February 22nd, 2010
08:23 PM ET
11 years ago

I believe Obama is a U.S. citizen, Hayworth says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/22/art.boface0222.gi.jpg caption="'I believe that Barack Obama is an American citizen,' Republican J.D. Hayworth said Monday."]
(CNN) – Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth is putting to rest any notion that he is a "birther," a believer in the unsubstantiated theory that President Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen and, therefore, not eligible to be president of the United States.

At a press conference Monday, the former congressman was repeatedly asked about recent comments which appeared to suggest he believes Obama was not a citizen.

"I believe that Barack Obama is an American citizen," Hayworth said.

After several questions Hayworth added, "Barack Obama is the president of the United States."

Hayworth is challenging Arizona Sen. John McCain in this year's Republican primary..

Last week in an interview with CNN's Campbell Brown, Hayworth raised the issue of identity theft as one reason some members of the public might be concerned about Obama proving he is a U.S. citizen. Hayworth was responding to Brown's query about comments he'd made in late January where he called on Obama personally to produce a birth certificate instead of relying on the State of Hawaii to do so.

In his Monday news conference, Hayworth, who recently left a stint as a conservative radio talk show host, said his earlier comments about Obama's citizenship had been inspired by his time working in radio.

"I was talking in another context about what I was hearing on the radio," Hayworth said.

He added, "To bring up a topic and to talk about it is not the same as endorsing a point of view."

Hayworth also took the opportunity Monday to accuse McCain, of being a flip-flopper on the Wall Street bailout.

McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, recently told the editorial board of The Arizona Republic that he had been misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about "TARP" otherwise known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

"And now it seems that [McCain] would have us believe that he would change positions on that vote [for TARP]," Hayworth said.

"That type of flip-flop is more reminiscent of John Kerry than the John McCain with whom I worked for so many years," Hayworth also said, making a reference to the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee who was attacked by the GOP as a flip-flopper.

McCain's re-election campaign quickly fired back at Hayworth.

"Senator McCain has long questioned the management of TARP, declared that the funds were being misused and voted repeatedly to defund it," McCain campaign Communications Director Brian Rogers said in a written statement.

Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN

Filed under: 2010 • Extra • J.D. Hayworth • John McCcain • Popular Posts
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Joycehelene

    Now he sees the light, well he does want to get elected and being a birther is the sure way to go down. Politics, politics, politics!!!

    February 22, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. RTB

    Isn't this big of Hayworth?

    If he wasn't running for office he would still be running his big mouth about Obama's birth.

    Not convenient now.

    February 22, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. Aspen Professor

    Ah Mr. Hayworth, you've come out from under your rock.

    Dear dear, what will the right-wing extremists do when they hear you say that Obama IS an American citizen?

    February 22, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Independent

    Sure he is a citizen. He's related to Bush & Cheny. And it wouldn't surprise me if Hayworth is.

    February 22, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Arlene

    Hayworth knows he can't get elected by just extreme Right Wing voters. Any more than President Obama's being able to get elected by only people of color. It takes all kinds of people believing in you and wanting you to be in office for that to occur. Which is exactly how our President became our President. Too bad he didn't figure that out before he decided to run for the Senate. So, let me get this straight. He had some sort of epiphany??? Right....

    February 22, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. mslique

    J.D Hayworth accused Macain of flip-flopping but he is doing the same thing! Poor Arizona, they don't have any one to vote for!

    February 22, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Sadie

    This man can LIE out of both sides of his mouth and not even bat an eye......he proclaimed and professed that Obama was not a citizen of this country when he was on the radio circuit.......not he says he beleves he is a citizen........these Republicans are getting scarier every day and to think so many of the Republicans are believing this idiots.......November will bring a new surge of Democrats to the House and Senate.....

    February 22, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Conserve America!!!

    Well, there goes the base. McCain's getting reelected. Either that, or someone who just admits it and calls himself a Democrat.

