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Entries in birther (17)

Friday
Aug242012

Mitt Romney Makes Birth Certificate Reference

Alex Wong/Getty Images(COMMERCE, Mich.) – At a rally meant to highlight Mitt Romney’s hometown roots in Michigan, a joke delivered by the candidate seemed to make reference to suggestions that President Obama was not born in the United States.

“Now, I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born,” said Romney. “Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital.”

“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” said Romney. “They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

Romney advisor Kevin Madden said in a statement Romney was referring to his upbringing, not the questions that have been raised by some about the president’s birthplace.

Both Obama and Romney have released their birth certificates.

“The governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States,” said Madden. “He was only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised.”

But Obama’s campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt thinks otherwise, writing in a statement, “Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them. It’s one thing to give the stage in Tampa to Donald Trump, Sheriff Arpaio, and Kris Kobach. But Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May292012

Obama Video Knocks Romney for Ties to Donald Trump

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- As Mitt Romney and Donald Trump reunite in Las Vegas on Tuesday for a glitzy campaign fundraiser, President Obama’s re-election team is knocking the presumptive GOP nominee for not condemning Trump’s so-called “birtherism.”

The real estate mogul, who endorsed Romney in February and is a top surrogate, recently reiterated the fact-challenged claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. and, by implication, that he is a constitutionally illegitimate president. Romney says he disagrees with Trump, but won’t condemn him for his views.

A new web video by the Obama campaign contrasts Romney’s reaction to Trump with Sen. John McCain’s response to similar rhetoric during the 2008 campaign.

“As the Republican nominee, John McCain stood up to the voices of extremism in his party,” the video says. McCain appears in two video clips from town hall meetings when he publicly disavowed statements from audience members questioning Obama’s character and birthplace.

“I have to tell you. He is a decent person,” McCain said of then-Sen. Obama in one clip. “And a person that you do not need to be sacred [of] as president of the United States.”

When one woman calls Obama an Arab, McCain says, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with.”

The tagline of the video: “McCain and Romney: Two Republican nominees. Only one willing to lead.”

Asked Monday about Trump’s claims, Romney told reporters he doesn’t agree with everything his supporters say, but needs their support.

“You know I don’t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” he said. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Rick Perry Claims Birther Comments Were a Joke

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Rick Perry attempted to quiet the birther speculation Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with Tampa’s Bay News 9, saying he fully believes President Obama was born in the United States and that any speculative comments about the president’s birth origin were only a joke, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

In the interview, set to air on Sunday, Perry says he was only joking when he expressed doubts about the president’s birth origin in a television interview earlier this week.

Perry is not the first candidate to attempt to turn a political gaffe into a joke. Herman Cain claimed his proposal of an electrified border fence was just a joke.

Perry is in Florida on Wednesday for fundraisers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct242011

Does Rick Perry Question Obama's Birthplace?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Gov. Rick Perry opened speculation about whether he is a birther after he gave an unclear answer to the question about President Obama’s birth place in Sunday’s Parade Magazine.

Perry called it a “distractive issue” but gave no definitive answer concerning what he believes, only mentioning he had dinner with Donald Trump, who still doubts the authenticity of the birth certificate provided by the Obama administration last April, according to Perry.

When Perry was asked what he thought of the birth certificate, he answered, “I don’t have any idea.”

A spokesman for Perry said his answer on the matter was very clear.

Trump, who is being courted by nearly every Republican presidential candidate, led a crusade last April to force President Obama to disclose his long form birth certificate amidst accusations he was not born in this country.

Here's the full exchange of the interview:

-- Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?
Perry: I have no reason to think otherwise.

-- That’s not a definitive, “Yes, I believe he…”
Perry: Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.

-- But you’ve seen his.
Perry: I don’t know. Have I?

-- You don’t believe what’s been released?
Perry: I don’t know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night.

-- And?
Perry: That came up.

-- And he said?
Perry: He doesn’t think it’s real.

-- And you said?
Perry: I don’t have any idea.  It doesn’t matter.  He’s the President of the United States.  He’s elected.  It’s a distractive issue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr292011

Donald Trump and The Biggest Unanswered Birther Question

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

By ABC News' John Berman

(NEW YORK) -- There is a big gaping question still not answered in the whole birther controversy; a question with major implications for a possible Presidential aspirant.  The question is, what is Donald Trump hiding?

You’ll remember, in the frenzied weeks of his media tour questioning the already proven facts of the President’s birthplace, Mr. Trump made some eye-raising claims.  He said he had investigators on the ground in Hawaii looking for the President’s birth certificate, and not only that, they were finding “amazing things.”  He told MSNBC: “I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding.”

Then, he went further, telling CNN: “ I've been told very recently… that the birth certificate is missing."  On national television, Trump said "I've been told that it's not there or it doesn't exist.”

Given that the President released his birth certificate, it clearly does exist.  At a minimum, this existence seems to call into question the credibility of Mr. Trump’s sources, if not their actual existence.

Remember, these were the investigators Trump allegedly had on the ground in Hawaii who “could not believe what they’re finding.”

Given that the President’s birth certificate proves (again) that he was born in Hawaii, what did these investigators find that they couldn’t believe?

These questions were put to Mr. Trump in New Hampshire on Wednesday.  What were the investigators finding?  One time he responded, “I got him to give his birth certificate.  No one else did, and most of the press is congratulating me.”

And at his news conference, he was asked directly, “Were you making this up?  Where does this information come from?”

His answer?  “No, what I think you are going to see,  first we have to look at the certificate, but I am really happy that this has finally taken place. Because we have some major issues that are unbelievably important.”

When told by this reporter that he did not answer the question, his response was: “I think I did, I did.  I did answer the question.”

Of course, the records of his alleged investigation in Hawaii could put all this to rest.  But Trump does not seem willing to release them.

For weeks, people have been questioning his motivations for raising the “birther” issue.  Now, it seems fair to at least question his facts, and perhaps his honesty.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Apr272011

After Putting Birther Issue to Bed, Obama Brings It Up at Three Fundraisers

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Barack Obama wrapped up three fundraising events for his re-election bid by tackling the birther issue head-on -- again.

"My name is Barack Obama. I was born in Hawaii," he said as a crowd of 1,300 stood, screamed and applauded.

Just hours after trying to quash speculation about his birthplace by releasing his long-form birth certificate, Obama couldn't resist poking fun at the controversy.

"Nobody has checked my ID but just in case..." Obama said tongue-in-cheek, as he reached into his pocket pretending to reach for his credentials.

But before he could launch into his stump speech at New York's Town Hall Theater, the president was interrupted by two female protesters in the balcony screaming "six million with AIDS." They were quickly removed by Secret Service officials. 

Moments later, two more protesters in the orchestra section screamed the same chant. They were booed by audience members but allowed to stay when Obama said from the stage, "They can stay, they've made their point. If any of the rest of you have something to say let's knock it out right now," he joked.

The Town Hall Theater fundraiser was the last event of the evening.

It was preceded by a dinner at the Fifth Avenue apartment of former Gov. Jon Corzine and then another dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

All three speeches were remarkably similar and hit his usual themes.

"We have to protect the changes we've made," said Obama as he listed all of the changes he's made over the first two and a half years of his administration, from healthcare reform to the repeal of "DADT."

"There is nothing we can't achieve if we're working together. It might take more than one term to get there," Obama said. "We have no choice but to get there."

According to a DNC source, all three fundraisers will support the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of the DNC and the re-election campaign.  The final event at Town Hall included a performance by The Roots, who have frequently played for Obama's events.

The same source says these three events are expected to raise between $2 to $3 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Apr272011

White House Releases President Obama's Birth Certificate

The White House(WASHINGTON) -- White House lawyers passed out copies of President Obama’s “long form” birth certificate to reporters Wednesday morning before the president called an impromptu gathering in the briefing room to discount claims that he was born somewhere outside the United States.

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” the president told reporters Wednesday. “We have better stuff to do. I have better stuff to do.”

In addition to the birth certificate, White House officials distributed correspondence between White House Counsel Bob Bauer and the state of Hawaii, where the president was born.

Conspiracy theorists have long questioned where the president was born and the rumor has been given voice most recently by Donald Trump as Trump considers running for the White House. A recent USA Today polls indicates that 38 percent of voters said they are not convinced President Obama was born in the United States.

