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

    After all is said and done...this document still is missing an Embossed Seal. And clearly the dated "language" of the document is a sore thumb as well. This joke will blow up quite nicely on the Obama clan indeed...

    April 27, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Barnacle Bill

    Sadly, as you can see, the idiots won't go away. They need to be put down, like a rabid dog.

    April 27, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Frank Nosh

    Nope. Not good enough. I want to see carbon dated umbilical cord.

    April 27, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Zero

    But....Hawawi was not a state till three years later...soooooo

    April 27, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. JMR49

    Funny – give the fools what they want and they get even more angry. What are you people going to to when we re-elect President Obama for a second term? I get this picture in mind of a sudden widespread outbreak of spontanous combustion.

    April 27, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. John Sharp

    The best part of this is that now the Birthers are forced to face the facts.
    We knew all of you were idiots.
    Today the truth, which everyone else already knew, is that you were wrong.
    Today even the Birthers have to look themselves in the mirror and realize that They are Idiots.
    It is such a warm fuzzy feeling. I cant stand stupid people.

    April 27, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. st. toma

    yeah stick it to em obamamamama

    April 27, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. T

    This is unbelievable!!! No other President in history had to prove their citizenship, but then again no other President is history was BLACK! Please… this a joke, NEXT!! Racism; a prejudice or belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior. We need to do better... A JOKE!!! How does this revelation help the countries current issues?(don't worry I'll wait) IT DOESN"T!!! RIDICULOUS!

    April 27, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. W

    amazing what photoshop can do

    April 27, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. aireal

    Mr. Obama, you really must think we are stupid. If you had this certificate before, why on God's green earth didn't you show it sooner. Did you say to yourself, the Republicans will make a show of this in the future and I'll use it against them and to my advantage? Or were you hiding something. In either case it is not the way I would expect the President of the free world to act. Shame on you.

    April 27, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. sokka1

    What else, birthers? Wanna do DNA test? Or verify his college transcripts?

    April 27, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. the minority of the intelligent Americans with a clue

    Since the right has had nothing of substance to say and have become very seasoned with look over here while we are sneaking around SCREWING you over there – this is nothing new. When will the ignorant part of our population ever get a clue and be able to see the forest through the trees – oh yeah – so far I see that as – never! Trump is a first class loser. If it comes from the Tea Party – it should automatically seen as a load of crap. Our country is going straight down the tubes (yes way before President Obama for you who think he achieved this deficit – guess what – he didnt! Takes money to turn things around – but of course if he had inherited a surplus from the prior administration instead of a huge debt? Didnt see alll the repubaggers crying about it when Bush had the deficit in a complete downward spiral – they only seem to notice the deficit when they dont like the president or the party he is affiliated – spectacular!

    April 27, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. ME

    This does not prove anything. Why could he not have ha it released before now? Maybe because it is fake? Has any of you dumbacrats thought of that? It took him so long to show a copy of it because he had to get together a story so he could could get a birth certificate made up. Just because he was able to falsify this information doesn't mean that he was truly born in America. How is it that none of his class mates from college and or high school remember him?? Also he is muslim. He went to a muslin place of worship and people there do say they remember him. So besides the fact weather he was born in America or not he is muslim and those are the people who attacked the United States on 9/11. So we have a terrorist running our country. Thats just wonderful(SARCASM).

    April 27, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. me

    Wow, That means Hawaii is actually one of the US states( even though it is an island in the pacifuc) !

    Maybe Trump should revisit high school Geography books, if he actually ever went to high school that is!

    April 27, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Jenn

    I have the same type of birth certificate. Except mine has a state seal on it, there is no seal on this one at all??

    April 27, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Matt

    Don't you love it when people who don't know the law make grandiose claims about what a legal term means. I am particularly referencing the gentleman above who claims that since Obama's father is Kenyan, that negates Obama's natural born clause.

    Nowhere in the Constitution, legal document, or any court decision does it state that a natural born citizen must have two resident parents. In fact, courts have ruled that as long as the child is born in the US, even if to two alien parents, they are natural born citizens. Lynch v Clark (1884) stated that "The only standard which then existed, of a natural born citizen, was the rule of the common law, and no different standard has been adopted since. Suppose a person should be elected President who was native born, but of alien parents, could there be any reasonable doubt that he was eligible under the constitution? I think not. The position would be decisive in his favor that by the rule of the common law, in force when the constitution was adopted, he is a citizen.".

    Lynch v Clark was later confirmed by the higher court ruling in United States v Wong Kim Ark (1898), which itself was referenced in Ankeny v Governor of Indiana (1999) – which has what I find to be the most definitive answer to the case: "Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are “natural born Citizens” for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Just as a person “born within the British dominions [was] a natural-born British subject” at the time of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, so too were those “born in the allegiance of the United States [] natural-born citizens.”

    As for those that still have issues, the courts have decided on the eligibility of both McCain and Obama time and time again - Berg v. Obama (2008); Hollander v. McCain (2008); Cohen v. Obama (2008), Wrotnowski v. Bysiewicz (2008).

    So please stop trying to use your interpretations of a document you learned about in grade school civics class, accept that you are incorrect, and move on.

    April 27, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Dave

    Check the bottom left corner of the document. The word 'laser' appears. Laser printers weren't yet invented in 1961 (Obama's birth year). First laser printer was invented by Xerox in 1969. The first commercial laser printer was developed by IBM in 1975. Does Obama think the public is stupid?

    April 27, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Lou

    It is not a long form birth certificate, it is just a certificate of live birth. No doctor signatures, a lot of stuff are still missing. This does not solve anything. Again Obama has shot himself on the foot and by releasing this clearly shows that they're getting desperate and it's clearly bothering him. Bad move !!!

    April 27, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. kori

    Good. Now that this is taken care of, we can all focus on that royal wedding. Its not getting enough coverage.

    April 27, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Texas Birther- Nah!

    Birthers, don't let this stop you from pushing this "important issue". I swear the Birth Certificate clearly states under 8,9 &10, that Barack Hussein Obama's place of birth was: KENYA, EAST AFRICA ! Read it yourself, I promise it says that!

    Now for reality .... that is information on his father, but it is on the birth certificate. Don't let the (real) facts stop you from pushing this issue! It hasn't so far.
    Please support Trump in all the Republican primaries, reward him for being the one who forced this issue. Continue with this issue after the Republican Convention into the General Election, please! It a winning issue, I assure you .........for Obama!

    April 27, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Elaine

    Just because there is a Hussein in his middle name and that he is black, people question his birthplace. I am honestly quite sick of the racism. Give the President some respect please.

    April 27, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. aireal

    This is how the Democrats do things in the political arena and probably in their daily lives. I would bet $ that most of those people on the reality TV shows like survivor are Democrats. You watch these posts. The ones that are the most degrading and the meanest are coming from Democrats. They appear to be bully's. You'll also notice that when someone like Trump or Palin scares them, they will strike out the hardest against them. I would vote for Trump any day of the week. He has something our sitting President doesn't have- common sense and he is not a politician. That's why he speaks what he thinks and not something wrote for him off a teleprompter. Obama can't think for himself. He can't write for himself either-look at who really wrote his books and who puts those words on the teleprompter???

    April 27, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Eva Dickerson

    This issue makes me more sad and disappointed than angry. People like Trump to further their "sick" cause, shows the WORLD just how little America has grown. Imagine, just 25% of the people have this much power to cause such uproar over something so disrepectful to our president .

    April 27, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. steve

    Where is the foot prints and palm prints that should be on there.? They are on mine and I am as old as he is and when is African a race it should be negro in 1961 terminology. Also factcheck.org was pointing out how the raised seal on thier document proved it was real... Why is this missing one?

    I guess what confuses me is why the President would spend $2 million on lawyers just not to have to show it. Just because he can waist peoples money and make his lawyewr buddies rich I guess.

    April 27, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. NotBuyingIt

    Not good enough! I won't be satisfied until I see the birth with my own 2 eyes on a videotape...and there had better be some identifiable landmark in the background too...a lady in a grass skirt and a lei or something.

    April 27, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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