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. Steph Banatte

    Obama cave in ... I would never had release the birth certificate because you did not subject Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Edwards, George Bush, Dick Chenney to the same insult .... if you have subjected everybody else that run for President to the same insult, I would understand Obama releasing his birth Certificate but Obama to do it now ... Obama cave-in .... Trump Won the argument when Obama cave-in

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. ckcgye

    Come on people ... Trump played the media and and made the administration blink. All this wasn't about the birther issue, it was about influence and manipulation. Ultimately Trump won in whatever game he's playing.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. Fritz Von

    Obama cracks under public pressure. Still waiting to see it.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. Donald Trump

    Oh, okay. I'm convinced now. My bad. Never mind.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Flahute

    The fact remains that even if he WAS born in Kenya, since his mother was an American citizen, he'd still be a "natural-born" American. Just like any person physically born in the United States is a natural-born American citizen, so are the children of an American citizen, even the child is born abroad.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. mojo3

    Many in this state...embarrass us as a nation–when naysayers state the President of these United States was not born here!
    America! Wake up and get your damn act together! Now that he has produced it (long form), ONE more time...what next will they go after him with? ALL of us are cognizant as to why this is occurring! In my 68 years on this planet, I've never witnessed such an atrocity in my life!

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. Bill

    just remember it was Hillary's campaign that raised this issue during 2008

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  8. Gina

    There should now be a requirement that all presidential candidates product an official copy of their birth certificates, since they have given our President so much grief over his.

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

    I cant believe that CNN has given this story about Trump and the birth certificate so much airtime. I am ashamed that CNN is doing story's on this when we have so many other issues going on in the world.
    This will not be the end, they will just say it is fake or something.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. nomatter

    2 things

    1. I'm conservative as it gets but have never believed this was going to be an issue. Obama played them for the fools and let it go for awhile and now has released it all in an effort to make them look foolish. It's worked. He could have done it a long time ago but did it this way by design.

    2. To Sarah: Who cares? The constitution cares. Your statement is obviously one that you wouldn't make if it was a President that you didn't like. What a ridiculous thing to think.

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

    It's about time! Can't help but wonder why the "smartest president ever" would spend millions in legals fees to avoid doing what probably took all of 10 minutes. Of course no one ever claimed he was smart with money...

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  12. Jeremy

    @Sarah... It matters if he was born here becuase if he wasn't everything that's been done the last two years is void. Do you realize what a major set-back that would be for a country that's already in bad shape? Yes, we should focus on our own priorities. But, the well-being of your country should be one of those priorities.

    Also, this proves nothing. I don't consider myself a "birther" but I have my doubts. I want to see an official document, not some article on CNN.com that just repeating what's been said a hundred times before. I have an email with pictures of a Birth Certificate of Mr. Obama from Kenya. It looks legit to me.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  13. ceee

    Ugggh... Really this is what we waste our time on... I meen it isnt like the economy is crud and the gas prices is in shambles. Hello!!! I want to know what are government Dems and Repubs. are going to do as a nation of one to fix this. I could care less right now a bout a birth cert. Jobs are being lost and families are loosing homes and starving. Our education STILL is bad and our government can not get along for two seconds to help there people. Subject is done. Silly to begin with. Move on and start caring about what is going on in your american peoples lives.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  14. broccoliobama


    You think that if a President was holding office ILLEGALLY that it is a "so what?"
    Jeez, woman. It would be the biggest political crime ever committed. He, again puts out his "Certificate of Live Birth," which is NOT a Birth Certificate and thinks we believe this is proper and sufficient documentation. I call BS, again.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  15. Banjo

    Obama created the controversy by refusing to show the evidence he was a native-born American when the issue was first raised. Given the murky background of his sleep-around mother and spells of foreign residency, there were ample grounds to believe this graduate of the Chicago school of politics had something to hide.

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

    Why on earth did it take this many years to produce this document? They could have shut up the nut jobs on day one if they had done this then. It does make you wonder why?

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. booze

    I don't think the president needed respond, the white house should have kept the issue untill Donald Trump become the point man for the republican party, and that would ensure Obama reelection. The release of the birth certificate is another weakness in the democratic party.

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

    Let's remember that it was the Clinton campaign that first started this all if you want to put blame on someone. Did it get out of hand? Sure it did but why not release it when the Clinton campaign first questioned the whole thing. Let's put it to rest and face the fact that gas as doubled since this man took office and we are a weaker nation then before.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. MA

    @ Sarah... Who cares? The Constitution does. If we ignore this litle aspect of it, then we maybe we shouldn't care about other tiny details of the Constitution such as Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  20. Mark

    If he was smart he would have never released it and let them go into the campaign with the birther argument. He's not going to get republican votes anyway so why appease them? Let them look like idiots up until election day! bad decision Mr. President. If was more powerful to keep it hidden.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. LP

    Now was that so hard Mr Obama? Showing your birth certificate to the people you serve.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. Bill

    Finally he submit a document that proves he has a constitutional claim to the presidency. My question now is why did he wait this long to confirm it? For those of you who don't think he had to do this read the constitution. The reason this was required was because a significant number of people don't think the powers that be in all branches of government are trust worthy. I fact because it took him so long to do this, there will still be some that will claim this might be a forgery because why else would he not disclose such basic information unless he had something to hide. Bravo Mr Trump for making him verify it to the American people. Now will the document withstand scrutiny or will it be like Dan Rather's fake letter lol.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. Mima from Florida

    what beleive is that Donald Trump should go for medical treatment, because only a sick person would act they he dose.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  24. icecold

    Any Republican politician who ever spoke of the birther issue should be considered a traitor to their country and should be removed from their position or voted out of office, if the document is legit. Does anyone else feel that the repubs caught wind of the release early and that is why some have stepped away from birthers over the last couple weeks. We arent stupid GOP. They should be held accountable for the lies they told americans and the disgrace they ahowed the position of POTUS. The republican party should be put on Probation and not allowed to hold the position for two terms for the blatant disrespect and treason shown by running a smear campaign against the president of the united states.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  25. Robert Montgomery

    Just to jolt a few memories, this distraction was started by a DEMOCRAT who was a big Hillary supported going into the Democrat convention. Now that this seems to be a settled issue we can discuss more important issues like the budget and Obamacare. It seems to me that this non-issue has dragged on for so long because some people (perhaps on both sides) have been trying to dodge the important issues at hand.

    April 27, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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