt that then-candidate Obama was born in Kenya?

    The GOP didn't because it's not true. But that hasn't stopped the GOP from continuing to play you for fools, hoping you'll again vote for them and against your own self-interest.

    When are you birthers going to grow a pair and admit you've been played?

    September 18, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. JohnW

    Can we officially label Kansas as the embarrassment of the nation yet?

    September 18, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain: If you liked GW Bush's economic, military and foreign policies, vote for Mittens

    I was born in Germany (my father served 30 years in the Army and was stationed there). I had dual US-German citizenship until I was 12 and became a naturalized US citizen. Trust me, if President Obama had been born in Kenya, there would be a long paper trail, including his registration of foreign birth abroad and naturalization papers signed by the Secretary of State at the time of his naturalization (mine was signed by Henry Kissinger). President Obama would have had to produce originals of all these documents to get his Social Security number and U.S. passport, both of which he has.

    So, birthers, where's the paper trail? There is none, because President Obama was born in Hawaii. Do yourself a favor and stop letting others make you look foolish by feeding your delusions and paranoia.

    September 18, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. stevetall

    What are all the morons going to do when the Republican Party is out of business? I don't know, but they better come up with something quick. Just like the Whig Party, the Republican Party is just about over, and with good reason. It's nice to see that despite the billions of dollars that the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove have to spend, there simple aren't enough idiots in America to elect Mitt and Paul, and that's refreshing!

    September 18, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. personalfact

    Im glad the whole birther issue is going away. And Im all for showing what ever each is doing wrong. But come on if your going to show the info on the videos on Romney. You need to report the story of the DOJ coordinating with media matters to shut down Obama critics. I think we americans deserve to see the dirt on both sides so we can made a good decision on who we want to vote for.

    September 18, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. cardog

    Last night I went on U-Tube to watch some of the many interviews with that crazy Isreali lady/lawyer that insists that the President was not a U.S. citizen. She is the poster child for these crazy people that simply won't go away. So now Kansas has cleared the President to be on the ballot??? This is a state that has played into this nonsense. Kansas, like Missouri will still vote for Romney no matter what. Lets see how many of the good citizens of these two mid-west backward thinking states will apppreciate being cast into the 47% that Mr Romney believes is on the government dole?

    September 18, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. bill

    It is amazing how we are still talking about the citizenship of our President, but yet mitt will not release proof of his U.S. tax payments for the past 10 years. Obama not only released his birth certificate, but he also released 12 years of his tax returns. If mitt cannot and will not answer simple fitness of character questions in seeking the highest elected office in the land, then mitt does not deserve to be considered for President.

    September 18, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. v_mag

    American presidents, until 4 years ago, have always been white men, usually rich old ones. They haven't always done a good job, but somehow they feel entitled to hold the highest offices. Rob-money certainly feels entitled, as shown by his recently reported statements referring to the 47%. I'm an older white man, not rich at all, but firmly in the middle class (although, I've slipped a bit since the middle of Bush's term), and I don't believe Rob-money and his runnin' buddies have any special claim to high office. In many ways, they are the worst bunch of people from which to choose a president, since they have that chip on their shoulders and blinders blocking their view.

    If there is an old white rich man who can prove that he has done extraordinary service for America, and not just used the system to enrich himself, I have no objection to him running. But there is not such a man in this race.

    September 18, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. mrzntejas

    U.S. laws on becoming a citizen at birth come from two legal principles:
    1) Jus soli (the law of the soil): "a rule of common law under which
    the place of a person’’s birth determines citizenship. In addition to
    common law, this principle is embodied in the 14th Amendment to
    the U.S. Constitution and the various U.S. citizenship and
    nationality statutes."
    2) Jus sanguinis (the law of the bloodline): "a concept of Roman or
    civil law under which a person’’s citizenship is determined by the
    citizenship of one or both parents. This rule, frequently called
    “'citizenship by descent”' or “'derivative citizenship”, is not embodied
    in the U.S. Constitution, but such citizenship is granted through
    statute. As U.S. laws have changed, the requirements for
    conferring and retaining derivative citizenship have also changed."

    September 18, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. oldbikerbeatch

    The challenge may be dropped but that doesn't mean the issue has been resolved nor his birthplace proven to be anywhere other than his native Kenya. The documents dealing with Obama, the Social Security number he is CURRENTLY using that was issued to a dead guy from Connecticut and the falsified Selective Service form along with the fraudulent "certification of live birth" (which is unfortunately true in one aspect) do not demonstrate that he is an American. Any why, may I ask, have millions of dollars been spent on his behalf to block, derail or heap derision on the vetting of this man? Barack Hussein Obama, AKA Barry Soetero AKA other aliases

    September 18, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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