April 21st, 2010
03:08 PM ET
10 years ago

White House slams latest 'birther' move

White House aides are scoffing at a move in the Arizona legislature to force President Obama to show his birth certificate to get on the state's ballot in 2012 for his likely re-election battle.

White House aides are scoffing at a move in the Arizona legislature to force President Obama to show his birth certificate to get on the state's ballot in 2012 for his likely re-election battle.

(CNN) - White House aides are scoffing at a move in the Arizona legislature to force President Obama to show his birth certificate to get on the state's ballot in 2012 for his likely re-election battle.

"This is a question that has been answered exhaustively," White House spokesman Bill Burton told CNN. "I can't imagine Arizona voters think their tax dollars are well served by a legislature that is less focused on their lives than in fringe right-wing radio conspiracy theories."

The Arizona House voted Monday by a 31-22 margin to require all presidential candidates to prove they were born in the United States in order to meet the constitutional requirement. The measure still has to be considered by the Arizona state Senate before it can become law.

When the issue first popped up during the 2008 presidential election, the Obama campaign released the then-senator's birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii. In December 2008, after Obama was elected, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man claiming Obama was ineligible to serve as president.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. musician

    I`d like to see some kind of certificate that proves once and for all that the Arizona Legislature isn`t stupid. And until I see it, I will assume they are.

    April 21, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. mary

    America is showing its true colors now. We hear that people are angry but we don't get to hear exactly what is causing the angst. I tend to believe that it's because a Democrat, and specifically, a Black Democrat, is in the White House that we are seeing and hearing all kinds of wierd things. A similar thing, but not on the scale we are witnessig now, occurred during Clinton's presidency. See where the Republicans took the nation afterwards; obviously we have all forgotten that.

    I'm not sure that I want a country where skin color determines ones acceptability (although it hasn't stopped us from shedding 'white' blood in the interest of 'not white' people. I doudt that people catch the irony).

    April 21, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Patrick

    The purpose for this law is to set up a distracting court challenge in the middle of the election. Nice time bomb. Someone needs to put an end to this foolishness. Obama was born in Hawaii and at the time Hawaii kept pretty shoddy looking records. Get over it.

    April 21, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Sniffit

    So basically, AZ, being a "red" state and full of GOPers and other forms of "conservatives," has decided to engage in the birther nonsense in an attempt to pre-empt the voters of AZ from voting for Obama in 2012? Voter suppression anyone? This isn't "candidate suppression" or an honest attempt at weeding out potential foreigners who try to run for POTUS. It's a BLATANT attempt to skew the 2012 presidential race. BLATANT. part of the gambit here is to skew the popular vote numbers in favor of whoever challenges Obama, so if Obama wins a second term, they'll have talking points about him being illegitimate because the majority of the country didn't vote for him or some nonsense.

    Only 37 of the 90 members of the AZ state house and senate are Dems. Care to wager where this is going?

    April 21, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. JC

    I don't have too much sympathy with the "Birthers," but I do believe that every candidate for national office should be required by law to produce proof of citizenship. Arizona can be a pain in the ass, but in this case, they are correct, and should stick to their guns.

    April 21, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. annie s

    How pathetic that the legislators in Arizona are focused on this when their state is facing such difficult economic times. I guess a birth certificate with a certified state seal, a newspaper announcement, and the word of the Hawaii Secretary of State mean nothing to these loonies....hmm, maybe next they'll pass legislation trying to prove the earth is flat.

    April 21, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. patNY

    I see no reason why all presidential candidates should not have to prove their natural born citizenship prior to becoming a candidate. In reality, when one runs for president, he/she is interviewing for a job, and we the voters, are the ones who hires or rejects the applicant. The job qualifications include being born in the US. Thus, proof of meeting this basic qualification should be required of all candidates. Obama has nothing to fear, as it is clear that he meets this qualification, and has proven so with the production of his birth certificate showing he was born in the State of Hawaii. What's sickening, is that people are not accepting this proof because he is black and his daddy is from Kenya. The birther motivation is racist and should be called out as so.

    April 21, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Robert

    Don't they realize that they make themselves look like fools when they do things like this? It only gives strength to the President and his allies when they behave like this. They hurt themselves and gain nothing. If a voter were to ask themselves which side sounds sane and grounded in reality, the choice is pretty clear.