    February 22, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Perusing-through


    In the past couple years Senator McCain has been significantly erratic and very disappointing.

    The final straw for me is when McCain pressed Candidate Obama to "put country first" and select a quality Democratic VP that was ready to step in as President if necessary; but HYPOCRITE McCain did the exact opposite of his own advice and put his political career ahead of the country’s need by picking the worst potential VP in America's history, all for the hope of winning the Presidency.

    February 22, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Hamppu Viljelmä

    Oh my god these people in the US. Mr. Hayworth, do you know words like honesty and journalistic ethics?

    February 22, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Sean

    So basically, Hayworth was intentionally fanning the flames of the ignorant "birther" movement when on the radio, but now admits that he was being completely disingenuous and opportunistic when he did so. Sounds like exactly the kind of guy that "tea-partiers" and their ilk will line up to worship as a "real American" that they desperately want to keep in office. I wonder if he also drives a truck?

    February 22, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Center left-out

    J.D. Hayworth is a rightwing nut, who took money from Jack Abramoff. The American people better remember who this guy is a "Bush/Cheney hack" who help drove this country in the dirt.

    February 22, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    "I believe that Barack Obama is an American citizen," Hayworth said.

    After several questions Hayworth added, "Barack Obama is the president of the United States."

    Notice that he never said "President Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States"?

    That gives him the ability to continue to suck up to the "birther" crowd.

    What a bunch of morons!

    February 22, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. nathan

    Then tell me why Obama has spent thousands of dollars to stop investigations into the search for his authentic ,legal birth cert. Applications recently reveal that school applications state he lived in Hawaii and he was bn in Indonesia and religion Islamic. You
    can youtube for proof.When will common sense take control of this runaway adm. and face the facts and get this guy on the road.

    February 22, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Ndubueze Chuku

    It doesn't matter what you believe, Mr Hayworth. Whatever you believe does not not change the truth. So just go ahead and fool yourself in Arizona all in the name of politics. Numbnut!!

    February 22, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. proud dem in nc

    Why is this birther thing still an issue. The freaks never give up. They just CAN'T STAND the fact that he is the President. They are in denial. Get over it you right wing losers!!!

    February 22, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Susan

    Are all Arizonans maverick??
    How come he suddenly change his views?

    February 22, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. Ben Yaweh

    Are we supposed that this guy had a ureka moment and suddenly knows that Pres. Obama is a US citizen? Of course he knew it all along, but like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and the rest of the tea party crowd they are just a bunch of bigots who cannot handle teh truth.

    February 22, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. ATL Guy

    These Republicans are beyond hilarious and bizarre? He was talking about what he heard on the radio? Wasn't he the radio host? These Republicans are just salivating at the thought of being back in power. They'll say anything, truth or not, just to get into power again.

    February 22, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Fitz in Texas

    Good luck to you J.D. Hayworth.....Lets hope the fine people of Arizona elect you.

    February 22, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. Anthony

    THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON THE SWEATY, BLOODY BACKS OF IMMIGRANTS (and SLAVE LABOR). As far as I know.. this was originally Indian land before the Europeans conquered (*cough*) "settled" here a meager 400 years ago... So to hell with Birthers and their "PURITY TESTS"...

    February 22, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. SdJ

    "Believing" that Obama is a citizen and president is neither a belief nor an opinion – it's a fact...he is both a citizen and the president.

    Whether he was born in the U.S. is what's up for debate, and contrary to this report, Hayworth has NOT denied believing that. That's what the hateful "birther" movement is about, and that is what Hayworth has yet to come clean on.

    February 22, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. lannymous

    Mr. Obama doesn't act like a U.S. citizen. He hates this country with a passion.

    February 22, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  24. Marcus Tate

    Why is this still an issue? The racists just won't let it go. News Flash – OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT. Like it or not. Go tout your racism somewhere else!

    February 22, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    So who's the flip-flopper? So he'll have us believe he talks crap on the radio without really meaning it-and we should vote for him?

    February 22, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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