Bachmann sidesteps Obama's citizenship issue
February 17th, 2011
08:43 AM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann sidesteps Obama's citizenship issue

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Michele Bachmann Thursday noticeably sidestepped the long-standing issue of President Obama's citizenship, saying "it's not for me to state" whether the president is or is not an American citizen.

"That isn't for me to state, that's for the president to state," the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and Tea Party favorite said on ABC's "Good Morning America" when asked about lingering doubts among some Americans that the president was not born in the United States.

"When the president makes his statements, I think they need to stand for their own," Bachmann also said when asked if she believed the president's own contentions that he was, in fact, born in the United States.

"We should take the president at his word," Bachmann said. Then asked if she'd be willing to flat out state the president is a citizen and Christian, the congresswoman said she was more focused on economic concerns.

The comments come days after House Speaker John Boehner addressed the issue in a way some Democrats thought was not definitive enough.

"It's not my job to tell the American people what to think," he said on NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday. "The state of Hawaii has said he was born there. That's good enough for meā€¦the president says he's a Christian. I accept him at his word."

Bachmann, who also told ABC she has not made a final decision on a presidential bid, heads to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire next month to attend a fund-raiser for New Hampshire's Republican Party.

Filed under: Michele Bachmann • President Obama
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. BlameUS

    Taioseach well said !
    I dont know who scares me more...Palin or Bachman..Both are arrogant when they talk and appear "Self righteous" to an extreme..Very scary how people like this can come out of thewoodwork and use fear mogering to such an extent.." Obama pals around with terrorists " etc and all those lies

    February 17, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. mm

    as I said yesterday when i was comenting on her negative remarks about first lady's effort on breast feeding awarness, just shut up, ignorant!

    February 17, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. La, La, La

    Enough with this nut Bachman, she is Palin-like and will spit all kind of outrageous statements. This is what these two do in order to stay on the limeline.

    February 17, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. The Veteran

    Here's the problem I have with the "Christian" comment by Boehner: It's not for him to accept!! Like many of the conservative flock, they don't have a clue what Christianity is. They are Christians in name only. The bible even talks about them. They are so religious and self righteous that if Christ came back again, they would persecute him, just like the Pharisees did.

    That is why I call them Pharisees. What you call yourself means nothing. Actions show us what you really believe. And from what I see, it appears that Conservatives = Pharisees. So that's what I'm gonna call you. The Pharisee Party.

    February 17, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Mark

    Not a Bachman fan but if I was the President, I would step forward and put this issue to rest. His aunt was an illegal in the US herself.

    February 17, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. miami2010

    Wow, that is the problem with the Liberals for them everybody do not think the same is a Idiot or Nut or whatever insult you can through, this is a campaing to descredit the people that oppose to the actual goverment and their policies to bankrupt the country, thanks that we have people like Bachmann to stop all the nonsense that came out of the White House right now

    February 17, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Me

    Rep. Michele Bachmann Thursday noticeably sidestepped the long-standing issue of President Obama's citizenship, saying "it's not for me to state" whether the president is or is not an American citizen. "That's for the president to state," the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and Tea Party favorite said on ABC's "Good Morning America"

    @CNN. THAT'S NOT SIDESTEPPING THE ISSUE. By not providing a definitive answer, she is saying that she does not believe the president is a citizen of the USA.
    -A budget proposal is not a spending plan

    February 17, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. rusty155

    When Is the Republican party and the Tea Party Is going too get off this thing about President Obama Is a American Citizen. I don't how much prove you people need. You people In the Tea Party are just going too have too live with the fact that a African American was voted too be President. If you Tea Party people quit being so racist , and trying too stop spreading so much hate. Michele Bachmann you shouldn't even try to even play these cards. They didn't work last time and they won't work this time, all It did was show how dumb you really are and how Racist the Tea Party Is. Don't you think there all really enough hate In America without you trying to start more, or do we need more of want happen In AZ. again. I till think you are Unqualified to run for President, and the more you talk just prove It. And I'm a white male and use too be a Republican , but never again. I want too vote for someone that more worry about the American People , Instead of party first or Big Business ,the rich or Wall Street. All the Republican party and the Tea party do Is LIE any way.

