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. Jo

    I get amused by all the people calling racism on this. To me President Obama has never been a "black" president. He is a mixed raced president who was actually (if I am repeating this correctly) raised by the "white" side of his family.

    April 27, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Just me II

    Can't believe CNN is spending so much time on this ridiculous issue. Point is moot, American citizen or not he's not right for the office.

    April 27, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. elaine

    I just saw a poll showing 49% of Americans believe the bc is legimate and 51% believe Mr. Obama was not born in US.

    April 27, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Farmer

    Since when is 'African' a race? esp. in the early 60's. Where is the footprint? He needs to fire whoever came up with this –

    April 27, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Litterboxrox

    Now if the republicans can get someone to read this to them they might start to figure this out.

    April 27, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Robert O'Leary

    The only real question is, Why is it ok for him NOT to show his birth certificate! All other cantidates have to but him? Only an elitest would think this is ok!

    April 27, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. diane

    Donald Trump,,,,wake up and smell the roses.....2yrs ago Pres. Obama's Birth Cert. was shown,,,,pay attention Trump, and now you want credit that YOU were the only one who went for it......GIVE us a break Trump,,,,we Americans arent Stupid..I just wish the News channels quit entertaining Trump......why give him any air time, I'm sure there are more important people you can give time to....

    April 27, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. good4USA

    Now that the certificate is out, it is easy to see why it wasn't broadly circulated before. There were likely concerns about the religious and ethnic groups not understanding a mother's teen pregnancy and a mixed relationship?

    April 27, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Jay Wilkes

    Why did The President wait until now to release his birth certificate? He gave them just enough time to make complete fools of themselves. Now that they have been exposed, what do they do? They turn around and "blame the victim" by demanding more proof. How do they look at themselves in the mirror, and they call themselves "Christian". To me, they are an embarassment to God. Shame on them!

    April 27, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. Carol

    Where is Trump's birth certificate? And while we're at it, how about Romney, Gingrinch and all the others running for president!

    April 27, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Jeannie

    Nice job Trump, showing what a complete jackass you really are. I'll remember how impressed I was if your name ever shows up on a ballot.

    April 27, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. lovelokest

    McCain was born in Panama almost a year before 8 U.S.C. § 1403 went into effect, giving babies born in Panama since 1904 who had at least one parent working for the US Military or the Panama Railroad Company retroactive US natural born citizenship. I'm not calling into question his eligibility to run for president, just pointing out that McCain was not born in a US state but Obama was.

    Also, Obama did submit his birth certificate while he was running for President (before June 16, 2008). It wasn't the "long form" kind that birthers hold dear, but rather the kind that every other person born in Hawaii is issued and is valid for crazy things like passports and drivers licenses.

    A black guy is our President, get over it.

    April 27, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. Photoshop Expert

    If you zoom in and look at this certificate, you will notice a white halo or background behind each typed character, each description and both signatures. It appears that someone copied and pasted this info onto the official green background that Hawaii uses.

    April 27, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. Val

    I don't know why these people are called "birthers". Everyone writes them off as loonies or nutjobs. We need to call them exactly what they are, bigots.

    April 27, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. foggy voice

    I feel fortunate that I didn't decide to try to be president, cause the only record I have of my birth is a "certificate of live birth" photograph of a document. And, now that my mother has passed away and the doctor who did my delivery, there are no witnesses to my birth. OMG. Maybe I am NOT born in the United States!!! My whole life is a big conspiracy. GIVE ME A BREAK. MOVE ON.

    April 27, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. Tony

    Way to go TRUMPSTER! Obama won't listen to us (We the People) but HE listens to Donald. Keep the pressure on TRUMPSTER, there is something more. If it was just this easy, you have to ask yourself, "Why didn't Hussein produce this over a year ago? Why the 2 Certificates of Live Birth? I think it's a wonderful thing that we have a half-white president! I can't wait until the 2012 elections. Obama is going to spend 1 Billion Dollars. Think about it folks, 90% of all Americans are struggling because of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, which the Dem Congress was warned about, and the high gasoline prices are driving EVERYTHING up in price. Obama is going to spend 1 BILLION Dollars so HE can be re-elected. Good thing TRUMPSTER has more. I'll even give him some of mine. TRUMP 12.

    April 27, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  17. Camila

    Does any one know how many certified, impartial experts validated the paper, ink, and signatures on the original birth certificate?

    April 27, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Samantha

    Ok so this birth certificate may say that hes born in the US big deal its not like he's experienced the things "real" americans have, i think that before he wants to cut military pay he should have served for our country. He also knows its possible to drill in the US for gas to keep our prices low but no he wants to keep giving the money we dont have to Iraq...Just saying i cant wait to vote in 2012

    April 27, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. Silent Majority

    If none of the other information available up to this point helped to convince the doubters (including U.S. Code 1401, Section "e"), this most recent release will do nothing to help. I'm afraid this issue will be with us for at least the next six years.

    April 27, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. Sherri

    Kudo to Donald Trump. I like a man that commands attention and gets results.

    April 27, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. Quote Nazi

    The quote you have for Obama is wrong. It should read:

    “Over the last two and half years, I have watched with BEMUSEMENT. I have been puzzled with the degree with which this thing just kept going,”

    April 27, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  22. SC

    Clearly a fake.

    From TSG
    • If the original document was in a bound volume (as reflected by the curvature of the left hand side of the certificate), how can the green patterned background of the document's safety paper be so seamless?

    Cause...... Maybe it's a fake?

    April 27, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  23. Joanne

    It's not their fault you are too lazy to look them up. They were, and are still, out there for everyone to see, as a matter of public record. Kerry, Gore, McCain made their records public during their campaigning, too. It's part of the vetting process, which was for some reason completely forgone for Obama in the 2008 elections.

    If he had put his record out there like every modern day presidential candidate before him has, this wouldn't be an issue. It's a failure on the part of the Dem national party to properly vet him. And are you seriously asking why Americans would be concerned whether or not our president is constitutionally qualified to hold the highest office in the land? I weep for this country.

    April 27, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  24. Raz

    Nothing will change...a faction of the right wing (all absolutely orchestrated by the RNC) will just challenge another part of his history/claims...just shows how a big part of our population hasn't come as far in the 21st century as many would like to believe. Its actually a smart strategy...if you can't beat the man/party on ideas and ideals then create a negative distraction, aka, the swift boat ads on Gore.

    April 27, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Bubba Skinner

    Regardless, why did it take him over 2 years to show it and spend millions of dollars trying not to have it shown? Why didn't he do this in the first place? To me, he is the side show, not Trump.. And another thing, if he wants to always blame Bush, why didn't he go against Bush for his second term?.. And the side show continues with blindly led sheep..

    April 27, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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