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. Tony Danza

    This could be another fake. How can we trust anything this guy says?!

    April 27, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. JanetMermaid

    NOTHING will stop the birthers. They cannot admit it is really all about race so they will either find a new issue to argue about or they will claim this is yet another forgery. It is a sad situation in America where so many people are still so ignorant and bigoted.

    April 27, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Keith

    A man with as "adventurous" a family and geographic history as President Obama, who sought the office of President of the United States, should have expected that his history would come under intense scrutiny. That is par for the course. He could have defused this years ago, by putting the documents out in the public domain. Candidates of both party's release tax and other personal data, but Barrack thought he was above it and let the questions fester. He has only himself and his ego to blaim for the uproar.

    April 27, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. Jerry Nolan

    Is it possible that being the president of the U.S.A that you could have any document you want forged? Not that I care one bit. I sure would like to have a leader for this country to move us forward with out caving to corporate and foreign interest and put AMERICANS interest ahead of there political aspirations.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Tamar

    I am so sick of Trump and the Tea Party morons. Didn't you hear that Trump now challenges Obama's grades in college? The moron has no clue how to even manage his hair, I think he should start there and shut it once and for all. I didn't care for Trump before, now I truly dislike him.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |

    "Couldn't they have just done this from the beginning and saved everyone all the wasted time spent on this??? The issue could've been resolved on day one. Seriously."

    Hey guess what... this issue isn't really an issue. Since a long form birth certificate is not required to be presented to run for president or any other official office for that matter. He provided the necessary documentation already... only birthers said there was some sort of conspiracy. Time and time again they've been proven wrong and defeated in court... but even this release won't make them shut up because they are still only upset that he's black.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Dick Whicked

    Take a look at this thing people! It is an ABSTRACT! It is NOT a long form BC. NOT A LONG FORM.

    This is the same thing he released before. This proves nothing, it is NOT a long form!

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Jomm

    Ok, now let this rest. However, you know there is always going to be that ONE person who still do not want to believe the President was born in the UNited States. GOD himself can come down and tell these people they will find SOMETHING against the President. that is what HATERS do no matter who you are in this life.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Michael Jordan

    Seeing should be believing. Too bad the people showing have proven themselves time and again to be liars. That being the case, seeing still leaves dubious. Believe it or not, your character does matter.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. allanhowls

    I'm disappointed that they released the certificate, as those idiot birthers never had a factual leg to stand on. By so much as acknowledging their craziness, it lends it merit, even in debunking it.

    The only motivating factor behind questioning Obama's birthplace is, and has always been, racism. No such questions would ever have arisen from a Hawaiian-born white candidate. Deep down, America refuses to see a black person with a different-sounding name as being truly American. It's a bias that assumes that truth lies in the majority, and that America is only for "people like me."

    Congratulations to the far right for lowering the tenor of American politics to fearmongering and racial slurs. I'm sure the burning of the Bundestag is right around the corner.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Audrey

    This is sooo ridiculous. There are other issues that have priority.
    More reasons for the others countries to laugh in our face.
    We are the leader in the world but make an issue about such a ridiculous point.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Robert

    You know what? This is one of the lowest points in American History regarding the highest office held in the land. He should not have had to produce anything at all. I truly question the IQ of this country. Now the argument is going to be, "Why did it take 2 years to produce, why is he producing it now, did he change it in those 2 years." This is ridiculous. This is a bittersweet moment. I'm glad he produced it but I feel that he shouldn't have had to produce a damn thing. Why didn't we ask the previous 43 Presidents for their Birth Certificate. For the first time in my life, I'm ashamed to be an American. What are other countries possibly saying about this? I can only imagine. For people who dwell on this, get some priorities. Because when I fill up at the gas station, the last thing on my mind is President Obama's birth ceritifcate. I'm worried about the amount it takes to fill up my G6, the amount it takes to fill my refrigerator, the amount that goes into my monthly bills. America, you should be ashamed of what you are and what youv'e become.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. Cedar Rapids

