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. Steve C

    This is great! The middle east is in flames, the debt is 14T, unemployment is 10%, the Feds Bernanke is about to have its first news conference in 96 years, China owns our country and the big news of the day is that the POTUS is now releasing his long form birth certificate because he can no longer take the heat for his inability to be transparent, and he is going to have a press conference about it!?!?!? Its his UN-AMERICAN polices, beliefs and disrespect for the American people that is the real issue....not this BS long-form/short-form birth certificate crap! Obama will soon be FIRED!

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. reelman1946

    Now for his college and Law School records (that no other president could seal.)....to be released to the voters...
    this man is not very smart to embrace secular socialism which has failed worldwide and there are 14 trillion reasons he is clueless in this utopian fantasy quest. In 10 years he will be remembered as a dimwitted immature puppet president who failed at his Castro-like dream but our shame will live on after that...

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. notfunny

    Good move, but it won't change a thing because the birthers won't believe anything that doesn't fit into their theories

    Here's how it usually goes...

    Birthers: Show us the proof
    (whatever group): Ok, here you go
    Brithers: We're not buying it

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. pm81

    Geoff, you are incorrect. The Constitution requires a person be a "natural born citizen." Despite popular belief, this does NOT mean you have to be born within the borders of the country. As long as you were a citizen of the United States at the moment you were born (and meet the other requirements), you are eligible to be president.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. nine

    Linda – Don't be an idiot. President Obama is the first president in history to have been made to show this form. And he shouldn't have had to. I'll bet you didn't demand it of his running mate – or any past presidents, either. It is shameful that he was asked to take this further than anyone else ever has been. Damn racists!

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. SRC

    The real question is – why did he spend so much time and money to hide this in the first place?! I know that had I to choose between showing my real birth certificate, passport or all my school or military records or pay $100,000,000 – I would certainly do so. As a matter of fact, I had to do so to get a security clearance – and initially to serve in the armed forces... It is just not logical.... Now, when can we have access to his school records and all the other records he sealed?

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. Sharon Barnes

    I didn't see an official seal on that birth certificate. One cannot help but wonder why all his records have been sealed at great expense. Looks like he was hiding something. I am glad he finally released this thing. I think that we have more to worry about than his birth certificate.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  8. Stephen Thorburn

    This proves he was born a British citizen and ineligible to hold office as President.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. jkINC

    The birthers will not be persuaded, that's the beauty of conspiracies and their theorists. To them truth and proof can always be faked.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Kawsara

    @ Linda B Can you be more specific what the hell you are mad about Obama ?? Obviously you did not vote for him so you are not the people he work for.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. Stephen Ray Hale

    YOU FOOLS! Especially the Biblically defined kind concerning folk who do not consider God in their normal lives. The arrogancy of the President feeling it beneath him to follow even a minutae of the Constitution in allowing us to see this basic proof of normal birth in the United States IS THE QUESTION. Many of us already suspected, nearly every one of us you call tea party folk, that he was just holding it back to provide the very mock dicreditation of those being suspicious. The very fact that he was holding back on something important to the constitution in the first place was a slap in the face of the America he hates...and from the tenor of the stupidity of the posting...many of you also.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Mike

    Unfortunately, his father is shown as African (not a true nationality) which creates more speculation. If true, however, it proves he is not a natural born citizen, and has no right to be president.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Bubba

    Cue the crazies: "It's not real! The CIA faked it. He's only half black!" You can't fix crazy by showing it a piece of paper. Obama should release a truckload of Prozac instead.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. Jimmyleg

    Which day will live in infamy more, December 7, 1941 or August 4, 1961? I say the latter.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. MaryM

    It's sad to see the silly comments from those who thought Obama didn't need to prove anything to become president of this country. Why was it 'idiotic' to ask for the same verification they demanded of President Bush and that every other president has provided? Perhaps they've forgotten how the media went after McCain because he wasn't born in this country but on a military base – which, according to the law, has always been accorded the same status as being on native soil. Or how they demanded to see everything from Pres. Bush's life and still were never satisfied. Now that the supposed BC for Obama has been released, I hope he'll release the rest of his records that he's hidden UNLIKE every other president before him. Let's see his grades at his various schools, his passport, his adoption records. The media demanded these of Bush and he released them. So why not Obama?

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Don

    I don't understand why someone had to alter/add the background pattern to the document. Look at the left side and lower left of the document. Why is the pattern missing, as if the page is stuck through a slot and the pattern has been blended into that of the document. This will only raise more doubts about the authenticity. Sad.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. TomsTruth

    Good! Now, can we get back to fixing this crappy economy, which the President has done absolutely nothing to address?

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Gay Democrat

    It almost looks real.
    Pretty sad the prez-a-dunt can't get it and hold it in his hand to show us.Digital copies are just fine(sarc).
    More do nothing and lies from Osama(whoops).
    This will bolster the Half of Demo-traitors that are certian 9/11 was a Bushcheneyhalliburton inside job.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Reed

    I never believe all the drama but did it really take the CIA 3 year to forge it. The Mexicans coming into Texas can forge these documents overnight. I have really lost confidence in our government!

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. mcccmar

    could be -- could be -– time will tell if this is legitimate or not. now youre right – its time time for trump to show the taxes – fair is fair – lets hope that BOTH the birth certificate and the tax returns are not frauds

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. serqus

    Assuming this document is authentic, I'm still puzzled why he waited this long to show a simple birth certificate. It's like begin accused of stealing from the cookie jar, then intentionally waiting the whole day to finally open your hands to reveal no crumbs. Strange behavior for a president.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Karl R.

    Anybody trained in Photoshop could recreate this, and with the governments endless supply of money, they could pull anything together. Still don't believe it.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. boo

    You dam right he needs to show his credentials,not that our government can't put out some authentic looking documents. Go TRUMP

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. Finally

    Well it only took 3 years to produce something as simple as a certificate. If my calculations are correct, it will only take about 20 years or so of asking for jobs and a reduction in the deficit before they finally address that.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. Liberty

    I guess the Donald hit a nerve when he questioned how Obama got placement in to private schools without the grades. It's obvious that Obama was affirmative actioned all the way up to the White House into a job he definitely wasn't prepared for. I mean who really thinks socialism helps economies?
    Something still doesn't feel right about this whole birth certificate controversy. I had been questioned by my liberal friends on my thoughts and had always told them this birth certificate thing was a technical issue that didn't interest me as I am more concerned about Obama's socialists beliefs. What doesn't make any sense is why he didn't release this with the first lawsuit instead of hiring attorneys to get cases thrown out? I still don't understand why he didn't release it earlier as he could have saved a lot in legal fees. Is he just playing games? He dhould have released it and got to work on finding a way to reward achievers rather than loot them of the products of their hard work becasue anyone with knowledge of world history understands that the achievers make the lives of the nonachievers better unless you penalize them and then they leave or stop achieving. aatlas will shrug in this country soon enough.

    April 27, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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