'Birther' debate alive and well in New Hampshire
March 9th, 2011
08:32 AM ET
11 years ago

'Birther' debate alive and well in New Hampshire

(CNN) - A New Hampshire House committee voted unanimously, 18-0, on Wednesday to recommend killing an amendment that would require presidential candidates to present birth certificates when filing their candidacy for the first-in-the-nation primary.

The bill is expected to go to a full House floor vote next week.

The chairman of the state's House Election Law Committee told the New Hampshire Union Leader that if passed, the law would not take effect until January 2013, after the Granite State primary and the presidential general election. The bill, which will be considered in committee Wednesday, was originally scheduled to take effect 60 days after passage.

"We recognize the potential problems," Republican state Rep. David Bates told the Leader Tuesday. "It created the appearance that it was all centered on a putting barriers in the way of President Obama."

Bates said the date change "is to diffuse any perception that this was directed at President Obama and is purely a policy decision designed to ensure that candidates for president are qualified according to the requirements of the Constitution."

The so-called "birther" controversy, stemming from questions over President Obama's birthplace, has ignited debates across the country. Lawmakers in at least 10 states have introduced bills requiring presidential candidates to provide proof they are natural-born citizens.

President Obama was in fact born in Hawaii, and on Monday the Supreme Court again rejected an appeal from a "birther" proponent questioning the citizenship of the president.

However, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last year, 27 percent of those surveyed said Obama was definitely or probably not born in the United States, compared with 71 percent who said he was definitely or probably born in the country. More Republicans with 41 percent said Obama was not a natural-born citizen, compared with 15 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents surveyed.

The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Updated 1:43 p.m.

- CNN Correspondent Lisa Sylvester contributed to this report.

Filed under: New Hampshire
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Bill

    I am what I consider moderately conservaitve on most issues. I wish the both the left and right wing nuts would just go away (but I know they won't). These people need to get a grip on life and let go of this issue.

    March 9, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. George

    Yeah, right. It's not directed at Obama. Right.

    March 9, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Hawaiian Girl

    Guess that keeps John McCain from running. He was born in Panama.

    March 9, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. New Age Independant

    This should have been a requirement long ago. It's common sense.

    March 9, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Darth Cheney

    If I was teaching a course in Poli Sci 101, I would use this faux controversy as THE definitive example of the concept of "pandering."

    March 9, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Name Larry

    This sure looks bad for new hampshire

    March 9, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Rosslaw

    I don't believe New Hampshire is really part of the United States.

    March 9, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Annie08

    Where do you think Obama was born? Is there evidence he was born out of the US? There seems to be a lot of evidence that his mom met his dad while they were students in hawaii and married there. Do you think this economically poor couple bought a roundtrip ticket to fly to Kenya to have a baby there? We know the mom continued to live in Hawaii for several more years and her parents lived there until they died. We also know that the dad left the mom when he got accepted to school at Harvard and Obama was still a toddler. Where do you think he was born? I think New Hampshire should require birht certificates this year. Really, give us the evidence he was born elsewhere so people like me can understand what this is about. healthcare?

    March 9, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. tp1776

    gee, no one thought to ask Palin for a quote on this? It would be fun to read.

    March 9, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. mm

    OMG, everyone just needs to let this issue lie. Really really think that Obama would have gotten elected if he wasn't a citizen? Really think that the Republicans would have let him get that far if they had facts about that? No, instead just all this innuendo and false info. Pitiful.

    March 9, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Annette Grant

    I am ashamed to be an "American" after being military for this country.

    March 9, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Former Republican, but never again!

    If you tell a big enough lie enough times, people will believe it.

    March 9, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. snoopsmom

    We certainly have the dumbing down of America. I guess 27% do not know how to read. Documentation about this President's birth has been available on the Internet and with other sources. School funding is being cut throughout the country and therefore I wonder how this 27% will grow in future years.

    March 9, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. chris

    I just dont understand how an educated real American can think that Hawaii is not part of the United States?? I just dont get it!

    March 9, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Dolce21

    This is so important to the American people, that we are not kept in the dark about candidates who run for office. They have to pass the official test of being an American. There is something very sneaky going on about this certificate of birth for this administration!

    March 9, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Katie

    Wow, those people just don't give up, do they? Amazing, the lengths of this supposed conspiracy – the entire state government of Hawaii is in on it, as well as the Supreme Court, and of course, the entire investigative media, the whole Democratic party, and absolutely everyone close to or involved with Obama for his entire life! That's a lot of people involved in this giant cover up. Not one shred of evidence to prove he was NOT born a US citizen, just hundreds of people insisting that thousands of people are working together to hide it... Honestly – don't these birther conspiricists have anything more meaningful to spend their time on?

    March 9, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. John

    Party primaries are not the same thing as running for President. The Constitution says nothing about party primaries. I'm not sure exactly why the NH Government needs to stick their nose into the business of the political party machines.

    March 9, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Peggy

    Now, are these birth certificates the same ones that I need to have to get a drivers license or passport? Or are they requiring candidates to get the so-called long form, which I never heard of until President Obama was elected?

    March 9, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. once upon a horse

    Karl Rove had earlier stated that it is actually the White House that keeps this birther stuff going just to make the Republican party look like a bunch of crazies. Well I agree with the latter more than the former. One reason this is still going on is because it is one of the ways the GOP can go after Obama in 2012..you know the "fear factor", the "he's not really one of us"factor and Huckabee this past week is a prime example of this when he claimed he "mis-spoke" and Gingrich talked about a "Kenyon" thought process. The less educated and those easily mislead eat this stuff up and the GOP knows this..besides a vote is a vote even if it's a nutjob that's voting for you. To date NONE or very few Republicans have come out to denounce this and they won't. If the jobless rate keeps going down and the economy keeps getting better, the "fear factor" may be all the GOP has to try to win in 2012.

    March 9, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. rosaadriana

    Dang people are stupid. Hawaii is a state, Obama has already showed his certificate and there was at least one birth announcement in the Hawaii paper at the time. Now on the other hand, McCain was NOT born in the United States, that is a documented fact. Now McCain is still a citizen( as is Obama) but why don't these people go harass him instead.

    March 9, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Fair is Fair

    Once again, "birthers" need to come to the reality that Obama was born in Hawaii. Period. Having said that, NH and several state proposing this doesn't come across to me as overly agregious. Why wait until 2013?

    March 9, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. Terry

    Yeah, how's that voting in the republicans to go to work on jobs working out your ya?

    March 9, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Dave

    Well done and this should be the law in all states. This will take care of any future questions.

    March 9, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. Larry L

    We are in big trouble if we rely on Republicans to govern America. This childish clowns are so focused on divisive politics they'll never have the insight or maturity to address real problems. I will give my money and my time to the Democrats.

    March 9, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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