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. Obamalism

    Sure he's a citizen... but the real question is whether he is a 'natural born' citizen.

    February 22, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. Paul Navarre

    Hey, Martina Stewart, do your job! The birther smears are not based on an "unsubstantiated theory". The birthers are lying. This isn't something you can have theories about. Just because the insane right wing of the Republican party have no shame in repeating lies doesn't mean that you should call their ravings a "theory".

    February 22, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  3. Dem in AZ

    I listened to J.D Heyworth from time to time and in one of his statements he had made on the radio was that he was a provacateur. hmmmm I believe it.

    February 22, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. bennie new york

    Isn't it sad that this is radical position for a Republican to take?

    February 22, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |

    who cares why is this still a issue

    February 22, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. mjm

    Are we still talking about this?

    February 22, 2010 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. bess

    the story that just won't go away! of course, it would if Obama would just show that pesky doctor-signatured certificate – but what fun would that be? then again...


    February 22, 2010 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. Pat-San Jose CA

    "... his earlier comments about Obama's citizenship had been inspired by his time working in radio." Right. And now that he's running for office, he is inspired by the truth?

    February 22, 2010 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  9. mike

    Another crackpot backtracking on his previous comments. Rush Limbaugh would be proud.

    February 22, 2010 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. Keith in Austin

    0barry probably is a U.S. Citizen. The problem is that he doesn't listen to the majority of other American Citizens that oppose his out-of-control spending, Healthcare plan, Cap and Trade, weakened National Security and just about everything else he stands for!

    February 22, 2010 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Justin

    Hayworth is an idiot and McCain is a bigger one to pander to him. If Arizona GOPers want to send a braindead blowhard to the U.S. Senate, well ... that's democracy!

    February 22, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. Helen

    Mcain has become a liar. He suspended his campaign to vote on the TARP, now he saying differently. He deserves to lose.

    February 22, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  13. Mark

    Regardless, Obama is clueless!!!

    February 22, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. Charlie in Maine

    Oh gee. That Hayworth must be too liberal . By giving that Obama guy such an unqualified complement. The right wing-nuts better get a handle on this Hayworth guy. "Obama is an American" indeed.

    February 22, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. Bob-Texas

    The GOP, Birthers, and the Tea Party have rode this horse until it will not walk. Why not let it rest now since the President has been office for over a year and the world has not come to an end.

    February 22, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. Ellie

    SHUT UP already about President Obama's citizenship!!!



    My Lord, this is getting utterly STUPID!!!!

    February 22, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. Mason

    I hope McCain can leave Washington with some dignity left. The last two years have really diminished my respect for him. Hayworth is just a carpetbagger from North Carolina who will throw anyone under the bus if it helps him politically. Arizona needs some fresh representation.

    February 22, 2010 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. G-man

    We're still hung up on birth certificates?

    The problem with President Obama is outrageous spending, tax increase, unconstitutional Czars, nationalizing car companies, giving our money to banks, moves towards socialism, terrorist being treated like criminals, trials in NYC. Forget the birth certificate issue and focus on his bad policies, please.

    February 22, 2010 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. joe

    "I was talking in another context about what I was hearing on the radio,"
    what does that say about talk radio

    February 22, 2010 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Lilly B. W.

    So, why is Obama-Bin-Lying hiding his records?

    February 22, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. Marianne

    Even if you give Obama a citizenship through his get about Mom. His father is BRITISH and obama inhis books said he was born under British rule. He is not a NBC.!!!!!!! Obama is another Hitler wanting to control the worls.

    February 22, 2010 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. Justen in Florida

    He might belive it, I don't.

    February 22, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  23. phoenix86

    Obama is a US citizen...unfortunatety.

    February 22, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Tammy

    Why "I believe" - why not

    he IS a U.S. citizen



    February 22, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Terry from West Texas

    This is a continuously made suggestion by Conservatives: that the Obama Presidency is somehow illegitimate. It is his mixed race and his father's race that is the (wink-wink) unspoken issue. "Birth Certificate" is a nonsense concept which stands as a symbol of Obama's blackness and consequent unworthiness. The people who think in such concepts know what is meant by this mealy-mouthed Conservative rhetoric.

    Our respectable Conservative leaders are the one's who have stirred up these "birther" hayseeds, though it might be difficult to trace the money back to them in a way that would hold up in court.

    I'd bet next month's rent that a thousand Conservative operatives are at work out in the nether regions of American culture, whipping up "grass roots" indignation over anything and everything done by Obama. The Conservative street theater is about as spontaneous as a pro-government rally in Iran. The sick part is that Conservatives are willing for their fellow Americans to suffer if that is how Conservatism can be returned most speedily to power.

    I need a drink.

    February 22, 2010 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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