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. Dale

    Why do most birther posts begin with "I'm not a birther but..." They don't even have the go nads to say "I am a birther" and a birther is a racist without enough go nads to say "I am a racist." The data tells me that 40% of Republicans are delusional.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  2. Rich

    Saying that this PROVES Obama was born in the US is like saying that the FBI claiming to have not found any of the four black boxes from 9/11 means that none of the planes even had one.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. Citizen for Progress, Liberty, and Freedom

    I can't believe how disengaged these birthers are acting now. First its "Well, where is it?" which im sure will turn into some lame soundbite. Then when it finally does get produced, as most have suspected, some will say its counterfeit and others will say dumb cliches like "now was that so hard?" like hes taking a suppository. Then after THAT dust clears I'm sure it'll be something else like "well what about gitmo, unemployment, and that third war?" But...nothing will ever be good enough because lesser folks need to feel that drama in their lives. Its not enough to say that Libya isnt a fraction of what Bush (or pick any other R pres in the recent past as well) subject our troops to or that there isnt enough leeway with the republican house and supreme court to give talking about gitmo a reasonable shot (if they dont let obama close gitmo...they can say he didnt fulfill a promise...politics for a talking point). If we were able to support Bush through his 8 years of raping americas middle class coffers, the very least the easily duped can do is stfu and let the next 4 years of Obama happen – because it will and frankly History will look at him very favorably...as the savior of the US in a time when Republicans let corporate america run rampant for 30 years of pillaging and exporting jobs. Im not sure why History and facts are such a problem for most of America (prolly hasta do with our horrible education system which places behind dozens of other first to third world countries – largely due to 'conservative' budget cuts) but guess what folks? Once we're all dead, the only thing that'll matter will be what the President did or didnt do and after the terrible job Bush 2 did, the follow-up act could have been Dane Cook and he would have gotten a better review than Bush in the end. History and Science is the present and future of truth and logic, not faith and beliefs. Welcome to the Age of Information.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Kim Watts

    I can't believe that in the year 2011, we are requiring a black president to go to such links to release his birth certificate to prove he is an american. Would he have had to do that if he was white and say from Texas. This is just not right and he needs to be focusing on more important issues that he inherited and is trying to do his best to clean up. I would never vote for someone who thought that the most important thing you could think to say about the president was that he was not born in the United States so Donald Trump needs to move on before he destroys his own chances as a politician. President Obama has done everything he could do now to stop this from going further and after today, he shouldn't have to speak about this subject again. Furthermore, there were presidents that were raised oversees due to military families and other obligataions, so I don't personally think that it's unusual that this president spent sometime in another country. We had a chance when he was elected to stand out in the world. It takes away from the real issues that most of us are really concerned.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Tea Partier

    I'm amazed by how many people think this is a "tea party" issue. The tea party is about government spending and overtaxation. The only people that these bogus claims resonate with are those who've never been to the rallies.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. Frank

    The crazy birthers will just say it's a mistake, a fake. The president should not have bowed to these holigans and racists. No president since the frounding of this Nation has had to do this. Why did bow to these punk birthers, and clansmen.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Mel

    Let's call it what it is.... If he were white this would have NEVER come up.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  8. Mike

    Geoff, try again. The Constitution DOES NOT state you must be born IN THE USA to be President. It states you must be a "natural born citizen". The Constitution never defines "natural born citizen" though. So before you go off spouting "facts" that aren't really, please do some research.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. Brad

    It takes a normal citizen 3 days to obtain a birth certificate. It takes a government worker 3 years. Just goes to show how inefficient and slow the government and government workers really are.

    April 27, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. Niki

    "And by the way, you are required to produce a birth certificate to get a driver's license or passport? Then you should be required to produce one before you can run for President."

