[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/30/art.obama.0829s.gi.jpg caption =" President Obama said Sunday that there is a ‘network of misinformation’ spreading false rumors about his citizenship and faith."](CNN) - President Obama dismissed on Sunday the results of recent polls that show a significant portion of the population have doubts about his citizenship and believe he is a Muslim.
In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams on Sunday, Obama said "the facts are the facts, right?" But said "there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly."
"I can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead," the president added.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released August 4th showed more than a quarter of the public have doubts about Obama's citizenship, with 11 percent saying Obama was definitely not born in the United States and another 16 percent saying the president was probably not born in the country.
In a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released this month, nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year.
Earlier this month, Obama was accused of giving two conflicting statements regarding a planned Islamic community center and mosque several blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. His August 13 remarks seemed to lend support to the project, but he told CNN's Ed Henry a day later that he was "not commenting and [would] not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque" near Ground Zero.
In the NBC interview, Obama denied walking back his original statement.
"I didn't walk it back at all," he said.
"We can't treat people of the Islamic faith differently who are Americans, who are American citizens," Obama said. "That is central to who we are, that is a core value of our constitution. And my job as president is to make sure, in part, that we're upholding our Constitution."
Obama said he wasn't watching Saturday when Fox News and radio talk show host Glenn Beck hosted a revival-style rally in the nation's capital on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
But the president weighed in on the event that attracted many tea party supporters, telling NBC's Brian Williams Sunday, "One of the wonderful things about this country is that at any given moment any group of people can decide, 'We want our voices heard.'"
Asked about what message the rally was sending, Obama said given financial and security anxieties, "it's not surprising someone like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country. That's been true throughout our history. What I'm focused on is making sure that the decisions we're making now are going to be not good...necessarily for the next election, but are good for the next generation."
–CNN's Jeff Simon contributed to this report