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. Impeach Congress

    Unless your a Native american, you're not really a U.S. citizen in the first place so why does it matter?

    February 22, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  2. proud american democrat oregon

    and the back peddling starts , with the republicans... its to sick to actually be funny . but I am still going to laugh my ass off.. these racist loser make me sick . 8 years of bliss and ripping off america .. and they are pissed off because we elecr=ted a black man as president and he actually can speak . plus this last year all the NO going around from the republicans . it will now catch up and bite them in the ass . in a few days the country will hear the truth about how the republicans really act and how they have tried to stop the progress of our great nation . change is here and we are ready for the president to take charge , and the democrats need to step up or step down and we can elect people to serve . the people and not the CEO'S god bless this country and the man who is incharge Mr. Obama 🙂

    February 22, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. Shelly

    It continues to be SILLY season on the greatest (not!) nation on earth.....can't believe we are still validating OUR President. The Republicans are plain idiots!

    February 22, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  4. Mr. Davidson

    I don't know why there is a question ,I've got mine ,original and copy ,its very important to have that especially with the patriot act ,in states like PA ,you can't even get a drivers license . I will show it to anyone personally if necessary in a second ,I guess the indecision begins to make one think.It seems like it took an army of handlers 2 years now to attempt to handle something pretty simple , who knows.

    February 22, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    The difference between Conservatism and Liberalism, is that Conservatism doesn't integrate any philosophy but Conservative philosophy. Liberalism integrates all philosophies, including Conservative philosophies. One philosophy endears itself to those who are easily frightened and fear change and progress, the other philosophy seeks to evolve and adapt to the times to better the lives of all. Why is it so bad to be a Liberal again?

    February 22, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  6. John

    So this is actually still in question?? Don't we have people to find this out? You know, the FBI, CIA, etc.... What do we pay taxes for?

    February 22, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  7. kravitz

    Mark Levin's gonna blow another gasket today.

    February 22, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  8. Liberal jokers

    This whole 'birther' thing was started by a liberal–seriously. And only the extremes in both parties believe it.

    February 22, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  9. Elibrun Pierre

    Mr J D Hayworth is really arrogant and has no respect for. President Obama and for senator McCain he is an idiot.

    February 22, 2010 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  10. Preston

    Unbelievable. Next thing you know, he'll tell us he also believes in evolution and global warming. He really has gone off the deep end.

    February 22, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  11. Keeth in California

    As a conservative talk radio host, Hayworth says, "Obama, produce your birth certificate." As a candidate for high office, Hayworth says, "Obama, forget the birth certificate." Who's the flip-flopper here? Hayworth.

    February 22, 2010 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  12. pudge

    It is a *fact* that Obama's birth certificate has not been made public. Hawaii only released what amounts to a certification that they HAVE Obama's birth certificate, and is not the birth certificate itself. It's obvious that some people would think this is insufficient: even though Hawaii says they are legally equivalent, it's not the actual birth certificate.

    What makes matters worse for Obama on this is that he could request his actual birth certificate, and apparently has not done so.

    All that said, the evidence is still weighed almost entirely in his favor. For the state to NOT have his birth certificate, and still release a certification of live birth, would require a significant conspiracy, including many hospital personnel and the (Republican) governor.

    Add the multiple birth announcements from newspapers at the time, and the complete lack of hard evidence that he was born anywhere else, and we can only come to one conclusion: Obama was born in Hawaii and is therefore a U.S. citizen.

    February 22, 2010 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  13. Dale Sorenson

    there's words in the dictionary for what you' re trying to say when you
    sorta –kinda say maybe you were itsy bitsy wrong about obama's
    birthplace. Too bad you and McCain both can't be elected. Circus in progress. "nuff said!

    February 23, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  14. jwiles

    a citizen, huh?
    well that's a shocker. not.

    February 23, 2010 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  15. Texas Jack

    If he is a certified citizen why is he not showing his proof. This has gone on long enough. Whether we out here believe he is or he isn't is not the question. Let him be the one to come forward with the certified documents. If he applied for aid to go to college as a foreign then he needs to disapprove this accusation. Never in the U.S. history have we had a President that was not American born. We can not start now regardless of race. Race has no claim in this affair. Injustice does.

    February 23, 2010 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  16. Dem TIl death

    Another classic Repuglican smokescreen issue. Like gay marriage and their wide stanced "family values". Democrats are far from perfect but at least they address real issues.

    February 23, 2010 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  17. Gravitas

    Don't worry McCain will give you a drubbing and send you back to where you belong: oblivion! Moron.

    February 23, 2010 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  18. Dean

    "To bring up a topic and to talk about it is not the same as endorsing a point of view" – not, it is called politicizing. Or perhaps flip-flopping. You can't trust any of them folks, they are *all* just in it for themselves. Believe it.

    February 23, 2010 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  19. David from Wisconsin

    Hey this guy is brilliant.

    February 23, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. wgv

    they're still harping on that? since when is an child not an american citizen when his/her mother is america (from kansas even). stupid, stupid, stupid

    February 23, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  21. constitutionman

    This stupid 'birther' HYPED and MANUFACTURED article is a pathetic , childish attempt to invalidate anyone who disagrees with the far left agenda. Moderates don't care about this issue. This issue only benefits liberals. How many CNN staffers who run this political ticker use their personal beliefs when running so called 'stories' ?

    February 23, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  22. Albert R. K. . L.A., CA

    Hayworth has a bachelor's degree in speech communications and his first job was a sportscaster and then the political statges, same résumé as Palin - stage struck. Opens his mouth and then later trys to talk his way out of what he said. Is this the best the GOP has? At least McCain has Cindy at his side and she has a brain and class.

    February 23, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  23. wam

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

    what kind of backhanded birther statement is this, Arnold is also "an American citizen", and so is Ruppert.

    February 23, 2010 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  24. J.P.

    This birther nonsense is being manufactured and perpetuated by the defeated socialists in the media, because they have nothing left to grasp onto.

    Face it, commies, your day is long since passed. We'll make you irrelevant come November.

    February 23, 2010 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  25. Richard Komi

    Those who doubt the citizenship of our president are those who find his election as president a bitter pill to swallow.

    February 23, 2010 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
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