Trump, who arrived Wednesday morning in the early campaign state of New Hampshire, said, "Today, I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished what nobody else" was able to do.

"Our president has finally released a birth certificate," he said. Trump said Obama "should have done it a long time ago. Why he didn't.... I don't know."

The release comes as the legal challenge over the president's birth certificate is scheduled to return to federal court in California on Monday. The lawsuit, brought by a coalition of 40 American "birthers,” including former Ambassador and presidential candidate Alan Keyes, contends Obama "has never provided proof of his legitimacy" to be president and that "ample evidence" exists to show he may be illegitimate.

A copy of the president's birth certificate can be viewed on the White House blog.

UPDATE: A number of Republicans and potential presidential candidates have issued responses:

“This has long been a settled issue," said Kevin Smith, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. "The Speaker’s focus is on cutting spending, lowering gas prices, and creating American jobs.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tweeted, "What President Obama should really be releasing is a jobs plan.”

Sarah Palin tweets that the media should “stay focused” and not get distracted by the president’s birth certificate announcement. “Media: admit it, Trump forced the issue. Now, don't let the WH distract you w/the birth crt from what Bernanke says today. Stay focused, eh?”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr272011

Donald Trump Takes Credit for Obama's Releasing Birth Certificate

Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- Donald Trump touched down in New Hampshire Wednesday in a helicopter bearing his name, immediately taking credit for forcing President Obama to release his birth certificate.

“I'm very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish,” Trump told reporters, his helicopter sitting behind him.

"I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue," Trump said.

He said he still wants to see the birth certificate, released while he was en route to New Hampshire, but now wants to talk about weightier issues such as oil prices.

“We have to see: Is it real? Is it proper? What's on it?" Trump said. "But I hope it checks out beautifully.”

Conspiracy theories about the president's place of birth have swirled for years, but Trump adopted the issue in recent weeks as he began flirting with a presidential run.

It's the first visit to an early primary state for what is shaping up to be an unpredictable but increasingly likely bid for the presidency by the real estate mogul and reality-TV star.

But Trump was quickly on to another conspiracy theory, wondering how the president got into Harvard Law School and Columbia as a transfer student and calling on the White House to release his records from school.

On his way out he weighed in on Obama's 2012 re-election chances, telling a throng of assembled reporters, "He's gonna lose."

Trump is in New Hampshire to headline a party fundraiser, meet with operatives, activists and voters as well as a throng of local and national reporters who will be following his every move in the Granite State.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr262011

White House Calls 'Birther' Claims a 'Distraction'

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Faced with critics -- most recently Donald Trump -- who are calling for the White House to release President Obama’s birth certificate, the White House declared Tuesday that this is a “settled issue” and lingering questions are just a “distraction.”

“We have a lot of problems confronting us,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said when asked about the “birther” claims at Tuesday’s briefing. “It’s an unfortunate distraction from the issues that I think most Americans care about."

The White House is dubbing this a “settled issue.”

“The birth certificate that the campaign put up online has been available for everyone to see around the globe,” Carney said from the White House podium Tuesday.  "It's the same birth certificate you get to get a driver's license and so on. Anybody who was born in Hawaii who asks for their birth certificate gets the same thing that we -- this -- the campaign and the White House has provided to the press.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

White House Calls Rev. Graham’s Comments on the President 'Preposterous'

ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- The White House on Monday said it was “unfortunate” that Rev. Franklin Graham made “preposterous charges” about President Obama, especially on the Easter holiday.

“I would just say I think it's unfortunate that a religious leader would choose Easter Sunday to make preposterous charges. And I'll leave it at that,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said, when asked about the comments at Monday’s briefing.

On Sunday, Graham told ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour that Mr. Obama "has some issues to deal with" in terms of proving his U.S. citizenship.

"He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly," Graham said to ABC. "I was born in a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, and I know that my records are there. You can probably even go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born. I don't know why he can't produce that." 

The Rev. Franklin Graham, whose family has served as spiritual advisers to numerous prominent political figures, said that businessman Donald Trump, who has brought up questions over President Obama’s citizenship himself, might be his candidate of choice in 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio