News / USA

Obama Releases Birth Certificate

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking to reporters about the controversy over his birth certificate and true nationality, Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama gestures while speaking to reporters about the controversy over his birth certificate and true nationality, Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at the White House in Washington.
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama has released copies of his original birth certificate, hoping to end a controversy over his place of birth and his qualification to be president.  The president says the so-called "birther" controversy has distracted the country from serious issues.

White House officials are distributing copies of an original birth certificate which shows that President Obama was born in the United States.

The president spoke to reporters Wednesday and compared the controversy to a carnival, at what he called a serious time.

"We are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," Obama said.

He said the furor was distracting attention from the problems affecting Americans, such as lingering unemployment and high gasoline prices.

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Obama added.  "We've got better stuff to do.  I have got better stuff to do.  We have got big problems to solve, and I am confident that we can solve them.  But we have got to focus on them, not on this."



The U.S. Constitution requires that the president must have been a U.S. citizen at birth.

But some of Mr. Obama's political opponents, nicknamed "birthers," have questioned whether he has adequately proven his native birth and his qualification to be president.  Some have alleged that he was born in Kenya, his father's home country.  They said their suspicions were based on the president's failure to supply his original birth certificate.

In 2008, the Obama campaign released an official state of Hawaii document, called a "certification of birth."  That document, produced at a later date, provides information about Mr. Obama's parents and time and place of birth. 

The U.S. government accepts the certification as proof of birth, and the president said that should have put the matter to rest.

"We have had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this, confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital," added Obama.

But the controversy continued, with 45 percent of Republicans questioned in a recent CBS/New York Times poll saying they believe Mr. Obama was not born in the United States.

So the president asked the state of Hawaii to waive its usual policy and allow copies of the original birth certificate to be made public.

Real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump, a possible Republican presidential contender in 2012, has repeatedly questioned the circumstances of the president's birth.

On Wednesday Trump took credit for forcing the release of the original birth certificate, and said he hopes it settles the matter.

"I would want to look at it, but I hope it is true, so that we can get on to much more important matters, so the press can stop asking me questions.  He should have done it a long time ago," said Trump.

White House officials are hoping that this announcement will allow them to move on to more serious topics, such as Thursday's expected announcement that CIA Director Leon Panetta will replace Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense.

Discuss this story and others on VOA forums

 

President Barack Obama has released copies of his original birth certificate, hoping to end a controversy over his place of birth and his qualification to be president.  The president says the so-called "birther" controversy has distracted the country from serious issues.

White House officials are distributing copies of an original birth certificate which shows that President Obama was born in the United States.

The president spoke to reporters Wednesday and compared the controversy to a carnival, at what he called a serious time.

"We are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," Obama said.

He said the furor was distracting attention from the problems affecting Americans, such as lingering unemployment and high gasoline prices.

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Obama added.  "We've got better stuff to do.  I have got better stuff to do.  We have got big problems to solve, and I am confident that we can solve them.  But we have got to focus on them, not on this."

The U.S. Constitution requires that the president must have been a U.S. citizen at birth.

But some of Mr. Obama's political opponents, nicknamed "birthers," have questioned whether he has adequately proven his native birth and his qualification to be president.  Some have alleged that he was born in Kenya, his father's home country.  They said their suspicions were based on the president's failure to supply his original birth certificate.

In 2008, the Obama campaign released an official state of Hawaii document, called a "certification of birth."  That document, produced at a later date, provides information about Mr. Obama's parents and time and place of birth.  

The U.S. government accepts the certification as proof of birth, and the president said that should have put the matter to rest.

"We have had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this, confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital," added Obama.

But the controversy continued, with 45 percent of Republicans questioned in a recent CBS/New York Times poll saying they believe Mr. Obama was not born in the United States.

So the president asked the state of Hawaii to waive its usual policy and allow copies of the original birth certificate to be made public.

Real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump, a possible Republican presidential contender in 2012, has repeatedly questioned the circumstances of the president's birth.

On Wednesday Trump took credit for forcing the release of the original birth certificate, and said he hopes it settles the matter.

"I would want to look at it, but I hope it is true, so that we can get on to much more important matters, so the press can stop asking me questions.  He should have done it a long time ago," said Trump.

White House officials are hoping that this announcement will allow them to move on to more serious topics, such as Thursday's expected announcement that CIA Director Leon Panetta will replace Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid