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. About Time

    Better late than never. Why the heck didn't he just do this in the first place? This would have saved him a whole lot of grief. John McCain released his and so did Bush.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. dave j

    Great, now this is settled. Now maybe the POTUS can prove his leadership skills.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Cedar Rapids

    I am actually disappointed he did this, the birthers were great at splitting the GOP and making them look like fools.

    Mind you this won't shut the birthers up because, as others have suggested, they will claim its a fake.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. jmj

    Statistical bias?
    If 75% of the country believes he was born here, but only 40% of republicans, the sample is obviously heavily skewed to the left.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. Norm

    This was a bad move by Obama. Everyday he withheld this the GOP looked dumber and dumber. Now it can be put to rest and they can go after his actual record.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. Dave

    "We've never known so little about our President- how bout them college and passport records?"

    It's not the President's job to provide every random document some idiot demands. This is nothing but Republican harrassment out of bitterness at losing the Presidential election, just like the endless investigations of Clinton.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Shenandoah

    As I've always said, it doesn't matter where he was born. His father was a Kenyan, at that time a British sovereignty. That automatically disqualifies O, under the Natural Born Citizen clause in the Constitution, which the meaning was taken directly from the 'Law of Nations'. Look it up for yourself. That is, if the American Constitution, and the US remaining a Constitutional Republic means anything to you.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. Steven

    We need to show our 9 year old son's actual birth certificate so he can play Little League Baseball...seems to me maybe you should have to do the same to be President. This whole thing should never have been an issue in the first place. Just show it and move on. I really think it made the President appear that he was hiding something. And the issue is fairly important, as natuaral-born citizenship is a key standard the American people deserve from their leader – to know he's leading the nation of his / her birth, not some adopted country they may or may not be fully committed to. If he was born in Kenya, for example, people might question if he had some lingering loyalty there. I want my President acting in the best interest of THIS nation first, NOT the rest of the world. My VOTE and my TAXES demand and deserve it.

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

    How is the clause in the U.S. Constitution that a President be "natural born" vague? It seems pretty staightforward to me. In order to qualify to run and serve as President, or Vice-President, you must be born in the United States and reside in the country for at least 14 years. Wow, that's hard to understand.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Buster

    So, lessee that thing – why wasn't it includiong in the victorious news article?

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

    Ummmm this is a certificate of live birth not a "BIRTH CERTIFICATE" which is what Trump has been railing about all along. So this is pretty pointless.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. XPIOLT

    Can only Neo-Liberals see it because I have soured this page and can't find it. Not even a link!

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. steven STEVENS

    obama should not have to release any additonal information other than what is out there at this time...i would let the bitrhers continue with their rant....it only shows that the repub and tea partiers are a bunch of nuts...this birther hulllabaloo only shows how neither party or group should be electable because of thier stupidity

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  14. RYAN

    Why is it he is the ONLY President in US history not to reveal his birth certificate? Why did he not send this out 2 years ago? People are "crazies" or "nutjobs" because they know the law of the land and question why someone wouldnt be open with them, especillay after the BS "change" and "transparency" he campaigned on.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. W

    Sadly this means nothing, these birther clowns and people like them will have some new madness to cry about in 3 hours.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  16. Carter Sherline

    First, the long form is not usable as legal identification, only the short form is...that is HI law and 1 of the reasons it was so hard for the President to get a copy of the long form. The other reason it was so hard and took so long for him to get it to show it was he had to file a FOI request that takes months to process, see reason 1 again. Obama is 1 of the best, if not the best, President this country has ever had. BS like this prevents him from doing his job, which is normal procedure for conservatives, going back to the beginning of this country. The only thing Obama could do better is telling conservatives where to go.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. Rob

    A "vague clause" , Does CNN not understand what "Natural Born" means? That clause is not up for interpretation, it only means one thing; Born In The USA!
    If it took this long for him to finally release the document instead of when the controversy first started, then it probably is a fake.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. Kimmie K.

    This is indeed a sad day in the history of this country. And yet, this issue will not die because some will likely claim that the long form released today was doctored or altered.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  19. Anonymous

    I dont see it. Way to go CNN. This is not a story until a copy of the long form is provided for all to see.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. Ken

    Now let's see the long-form birth certificates of EVERYONE else in the political arena. It's an insult and he should never have consented to it.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. Shawn

    This was the dumbest story ever.

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Spencer

    I still don't believe it

    April 27, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. independent's response to Sarah

    This is not a private family matter, this is information that the American people have a right know. The presidency happens to be the highest office a natural born citizen of the United States of America can hold FOR the people. It's very important that the law of the land is followed in how an individual get's there.

    April 27, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  24. Summer819

    All good and well if something raises a legitimate question regarding the leader of our country. However, now that they've shown the birth certificate, let it go people!

    April 27, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  25. Kibru

    Do you think this will silence the crazies? Their main issue is not his birth certificate, it is his race. They just couldn't accept a black president.

    April 27, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
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