    April 21, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Edna

    You call it what you want, I call it racism. Did anyone ask for John McCain's birth certificate? He was born in Panama. He is not a natural born citizen of the U.S. and therefore not eligible to be President of the U.S. according to these people. I am sick of them. President Obama has shown all the evidence that he needs to show. You can not change an idiot's mind. My President is in office and will remain there. As a matter of fact, they will be angry for the next seven years, because he will run in 2012 and win. Who do the Republicans have to run against him? They are a pathetic bunch of people!!! Liars, bigots, nope-a-dopes, and all-a-round do-nothings. They are the minority and can not stand it. They need to stay in the minority for a few years until they learn a bit of humility.
    Obama/Biden – 2012

    April 21, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Lawrence

    The right wing fringe nuts are at it again! What sore losers they are. The GOP should be ashamed at their pathetic supporters!

    April 21, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Anonymous

    This is SOOOOOOOO beyond racist and stupid and offensive! This is simply outrageous!!!!!!

    April 21, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Seth

    I live in Arizona, this is impossibly stupid – not to mention a huge waste of AZ state funds.

    Grow up!

    April 21, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. patsy

    Nothing will satisy the birthers. Even though the birth certificate appeared on television during the campaign, they just insist that it never happened. If they were handed the certificate and saw it, felt it, read it, they would still deny it. They do not like having a black President and will argue against anything he says or does.

    April 21, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. SNAPPA

    WOW, what the hell is wrong with America these days? America is becoming a very bad place these days these people make me ashamed to be an American.

    April 21, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. John

    If I am not mistaken, Obama's mother is from Kansas, an American
    Citizen, so it doesn't matter where Obama was born.

    This is pretty simple.

    April 21, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. diridi

    300 million American dudes are not stupid to elect this dude. I am glad, I am one among these dudes to elect and see health care, and nation's needed reforms are passing....well done, dude, obama...well done...God bless you....yes, tell you are an American, like me....do not fear these nasty rascales...ok

    April 21, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Bit

    So sick of these racist people! American just can't get over the fact that thers's a black President in the white house. It's such a shame that Americans are not Americans first; but black America and white America, poor america and rich america, and so on. Why can't we just be Americans! These are the same people "birthers" that are in the so-called tea party that "want their country back" from this black president that's disguising themselves as "sick of big government" republicans. These are the same people who claim that they are Christians...........If that's what a Christian looks and behaves like, the rest of us are doomed. So sad for America. If these people represent republican, the republican leaders need to get some backbone and call these people out. Oh no, they won't do that because they feel that they are being helped by all the hate. But there is someone who will speak up and that's God. Just wait and see!

    April 21, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Dave

    And the losers just get sorer...

    Seriously, can't you GOP dolts actually come up with ideas on how to fix things instead of wasting your time on this garbage? Of course you can't. That would take brains and foresight – things you lying idiots know nothing about.

    April 21, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Steph

    Great use of taxpayer money. How many jobs did these actions create?

    April 21, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. staple

    The Arizona Legislature (31) are bunch racists.

    April 21, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Tony83702

    If my siser and brother didn't have the misfortune of living there, I'd boycott Arizona over this nonsense and their draconian anti-immigration policies.

    April 21, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. DIANA

    Why don't they ask their senator – McCain. He was born in Panama.

    April 21, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Doug,lib jersey

    This whole thing is classic Alinksy, I suggest reading Rules for Radicals, it is the best insight in how not just this administration works, but the whole DNC.

    There is more value in the partisan Obama admin. to marginalize and ridicule his opposition over the issue by not showing the certificate than there is in resoliving it.

    This is not Bush or even Clinton where the administration serves the American people and would want to have closure on this. Each and every move by Obama is partisan and about advancing his ideology, this country or its people do not factor in any of its workings in any way.

    I suggest we not give Obama what he wants, move on from this and use your time pointing out the truth and facts about the corruption, lies, and violence that this administration is conducting. I would start with looking into this administration's involvement with ordering their thugs to beat the crap out of that poor woman in New Orleans.

    April 21, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. David

    Zonies should be ashamed and embarrassed by this latest shenanigan. President Obama has already shown his birth certificate as part of the process of being elected. Somehow, the nut cases won't accepts facts.

    The law attempts to give power to the individual state to decide whether the proof is 'good enough' to be on the ballot. Essentially, the people making the decision can arbitrarily remove a candidate from the ballot. This would effectively make it possible to choose the presidential candidate winner for that state even without an election. People should be screaming about this being unconstitutional but as long as it benefits the right wing, the nut bags embrace it.

    April 21, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Greg K., PA

    Anyone who actually buys into that Birther nonsense is too dumb to vote responsibly.

    But by all means, keep up the crazy – it only serves to make Pres. Obama look good and crazy wingnuts bad.

    April 21, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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