October 27th, 2012
03:24 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama's birth certificate quip

(CNN) - It's back: President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

But instead of Donald Trump - a famous "birther" who posted online this week a video asking Obama to go public with his college records and passport - it was Obama himself raising the issue.

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"Once [Mitt Romney] took office he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the state and then he raised taxes and fees on middle class families to the tune of 750 million dollars," Obama said at a Saturday rally in Nashua, New Hampshire, which borders Massachusetts, where Romney served as governor.

Among the increases, Obama said, were "higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse. There were higher fees for gas, higher fees for milk."

"He raised fees to get a birth certificate," Obama continued, "which would have been expensive for me."

His audience laughing, Obama cracked a smile.

Behind the joke are the conspiracy theories of some conservative Republicans who maintain that Obama was not born in the United States, and is therefore not eligible to be president. Only "natural born" citizens of the United States are eligible to be president.

He released a certification of live birth during his 2008 presidential campaign, and in the spring of 2011, released his long-form birth certificate. Both show that he was born in a Hawaii hospital on August 4, 1961. Contemporaneously published newspaper announcements also noted the birth in the Aloha State.

Still, some - Trump among them - have questioned the authenticity of the documents.

The president last publicly quipped about his birth certificate in September when he met another native of Hawaii.

"You were born in Hawaii?" he asked Andre Wupperman, whose mother said he was born in Hawaii and would turn seven years old the next week. "Do you have a birth certificate?"

Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams responded to Obama's event, saying in a statement, "Today's desperate attacks are laughable coming from a President whose only plan for a second term is to recycle the failed policies of the last four years while raising taxes by $2 trillion. As governor, Mitt Romney worked with Democrats to close a $3 billion deficit, balance four budgets while cutting taxes 19 times, create tens of thousands of new jobs, and lower the Massachusetts unemployment rate to 4.7%."

New Hampshire is one of several battleground states which are seeing attention from both campaigns with the election just over a week away. The Granite State has four electoral votes.

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report

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Filed under: 2012 • Massachusetts • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. PAUL

    Mittens was was 47th in Job Creation and left the state Bankrupt with less of a Binder Full of Qualified Women, Gays, Disabled, Blacks or Veterans!!

    October 27, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Tony in Maine

    Republicans in general and the Romney campaign in particular make the mistake of assuming that simply saying something makes it true. If you add the words, "Americans say," then the truth reaches Biblical status.

    Actually, I really wish everyone would just tell the actual truth for one day. Call it "truth day" and let the chips fall where they may. If you lie, you et struck by lightning, if you speak truth – we listen and decide.

    October 27, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Darryl

    How true that is about Romney raiseing taxes ( FEES ). I looked it up and thats exactly what he did.

    October 27, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Shills

    There is something 'wrong' with Obama's records and frankly the media that people trusted in should have at least checked his entire background for something as important as this. The media also should have showed some of the earlier video clips of 'inflammatory' speaches made by President Obama while he was a Senator. I heard one recently and I never would have voted for him had I seen that. This is very unfair to the American people and our trust can never be in media again. I won't get into the financial collapse and stealing of people's pensions and borrowing of Social Security funds and on and on and on and on by the Fed. This isn't 'checks and balances' and the Supreme Court is even worse!

    October 27, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Christine

    I have been a registered Republican for 30 years and I am sick of the whole birth certificate crap. Let it go for Petes sake!

    October 27, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. SFRich

    Let's look at the statement from Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams. It's riddled with those same sing-song talking points and Karl Rove descriptive adjectives the GOP is so fond of—and has been using since Mitch McConnell's comments in early 2009 about the GOP #1 goal of making Obama a one term president.

    Note the use of "FAILED policies." The GOP tack is to throw the word "failed" in front of everything related to the president. Then to repeat it so often that it seems to belong there. Never mind the fact that most of the policies that HAVE failed were the result of the "do nothing" obstructionist GOP-controlled house and filibuster-enabled senate.

    As for Romney's record as governor, he was able to work with the democratic legislature. They actually got some good work done (Romneycare) because he wasn't the "extreme conservative" he sells himself as today. Also, he HAD to work with the Massachusetts democratic legislature because they had all the votes. Contrast that with the obstructionist GOP congress that can't even pass something both sides of the aisle support (like jobs for veterans).

    In any case, the people of Massachusetts were the best of judges on Romney. He WAS a one-term governor after all.

    October 27, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. pegpundi

    I was born and raised in Hawaii and I resent the "birthers" who continue to fault Obama as not being a "naturalized" citizen. No one in America other than native Americans are "naturalized" citizens. As a Hawaiian, birthers who continue to denigrate my status as an American make me sick. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

    October 27, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. kelvin

    They.You might want to ask me who they I am talking about. The ones who is saying all kind of worthless things about Obama to make the people of this country for get that Romney have to show is tax return to the American people. But the American people is not sleeping.I know this is painful to a lot of voters, this is a shame and hart braking to the people of this great nation.Some thing have to be wrong, what is there to hide God bless Obama and God bless the people of this great nation.

    October 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. packerfans

    Hello Hello Awake uo America Vote for Mitt Romney!!

    October 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. packerfans

    Obama broken many promise in past!! Do Not Vote Obama, he will destoryed America!!

    October 27, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. paul

    5 mil goes a long way to help the hurting. I guess his records are just B.S. like everything else he said he would do

    October 27, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. JOSH

    I think every candidate to be POTUS should disclose his birth certficate. Right now I'm not sure MITT ROMMEY is american by birth, remember his father was MEXICAN and the last republican candidate JOHN MAC CAIN was born in PANAMA so he was not qualified to run for POTUS. The Constitution is clear in this point "you have to be born in continental America" and as far as I know Panama is not inside the US.

    October 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Hugo

    What's he got left?

    October 27, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Mittless is Wittless

    Mitt lowered taxes 10 times for the wealthy people in his state, while raising every other tax that effected the middle class. Why is Mitt not winning in his home state? They know the truth. Romney campaign has only one response to every truth Obama says about him. "The president is just trying to avoid talking about his failed policies...." Well Mitt and company, his "failed" policy pulled us out of a deep recession, shown 30 plus months of growth, housing is up, stock market is up, jobs created now outnumber those lost. That is like saying that since Alabama football team only won by a touchdown, that they lost.

    October 27, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. dana

    Many decades from now, historians and psychologists will still be trying to explain how some form of mass hysteria could so completely overwhelm people's faculties so that they truly, honestly convinced themselves that just because Trump is all manner of unpleasant things and they despise him, that that *automatically* means that he could never, EVER in a million years be right about Obama hiding something.

    Even more puzzling will be the fact that a) he's one of the few people in the world with the resources to pay enough for such a thing to get someone to take the risk of turning it over

    b) he said he was going to do it.

    October 27, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Bola

    Its most unfortunate that the descrimination on Certificate should be an issue to be a new America? Obama took of crisis caused by the Republican. It will be laughable for America to go back to Bush era. To rebuild crises on ground takes time. Another term for Obama will do the job.

    October 27, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    Obama/Biden 2012 - because Mitt will run back to Mexico or France if there's ever any trouble on our soil again - like his family has always done.

    October 27, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. Becky

    Indeed we paid more for everything in MA. He sent programs to the cities and towns to run but forgot to send the money. The State stopped paying and the town and cities had to pick up the costs. Our property taxes went sky high just so we could keep funding our schools and keeping them top notch. The high school did have to cut some really good courses because the money just was not there. Mr. Romney tells you how the schools were number 1 but this did not happen during his four years. Those governors before him deserve the credit. He cut funding and then he ran for President leaving Kerry Healey to pick up the pieces.

    October 27, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. Christopher

    "Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams responded to Obama's event, saying in a statement, "Today's desperate attacks are laughable...."

    I'm assuming he means like the attack Romney is using of Biden calling someone Tom who was named Tim? Way to talk out of both sides of your mouth. Good thing the Romney campaign is informing us of how dangerous the swapping out of one letter is to the future of this country. But telling the country what Romney did as governor is laughable. I guess that's one way to brush off questions about your record in a state that was so fond of his performance that they aren't even considering voting for Romney. The people that know his governing style the best want nothing to do with the man.

    October 27, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. davehirsch

    "[I]f you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from."
    - Barack Obama

    October 27, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  21. Thomas

    If Mitt was so good in Massachusetts, why is he expected to be pounded there in this election?

    October 28, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |