April 11th, 2014
04:59 PM ET
8 months ago

Obama on 'birther' controversy: 'That was crazy'

New York (CNN) – President Barack Obama grew nostalgic and paused with laughter Friday while remembering the noisy controversy over his birth certificate a few years ago.

Speaking in New York at an event hosted by Al Sharpton's National Action Network, Obama was blasting a recent push by some states for stricter voting laws, many of which require various forms of photo identification.

Proponents of the laws argue the provisions help prevent fraud at the ballot box, but critics say they disproportionately affect minority voters, a large swath of whom don't have state-issued forms of ID.

"Folks may learn that without a document like a passport or a birth certificate, they can't register," Obama said. "Just because you don't have the money to travel abroad doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to vote here at home."

He stopped to add a clarification.

"And just to be clear, I know where my birth certificate is. But a lot of people don't," he said, as the crowd erupted in laughter. "A lot of people don't."

Feeding off the audience, the President joked that he thinks his birth certificate is "still up on a website somewhere."

He paused again, laughing to himself.

"You remember that? That was crazy," he said. "That was some crazy stuff. I hadn't thought about that in a while."

To quash a small but vocal group of Americans who contested Obama's place of birth, he released a certificate of live birth during his 2008 presidential campaign. In 2011, he 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.

Obama's remarks weren't the first time he joked about the issue. He's made quips about his birth certificate over the years.

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

Obama jabs 'birthers' with Irish certificate

CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. nintex

    If the tea party people could only lighten up a bit and be more like our President – what a sense of humor he has, and no grudges and no self-righteousness, no anger at all the years of insults only because he is black and intelligent . . . .if only they could be more like him (sigh. . .)

    April 11, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. bassman

    Playing the victim is beneath his office.

    April 12, 2014 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  3. moron

    So if you want to vote, just produce a fake birth certificate! Holder and I will take care of the rest, with a pen and a phone! And we'll get you Obamacare, food stamps and social security checks! Thank you! Have another Kool Aid!

    April 12, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Rex Batt

    He told his book publisher he was born in Kenya, lol.

    April 12, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Joeboo

    All you hacks mock birthers which were a very small minority vs 9/11 truthers who make up a large base of democrats...including some elected officials and Obama's green czar... Hilarious

    April 12, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. just saying

    what is the big deal about disclosing all of his college records? he has spent millions trying to keep them hidden. they should have been disclosed as the american people have the right to know if the person they are voting for is an incompetent fraud. given his dismal performance in office, i'd have to say those records most likely show he was a dunce that was given good grades and passed along.

    April 12, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Dave Turson

    The US Senate's opinion was that John McCain was eligible to serve as president because he had parents who were US citizens at the time of his birth. Obama's father wasn't a US citizen. As Donald Trump said, Obama should have released his long-form birth certificate when the questions about his eligibility began, but instead he used the issue as if it a matter for jokes. Much of the stiff opposition that he faces happens because of his smart-alecky nature. He admitted to this failure of character after he lost the House in 2010. The Obama swagger is too tempting to leave behind.

    April 12, 2014 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. JohnnyUSA

    Remember when we had an American in the white house, when we used to build things like power plants in this country, and when there were jobs paying more than minimum wage...? This is what you get when you have low information & IQ voters like liberal democrats, no voter IDs needed, and a fraudulent black-Arab backed by a Billionaire socialist named Soros...

    April 12, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Dylan

    Well considering his whole presidency has been one lie after another, I have no doubt proof will surface after his presidency that he lied about this too. Hypocrisy and lies are what dominate Democrat politics.

    April 12, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. d2boston

    LOL! A not-so-clever ploy by a not-so-intelligent incompetent to whip up his base of morons... which as one can see by simply viewing most of the comments noted here, worked fairly well.

    Hey Barack, you liar... remember all that "If you like your plan and your doctor, you can keep it" talk? Now THAT was some crazy stuff!

    April 12, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. George

    That was a very nervous shallow little act he's SHAKING in his boots his fraudster story is being REVEALED right now. Why else would he bring it up again? He thinks he will deflect the story from his useless imbeciles by making another BIG JOKE out of HIS fraud again.

    April 12, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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