White House releases Obama's birth certificate
April 27th, 2011
09:56 AM ET
12 years ago

White House releases Obama's birth certificate

(CNN) - President Obama released his original birth certificate Wednesday, saying the controversy surrounding the issue had become a "sideshow."

Obama's birth certificate

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do," said Obama.

The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States.

“Over the last two and half years, I have watched with amusement. I have been puzzled with the degree with which this thing just kept going,” Obama told reporters Wednesday.

Responding to the development, Trump said, "I have accomplished something nobody else has accomplished."

"I want to look at it, but I hope it’s true," he told reporters in New Hampshire. "He should have done it a long time ago. I am really honored to have played such a big role in hopefully getting rid of this issue."

Other Republicans weigh in

Earlier Wednesday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said the debate has been "really bad for the Republican Party."

The so-called "birther" debate is "good politics" but "bad for the country," said Pfeiffer.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper Monday, Trump repeated his doubts and said he had been told the certificate was "missing."

A new CNN investigation revealed earlier this week what most analysts have been saying since the "birther" controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign: Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.

While the president has made light of the controversy, the question remained political red meat for some of his critics. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll showed that nearly 75% of Americans believe Obama was definitely or probably born in the United States. More than four in 10 Republicans, however, believe he probably or definitely was not born in America.

See Obama's Certification of Live Birth

The U.S. Constitution says only "natural born" citizens can become president - a vague clause that some members of the birther movement contend disqualifies Obama because, they insist, he was born outside the United States.

Skeptics contend, among other things, that Obama was born in his father's home country of Kenya.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (1,207 Responses)
  1. Dave

    @Sarah: Its actually very pertinent to being President. How can one uphold the Constitution if they pretty much used it as toilet paper...?

    I agree its past time to lay this debate to rest, and also to focus on defeating Obama in 2012

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Johnny rebok

    A vague clause? Huh? It is very specific! Who cares, Sarah? The founders put it there for a reason so we do not get a usurper, or worse!

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. Jim Koski

    BREAKING NEWS!!! PRESIDENT OBAMA RELEASHES BIRTH CERTIFICATE. I don't understand how this has risen to a breaking news story. I find it shameful people even questioned it.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. Z

    Yeah I have a hard time seeing this stopping the birthers from saying he was born in Kenya.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Bill

    Sarah, it is a little thing called a constitutional requirement.

    Once the Long form has been validated, it can all be put to rest.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. MXD

    It's about time. Obama should have released it two years ago and saved us all a lot of grief. Darn Hawaiians.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |

    Finally we can stop hearing about the birth certificate that doesn't even matter. Who cares if he is an "American". Not that there is such a thing anymore as this country was sold out to foreigner, international corporations long ago and I doubt the "American" people will ever get it back. So regardless if the president is a natural born citizen... sit down, shut up, forget about the life you thought you'd have and get back to work! We have stock holders in China to answer to!

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. Michelle Aaron

    This is crazy, just a total joke to me. I can't believe this is even an issue...uh...yea, I can believe it. Some people is just so stupid. We are doomed.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  9. David

    Sarah – regarding your first statement. The law in this country is for us to abide by thus if the president isn't a natural born American citizen, she/he can not be president. the rules are in place for a reason and too often our society and specifically our political leaders have tilted/bent the rules to suit their needs.

    Regarding the second part of your statement, you nailed it

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. Felatio

    Well it's about time!!! We wouldn't want to wait till three months to the end of his term before it's determined that he was never eligible to hold office. Does anyone realize how silly this looks to the rest of the world?

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  11. Noline

    Is this really a story? This guy is a complete disaster and CNN is focusing on a stupid Birth certificate.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  12. Birther

    I am sure the FBI or CIA can FORGE this document... it is most likely NOT REAL.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Charles Collins

    Okay, now what will the Extreme Right-Wing of the Republican party try to pin on the President. Donald Trump is seizing on the ignorance of a part of the Republican party. As a African American I am appalled by the disgraceful way Trump has smeared the President and his "legitimacy". I will never watch any show that Trump is a part of in any way, I will never step foot into any casino, hotel or any business that Trump is a part of. Americans should boycott Trump!

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  14. Brian

    Well, was he born here or not? Unless I'm missing something in the text above (subject to update), it does not show that confirmation was made. I suspect he was born here, and agree, we need to work on getting this guy out of office next election!

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  15. Joel

    This is a trivial matter when considering all of the destructive policies of the Obama administration. Let's focus on what's important–getting this man out of office!

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. Lucas

    Now Lets see what the next trump card is in Donalds deck for President

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. Ben

    Meh. Anyone who doubted this was already so distrustful of him that they won't be swayed by this. Anyone who did not doubt this probably won't care.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. Jon

    I guess that Trump will have to pick something a little more substantial to run on. Maybe it will shut up Trump (I doubt it) but it won't satisfy the birthers. The nutbags will still find something wrong with it that makes it invalid or they will claim that it was forged.

    April 27, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  19. Really?

    That's cute. Republicans still freaking out that Obama "might not be born in the US." What did Bush do in 8 years? Nothing. Now imagine if Sarah Palin became president in 2012 and Trump as VP. Hahahaha

    April 27, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. Jarod Morgan

    Um, people care because it's the law. I agree it's been blown out of proportion, but it should have been produced from the onset. He only has himself to blame for this one... and before you say he "shouldn't have to prove it", actually he holds public office so it's a good idea to do what your constituents ask (even though thats rare nowadays).

    April 27, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. Mike

    The U.S. Constitution says only "natural born", so will Trump now argue that Obama was born through Caesarean section?

    April 27, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  22. Alec

    In before the wave of tin-foil hats who proclaim that this is clearly a scam put forth by the regime to try and lie to the American people.

    April 27, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. Hugh

    He could have taken care of this years ago. Instead, he let it become an issue ON PURPOSE. We need a leader in the White House not a guy who plays political games all the time.

    April 27, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  24. James

    It doesn't really matter where he was born. What matters is showing him the door next year.

    April 27, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. lopaa

    yeah, so?!!! How is this going to help us with the economy???!!! Idiot Trump could focus his energy on some philantropic values instead of starting this ridiculousness.
    So what's next? Is he going to look for his mother's birth certificate? Or maybe he will travel to Kenya and check their records just to make sure Obama wasn't born there?
    This is complete bull folks...

    April 27, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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