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. Richard

    I never doubted it for a moment. With that said, I can't wait to see him voted out of office in 2012.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. F

    What now DUHald Trump??

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. beenaroundyaknow

    Well two things are clear. Obama finally got the message that a simple truthful act can stop wild speculation and CNN's audience is largely left wing nut jobs. And Sarah, it does make a difference because it is a Constitutional requirement.not that the rule of law means anything to liberals.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Tara

    I don't remember in my 40 years of living on this earth, so much contraversey with birth certificates from any other president. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Regan, Carter, Ford..... I haven't seen any of their birth certificates. Why now????

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. P

    This whole fiasco makes the US look as crazy as North Korea. Why is everyone so easily led by these crazy stories when much more important issues are ignored?

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Angelika Roy

    I am sorry that it came to this. It was totally unnecessary. What will be next? His report cards? Obama is the President...deal with it.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Katie

    What other president has had to go through this nonsense?

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Mad Max

    Why are all you libs frothing at the mouth about silencing people who seek facts. It was never clear that he presented his birth certificate. If this had been Bush then I'm sure that all of you would have been just as determined to witness for your self what the facts are. If you're all going to talk about "Nutj Jobs," why don't you also address the "Truthers?" Aren't they eqaully nutty in their quest for "truth?"

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. Kimberly in Houston

    This is so sad.
    What other President's have we demanded this from, oh wait, NONE. Just the first black President.

    Very proud day America...very proud!

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Alec Baldwin

    It won't change anything for birthers. When presented with contrary evidence, believers only become stronger in their beliefs. It's a proven psychological fact.

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

    really, so even WH think these birthers gonna believe him if he shows his long birth certificate, I think I am smarter than WH people. These birthers are not gonna believe what they doesnt like, 'Obama not an American Citizen period.' no matter what.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. rusty155

    Is Donald Trump going to man up and say he was wrong. And that he been lying the hole time. But I guess that what Republican do best Is LIE. What will Donald Trump Lie about Now. The man Is a IDIOT.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. armsstrong

    Who cares?! Are you saying you don't believe the Constitution should be followed? The qualifications stipulated in the Constitution was meant to prevent a person with foreign allegiances from becoming the President. Now you can see what is happening to this country, all because some people have taken the liberty to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution they want to follow. Obama's birth status was governed by the United Kingdom, meaning he was born owing fealty to to the monarchy of the United Kingdom. It is not possible for him to be a Natural Born Citizen of the United States. NBC is a qualification mandated by the US Constitution, whether you like it or not.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. lifelonglearner

    This entire controversy was created by Obama. He could have released this years ago. Now that he has waited so long and fed this beast until it has become bigger than life, I don't think this will end the discussion. People will just think he had one printed. Duh, he does run the government! I am not saying that I believe that he had a fradulent one printed, just that many people will believe that he did. I never thought this was an issue worth discussing. His ignorance "IS" the issue.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  15. John

    This has to be the most inept White House ever. If they've had this in their possession all along, why wait until now to show it? They've showed every other version of the birth certificate but this one? I doubt the media will even ask the question for fear of appearing "mean-spirited," but this seems pretty bizarre.

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

    What took him so long?

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  17. DPppp

    now if we can just rid the democrats of the 9/11 Truthers we will have made good progress in quieting some of the loonies on both sides!

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

    Just because he's a natural citizen still does not make him a good President.. Unemployment still too high, inflation growing, 14.3 trillion $ in debt and a President whose energy plan is buy a hybrid car... The man is the greatest failure of our time and will make Jimmy Carter look like a great president in comparison.

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

    This proves he is NOT a Natural Born Citizen. He is born of only one parent which is American and British father. Obama is not a Natural Born Citizen.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  20. Jackwagon

    Only 38% of Americans believe with out a doubt Obama was born in the US. From what I am seeing here this does not close the issue.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. the real ib

    Obama could have done this a long time ago and shut these people up but he wanted this to happen just look at the comments made here in his defense. He wanted to do this in order to keep people from looking into his real failures and president and I give him credit for a smart move it has worked.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. omvny

    He should have never released it. They conspiracy theorists will only move the goal post to some other ludicrous issue. It really is a shame as there are real issues that are being ignored.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. John Fry

    Me is right. The collective IQ in this country is less than ideal. Thats why we have a solialist in the white house. The voters fell for his sales pitch of a moderate and did not have the ability to see through it. And as a response to just me, it WAS nedessary for Barry to release it. Thats why he did. It was politically damaging for him to NOT release it.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. Mr. Reality

    No was that so difficult? And to think of all the money spent to hide it up to this point.

    I guess now we'll have to focus on the job this guy is doing. How's the economy doing again? Gas prices? Inflation? Two and a half wars? Now if only the media (yes, CNN included) would report on this stuff and how this guy has impacted it.

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. Bonnie C.

    To all you who say "where is it, let us see too" I respond: do you have your original birth certificate handy? Can you show it? I know I can't; I have a notarized copy of my birth certificate (complete with raised seal), but the original is secured in the offices of the state where I was born. And, I agree, this was something keeping the nutjobs busy (sort of like putting them in a round room and saying there was stimulus money in the corner); wonder what red herring they'll ask us to find next??

    April 27, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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