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. Knews5

    So how hard was that? It is part of the job description; we have every right to make sure the criterion are met. It is the law.
    The Clintons are the ones who started the question and it was a legitimate question.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. ml

    Did all of the other presidents show their birth cert. Dont thiink it was an issue before. Now what will Donald Trump do with all his rich spare time now. Get a life Donald may be time to look for another wife or something. Donald for President what a damn joke..... Donald Trump you are FIRED!!!!!! Now shut up....

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Mike

    Yeah right. Check out you tube video Michelle Obama home country. And natural born means mother and father born in US too.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. floyd


    "Them hicks" would say, "what took so long?"

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. Dizzy

    Click the link, people (Obama's birth certificate [PDF]) Click the link!

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. Concerned Citizen

    It surprises me that people will allow such flimsy documentation for the the most powerful job in the world that is far exceeded by what is required for a person getting a job as a cleric in a bank or a passport for that matter. This line of reasoning is insane.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Scottie Colston

    I don't know what's wrong with Trump. He is not just taking on the president but, he is taking on the government. They might have made a fake birth certificate. Just to prove him wrong. It's not like it takes a rocket scientist to make it. Watch out Trump their trying to make u look stupid.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. woman

    Obma sucks. He is so far not done anything for our country but hurt it. We need a new president.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Truman

    If our constitution requires that our president be a natural born citizen, why is it so absurd to require proof of this? I never doubted he was born here, but I do believe every president, republican or democrat, ought to be required to prove this before they are allowed to take office. How is it that presenting a birth certificate is required for most jobs, and to get a passport, but not to become president?

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. Cathy

    I don't understand why it took Barack sooo long to reply, on this birth issue? I have talked with many people on this issue and alot of them think he is the anti christ! He is eating our country from the inside out. He won't get my vote in 2012. I can't beleive he is going to run again in 2012. I beleive he won't get another term, people are fed up with Barack..God help us all!!!

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. acmaurerco

    Something hinky about the background of that photo. Too early to come to a final judgment. Remember Nixon and the Watergate tapes. Remember Clinton. It is beginning to unravel, but it isn't over.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. NameKevan Boyles

    Thank you Mr. President. Now, was that very hard. Humans are naturally suspicious. When you withhold information like this people are bound to let their imaginations run wild. Please use this as a learning experience. You have enough other things. to spend your political capital on.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Mark Delgado

    I don't care where the man was born, he isn't getting re-elected

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. racism

    Everyone recognizes how birthers use this faux-issue to cover up their racism. Their poor little brains can't comprehend that a black person legitimately won the Presidency. After all, how can they think whites are inherently superior when Obama represents direct evidence to the contrary? So they kick and scream, trying to maintain their racist beliefs, trying to grasp at anything that means Obama illegitimately won the election. Get over it: Obama is an intelligent, successful black person. WAY more intelligent, and WAY more successful than YOU. I'm all for debating the differences between Democrat and Republican politics, but this birther stuff is clearly masked racism, and it really puts this country to shame. Grow up, people.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. Rachel

    Donald Trump is a snide, two-faced, ignoramous who very conveniently ignores his own record as an adulterer, philanderer, bankrupt, SEC-investigated hypocrite. Anyone with a brain cell and a conscience shouldn't be associated with him or his businesses in any way.

    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. WittyWife

    Zaggs – "I'm far more interested in his college transcripts."


    April 27, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. Lerone

    Trump is like a male Sarah Palin...so much hot air when he speaks.....no substance at all. Sounds so angry at everything.

    April 27, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. dew

    don't care, still won't vote for him worst pres. ever

    April 27, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. William80

    This issue would not even be in an issue if Obama was 100% Caucasian American. Some people and their prejudices....

    April 27, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Shyam

    Is that all they got against him!!!

    April 27, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. James

    WOW... I took one look at the image and I can already tell that it is a fake. Look at how the lines on the birth certificate curve on the left side, and then compare that to the green hash pattern (=||=||=||=) both on the side of and on the surface of the certificate itself. The hash patter doesn't curve in the same manner that the lines of the birth certificate. That means the black "ink" of the birth certificate was superimposed (cut and pasted) over the hash pattern and proves that someone digitally altered this image of the birth certificate.

    April 27, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. mike

    I see you birthers still are not convinced. GET A LIFE, move on you are not winning on this issue or any others. Also I find it highly offensive some of you calling my president a terrorist.

    April 27, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Seraphim0

    Wow. Some of you people are waaaaayyyy too paranoid to be healthy.

    April 27, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. Jo

    Obama could stop reacting to such stupidity if THE NEWS CORPS would STOP allowing Donald Trump and idiots of his ilk to bully their way into monopolizing the news cycle. That's really all the Donald wants. He's a business man and he knows he can get free publicity by bullying the President. PLEASE, STOP ENABLING THIS IDIOT!!! The next time some fool says something so inane, we all want to go dunk our heads in a bucket of cold water, USE SOME DISCRETION AND DON'T PUT IT AT THE HEAD OF THE NEWS FOR 4 DAYS IN A ROW!!!! The media is our BIGGEST problem.

    April 27, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Stine

    As a graphic designer, my first instinct was to pull that PDF into Adobe Illustrator. Since it was a scanned document from 1961, I figured it would be one large, un-editable image. In fact, there are no less than 10 separate elements that can be individually resized, repositioned, and scaled. This would not be possible if the document were simply scanned. Elements that I can manipulate and are not part of the main image include: the April 25 date, the date accepted by registrar general, the date accepted by local reg. 21, the signature of the state registrar, pretty much all the text as a separate image, and lastly the green background. There is obviously some editing going on here, as I've also seen a copy of the same certificate without the green background. What gives? I'm not a birther, but this is weird. Easily verifiable to anybody who has Adobe Illustrator.

    April 27, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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