    February 17, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. kat

    Why is it that the lame stream media is always asking about BHO's citizenship? Do they too have doubts, I think not, they're just trying to casuse more controversy. I think Bachmann has a lot of class. BHO and MO have a lot of ego and no class.

    February 17, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Adam

    It's not for me to say wether or not Bachmann is trying to distroy our country. When she makes her statements they need to stand on their own.

    February 17, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. blackhammer

    Do you they actually think a black man running for President would not get investigated to see if he's a legal citizen. She doesn't want to touch it because the only reason the tea party exist at all is we have a black President.

    February 17, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. mikeg

    Stay at home again, Dems,... like you did last Fall. Bachman and her Brigade of Stupid will only win more seats in '12. Wake up, America. Vote.

    February 17, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. A keen observer

    When are the republicans going to start creating jobs like they said they would? It seems like the republicans are engaging in their old bait and switch tactics. When will Americans learn that republicans do not follow through on their promises?

    February 17, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Bachmann and all these other so-called "Republican" candidates are simply a ploy by the likes of Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and the other Republican ruling elite to motivate their base to be engaged and get to the polls in 2012 in an effort to accomplish their stated #1 priority of making President Obama a one-term president.

    Rove and Norquist have probably already have their nominee picked out. They know they can't win on a record of accomplishment or soundness of policy: because Republicans are PROVEN FAILURES.

    All they've got to offer is appealing to the basest aspects of human nature: hate, fear, ignorance and division.

    Why would anyone want Republicans back in power? They've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that their policies harm our country and our people.

    Wake up and smell the coffe, folks!

    And to all you Democrats and Independents out there: Use your head and use your feet, and get to the polls to vote Democratic in 2012!

    February 17, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. BostonBill

    It's doubtful that this woman could pass a junior high school history exam. Yes I think she is at best shallow and uninformed at worst a liar. I personally think it's both. With all this controversy about president Obama, somebody should have proven beyond a doubt that President Obama's credentials are real. He actually doesn't have to prove anything. If the people who don't believe him,then prover it beyond a doubt or be quiet . As for Ms Bachman, I honestly don't understand who would have elected this person of little insight.

    February 17, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. jon

    of course he's not a muslim- but he is certainlymuslim sympathetic and it permeates everything he does geopolitically. When he directs the head of NASA to make muslim outreach its number one priority, you know its a problem. The left needs to come to grips with the fact that the distinction between moderate muslims and muslims who are sympathetic to jihad is indeed a small gap....what we in the west call moderate islam is in need of clarificaton. The president wont even address the fact that islamic terrorism is omnipresent among many many so called moderate muslims.

    February 17, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. A keen observer

    Bachmann is a nut job who should be ignored. She doesn't have anything useful to say.

    February 17, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Bert in UT

    She is pathetic. It's frightening that anyone listens to her.

    February 17, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Beverly - NYC

    I saw this interview this morning, total space cadet. It must be a requirement to be in the Republican party. I could care less if if she wants to cling to the party line about the Presiden'ts citizenship and his religious beliefs. What says more about her is her inability to respond to George's question on what the US interests are in the middle east, and what she would do differently as President. Her reply was a non-response word salad puncuated with liberal use of the "American People". As an American I personally don't like being lumped in with those those tea party sheet wearers you represent Mrs. Bachman. Going forward I would prefer you just say the "Tea Party," or real america wants, " and then spout the crazy point of the day.

    February 17, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Bob in PA

    Why sidestep it. If the man has nothing to hide he could just produce the documents. Every piece of documentation on this guy is hidden away. Why not show his college transscripts. Would we find out that he applied as a foreign student ? Or just maybe find out he is just another average Joe ?

    February 17, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. rick

    Michelle Bachman is a national embarrasment

    February 17, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Oliver


    Where are the jobs you promised? You're fired.

    February 17, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Barking Alien

    The "Birthers" need to find more constructive use of their time. Obama's citizenship has long since been vetted. The govenor of Hawaii ( a Republican) has volunteered to vouche for Obama's birth certificate. Another case of the right wing looking for conspiracy where there is none.

    February 17, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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