    Do you REALLY think that when you run for President and fill out all of the paperwork required that he didn't have to produce identification? Do you even know what is involved in getting a security clearance for a regular job? And BY THE WAY, of course he had to "produce" a birth certificate before he could even get to the point of becoming a candidate – YOU want him to produce it for YOU – but the President is not obligated to prove anything to YOU. You would assume that any other President has been properly investigated. This whole nonsense is completely disrespectful and no other President has had to be subjected to these questions and lack of trust. Disgusting.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  11. blake

    Why has our president waited 2 years to do this? Makes no sense.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. Wayne W

    Obama just laid the TRUMP card!

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. urdrwho

    I heard today that until this recent run that Trump was more prone to support a Dem' than a Rep. Trump really bugs me with his use of eminent domain through the use of politicians. Donald just wants to get more publicity.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Susan

    Well hopefully now Trump will shut his flappin' yap.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Name

    I have to show a birth certificate to get a job why not the president?

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Indy

    Trump is such an idiot and hopefully he gos bankrupt again very soon. The Feds should sue Trump for his treasonus acts, while he still thinks the birth certificate is a fake. Trump is making America look like Chumps with his stupid behaviour.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. John

    Why did it take so long to produce. Even though I was pretty sure that this hack was born in the USA, why all the secrecy? It makes sense as this is the most nontransparent administration ever, even though the left wing sheep say otherwise. Why after 2 1/2 years? Do not confuse Tea Partiers with the Birthers like to many wackos on this board are. Just show how unintelligent and ignorant they are by spouting of Media Matters and DNC talking points. The Tea Party is for less gov intrusion, smaller gov, and accountability to reduce spending. We DO NOT have a tax problem in this country, we have a SPENDING problem. And no, the GOP does not want to kill old people or cut funding for the poor. If nothing is done, there will not be social security, Medicare, and all the entitlements people use...especially people who do nothing but pop out 10 kids and spend their welfare checks on drugs and lotto tickets. EVERY in this country has the ability to make their own choices, some succeed, some do not, and some want others to pay their way. The people who really need help, such as the disabled, elderly are the minority. Government does not create jobs, government creates the conditions that create jobs. More handouts is not the answer. The tea party is for this, it is not an extreme or racist movement. That label is put on by the extreme radical left because when given the facts, the left resorts to name calling such as labeling people racist. I am not name calling here, namely pointing out the facts. This is from a right leaning independent who knows that both parties are to blame and both parties need to work together. But the left needs to understand that the people had a voice in the last election, and they spoke by giving the GOP the house because of all the Dems back room deals, Obamacare, and runaway spending.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. matte

    Why is it if we question a man's background (because clearly he wasn't being forthcoming about it) you are instantly deemed a racist? This information should have been made public before his name was even put on the ballot! People don't question the President because of his color, they question him because they don't agree with the policies and direction he's taking the country. To instill race into legitimate questioning of any elected official's goals is simply inflammatory and shows that you are grasping for straws when faced with a reality that a LOT of people don't agree with the policies and political stances President Obama has taken.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. Lookwest

    It's about time – glad to see this was done, and yet I wonder why it was not done before. The American people have a right to question ANYONE who runs for the offfice of President about being a natural born citizen. I know – so many want to make an issue this is not important and anyonw who dares request this proof of information is crazy or just a hick ...trust me it is important for many reasons. I'm thankful that President Obama decided to give this proof.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  20. Setusfree2012

    The certificate number on this one is 151 61 10641, the one on factcheck.org is 151 1961 010641

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  21. larry

    Where are this FAILURES school records?

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Billy Hicks

    This ain't proovin nuthin! I still don't balieve this crap!

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. Mike

    He was waiting for his approval rating to hit 40% before he did this.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. ndlily

    I believe Obama is a natural-born American citizen and was born in HI (even if he wasn't, his mother is American, and he's held no other citizenship, so end of question). However, with the CIA at his beck and call, I don't see how this would discourage conspiracy theorists. With all the CIA has done in the world and with technology the way it is, forging one little birth certificate is about as difficult as being asked to change the toilet paper in the men's room. Obama should have left it alone. He has bigger problems, like his politics for example.

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. common thinking

    the idiot is the President for not showing this sooner........not the citizens for asking!!!!! by the way, where is the one with his footprints?

    April 27, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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