    'themoi – If it finally took Trump to get a birth certificate produced think what Trump could "possibly" (and I say that with caution) accomplish as president. '
    Is that your reading of it? lol. I read it totally differently. I read it that Trump came out and publically said that after all his research he has information that the document is missing. That was his big claim and now Obama has come out and said you know jack. Its made Trump look like a fool.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. Marzipann

    Trump owes me $20.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. Don

    This is a certificate of live birth, not the long form borth certificate. Plus there is no state seal or anything. This form can be duplicated forged very easily. I WANT TO SEE THE LONG FORM OBAMA!! Until you produce that I will contend you are hiding something and you were not born in this country.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. AlisaLea

    A 'vague' clause? Lol. Only liberal media would say that. Another reason to not trust CNN.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. PiJoe

    McCain was born in Panama no? so why didn't they make a fuss about him?

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. Jsiz

    Is it just me or does this look extremely photoshopped? I am surprised so many of you take this at face value..something aint right, and it doesnt take a genius to see whats up

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. A Conservative

    I am so happy he has finally released this. The whole issue takes focus away from the true failings Obams's presidency. Now maybe someone can figure out what happened to that "laser like" focus on jobs, an ill and poorly defined foreign policy, an energy policy that is designed to inflict hardship on the population, and why the concept of providing equal opportunity has been replaced by trying to create equality of outcome thus punishing success, hard work and ingenuity. Kudos to Trump for finally making enough noise to get this issued resolved. The American people should thank Trump and those who wanted this issue laid to rest like some within the Republican, Democrat parties and some in the Tea Party movement. Thos of you trashing the birther's today actually should be thanking them. Now the light of truth can shine on Liberalism.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  20. Dood the Libertarian

    Actually, it's perfectly acceptable to request proof of citizenship when the party is in question. My question is why didn't they do this from day one? I wouldn't have a problem showing mine.

    Those of you who espouse disdain for those who question his citizenship should ask yourselves why it took so long for him to produce this document. Doesn't that seem even a little suspicious to you? It should.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. Jackson

    Why was it so hard to show this from the very beginning? Unless someone gets to independently analyze this I have my doubts.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Honeypeppa

    Why don't they insist that Trump give up the name of the person(s) responsible for providing that horrible hatchett job of a toupe'?Come on America, lets talk about the REAL issues!

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  23. 2Sun

    Obama's long form birth certificate confirms he was/is INELIGIBLE to be President – since he is NOT a Natural Born Citizen.

    By diverting attention to his birth certificate, Obama is hiding his ineligibility in plain site. US birth is necessary but insufficient. BOTH his parents would have had to be US citizens at his birth.

    Obama's father: Barack Hussein Obama, Birthplace: Kenya, East Africa.

    Birth to an alien Kenyan colonial, who was NEVER a US citizen, gave Obama British citizenship at birth. That automatically negated his being a "natural born citizen", thus irreparably disqualifying him from being president.

    Refusal to provide prima facie evidence of his qualifications further disqualified Obama by breaching Amendment XX sect 3 of the US Constitution. Since as "president elect" he refused his burden of proof, he consequently had "failed to qualify".

    Obama is INELIGIBLE. His inauguration was "Null and Void" and "of No Effect".

    Uphold the Constitution. Restore the Rule of Law.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  24. Ivory

    Im sorry our president has had to go through this. I am so upset at Donald Trump and all the reset of those who ever doubted him. With the technology and many ways poeple are able to access original documents don't you think they would have accessed that infomation prior to even considering him. The things people do when they see a brown face in power is a clear indication that we have not progressed as a nation or a country. When President Obama run again I will do everything in my power to see that everyone I know vote him back in office. Get off your high hourse people he has done more for this country than the Bush family ever did in their many years they were in office. I still believe in our President. YES YOU CAN! and he should not have responded but he did because he know's that there is more important issues in our country and to have this hanging over his head is just distraction from the bigger issues we have.

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. jawhn

    Why'd it take so long for him to show it?

    April 27, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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