Entries in Birthers (23)


Rick Perry Refuses to Answer Birther Questions

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- At a press conference at the South Carolina Statehouse, Texas Gov. Rick Perry refused to answer questions about whether he believes President Obama was born in the United States, calling it a distraction from the conversation on how to create jobs.

“That is one of the biggest distractions that there is going,” Perry said when asked what would convince him that President Obama was born in the United States. "We need to be talking about jobs. Somebody wants to see my birth certificate, I’d be happy to show it to them. But the fact [is] that is a distraction and Americans don’t really care about that, if you want to know the truth of the matter....What Americans want to talk about is jobs.”

This is the second time since this weekend that Perry has been asked to clarify his views on the topic after a controversial statement in Sunday’s Parade magazine, and both times he’s turned down the opportunity to spell out his stance.

Perry steered the conversation away from the birther questions and touted his just-released economic plan while also addressing criticism that only the wealthy would benefit from his 20-percent flat tax proposal.

“Here’s what we’re interested in: getting Americans back working. And if folks who have money are gonna be creating those jobs, then I don’t have a problem in the world with that,” Perry said. “It doesn’t make any difference to me who creates those jobs.”

A similar plan was floated by Steve Forbes during his 1996 presidential run but failed to gain support, though Perry believes the country has transformed enough to allow for a flat tax to thrive.

“There’s a lot’s changed since 1996 from the standpoint of our tax code in this country,” Perry said.

Perry said his plan differs from Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan because it does not include a value added tax or sales tax.

“Americans do not trust Washington, D.C., to have a new form of taxation,” Perry said. “What they’re looking for is simplicity. They’re looking for something that is flat. They’re looking for something that is fair. This plan addresses all of those.”

Perry was asked to explain the spending cuts he would make to cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP, but the Texas governor would not cite a plan and only pointed to balancing the budget by 2020.

Perry received the endorsement of speaker of the South Carolina House, Bobby Harrell, who endorsed Sen. John McCain in 2008, and 11 other state legislators, and though he’s sagging in the polls in the Palmetto State, Perry thinks there’s still time for a comeback.

“I’ve always said that polls are going to go up and down, so my bet is when Clemson or South Carolina are at halftime...they’re not going to call the game at halftime,” Perry said. “So we’re going to continue to be working and we’re going to continue to be -- you know, we may change defense a little bit. We may call an audible or two, but the fact is it’s a long time ’til this campaign’s over with.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pat Boone’s Not Convinced, Still a Birther

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Singer Pat Boone, a lifelong conservative Republican who once compared liberals to cancer, says he remains unconvinced that President Obama was born in the United States.

Boone told the San Francisco Chronicle that he believes the long-form birth certificate that Obama released in April to quell birthers is a “Photoshopped fraud.”

“I was in Kenya…about a year and a half ago and everybody there says, you know, your president was born here,” Boone told the San Francisco Chronicle.  “He’s spending millions of dollars so that we do not have his records and experts have already looked at and been able to verify that this long-form document is a fraud.”

Boone gave the interview after he introduced Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann at California’s GOP Convention over the weekend.

Boone, once a wholesome singer who produced several hits in the 1950s, is now a proud member of the Beverly Hills Tea Party. He has had a history of taking controversial stands, including calling the theory of evolution “nonsensical” and comparing gay rights protests to the Mumbai terror attacks.

In August, the 77-year-old singer helped kick off the Tea Party Express’s “Reclaiming America Tour.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


2012 Presidential Contender Donald Trump Tumbles in New Poll

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump has often watched his personal fortunes go up and down, so why should his political fortunes be any different?

The real estate mogul and reality TV host was riding high for a while as a possible Republican presidential nominee on the strength of his argument that President Obama might not have been born in the U.S., thus making him constitutionally ineligible to hold national office.

On April 15, a Public Policy Polling survey showed Trump leading all GOP competitors with 26 percent popularity, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee far back in second place with 17 percent followed by a group of other potential candidates.

Then something happened.  Namely, the president released the original copy of his birth certificate, showing he was indeed born in Honolulu, Hawaii in August of 1961.

While some hard-core "birthers" might not have been convinced, apparently enough of them were to send Trump's latest poll numbers plummeting.

Huckabee leads the pack now with 19 percent, with the runners-up Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.  Trump is now tied with Texas Congressman Ron Paul for fifth place, with eight percent.

Being made fun of at the White House Correspondent's Dinner by the president, as well as recent questions about his past business dealings, have also knocked some of the shine off the Trump brand.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Poll: Most Americans Now Believe Obama Was Born in Hawaii

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While some questioned the wisdom of the White House for apparently legitimizing the suspicions of those who don't believe President Obama was born in the U.S., last week's decision to release his original birth certificate appears to be paying off.

A Washington Post poll released Thursday finds that seven in 10 Americans are now convinced that Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961.  One year ago at this time, only 48 percent of respondents held that view.

In May 2010, about 20 percent of Americans said there was either "solid" evidence or that they had "suspicion" to believe that Obama was born in another country, making him constitutionally ineligible to serve as president.  However, with the release of the birth certificate, just 10 percent polled by the Post say they now maintain that belief.

Obama has admitted that some people, no matter what he does, will always think he was born somewhere other than where his birth certificate says he was.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Top Republicans Berate President over Birth Certificate Release

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Prominent Republican politicians and commentators weren't exactly jumping for joy after President Obama released the original copy of his birth certificate Wednesday.

Instead, they almost unanimously jumped down the president's throat.

The general feeling was that Obama should have produced the document during the 2008 election, or that he showed weakness by giving in to fringe groups and outspoken real estate moguls, or that he should be more worried about real issues that concern Americans.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has formed an exploratory committee in a possible bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, tweeted, "What President Obama should really be releasing is a jobs plan."

Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, told Fox News, "How in the world is this now the issue we ought to be focusing on?  If the White House press secretary says that this is a sideshow, why aren't we treating this as such and dealing with the bigger issues."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who just the other day said he wouldn't stop people in his party from expressing doubts about the president's birthplace, remarked, "Unfortunately [Obama's] campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our number-one priority, our economy."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also considering a run for the White House, said he couldn't figure out why it took the president so long to release the long-form birth certificate and called the entire matter "strange."

Meanwhile, radio talk host Rush Limbaugh mused, "We have a reality show star that has forced Obama’s hand on the issue of the birth certificate.  Politics has become nothing but a reality show."

He added that the president released the the document because of declining job approval ratings.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Trump: I'll Release Tax Returns When Obama Releases Birth Certificate

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump has promised to disclose the details of his finances if he decides to run for president, but not necessarily his tax returns.

In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Monday, he laid out a new condition for their release.

“Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate…I’d love to give my tax returns.  I may tie my tax returns into Obama’s birth certificate,” Trump said.

Despite Obama having a certificate of live birth, which is recognized by the State Department and meets the agency's standard for citizenship, Trump believes that is not enough.

"He doesn’t have a birth certificate or he hasn’t provided.  He’s given a certificate of live birth.  It’s a much different instrument," he said.

Earlier this month, Trump said he sent investigators to Hawaii to dig up evidence that the president is lying about being born there.

When asked what they have found, he said, "That’s none of your business right now.  We’re going to see what happens."

Trump said the birther controversy is not his "main issue" and said he "hopes" Obama has his birth certificate.  But this issue is one reason Trump may be sky-rocketing to the top of national polls and is now interviewing candidates for campaign manager, such as Ralph Reed, formerly of the Christian Coalition.

“I’m looking at the poll numbers.  I see what’s happening with this country.  This country is in such trouble,” Trump said.

So what are the odds he’ll run?

“Well, I don’t want to say odds.  I don’t want to put myself in that position I don’t want to put you in that position.  But I will tell you, I love this country.  I hate what’s happening to it and you may very well be surprised,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Arizona Governor Vetoes Presidential Birth Certificate Bill

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill Monday that would have required President Obama and all other presidential candidates to prove U.S. citizenship before their names could be placed on the state’s ballot.

She also vetoed legislation that would have allowed individuals to carry weapons on college campuses in the state.

The birth certificate veto comes amid new calls from so-called “birthers,” people who continue to claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore not eligible to be president.  Hawaii has long certified that the president was born in that state, and courts have rebuffed efforts to allegedly prove otherwise.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports the bill would have required candidates to present certain information to Arizona’s secretary of state.  In announcing her veto, Gov. Brewer said the person holding that office should not have that much authority, adding, “It could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions.”

Concerning the weapons bill, the Daily Sun reports Gov. Brewer vetoed it because she declared it was “poorly written.”  The measure would have allowed persons to carry weapons in the public rights of way going through college campuses, but the governor said the bill never defines what those “public rights of way” are.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Exclusive: I Was Born in Hawaii and I Don’t 'Have Horns'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama didn't shy away from commenting on Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican field and the "birther" backing behind his ascent when asked about it in an exclusive interview with ABC News Thursday.

He grabbed at the chance with a big smile, saying he thinks the whole issue will be a problem for Republicans.

“I think that over the last two-and-a-half years there's been an effort to go at me in a way that is politically expedient in the short-term for Republicans.  But [it] creates, I think a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the president was born where he says he was, in Hawaii.  He -- he doesn't have horns…we're not really worrying about conspiracy theories or -- or birth certificates,” President Obama told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Obama appeared to be on the same page as Karl Rove who thinks the “birther” controversy is hurting the GOP.

“The truth of the matter is that I think that the vast majority of Americans across the country -- Democratic or Republican -- really want this election to be about growing the economy, getting control of the deficit, preparing the future for our kids.  And my suspicion is that anybody who is not addressing those questions…Is going to be in trouble.  I think they may get a quick pop in the news.  They may get a lot of attention.  But ultimately, the American people understand this is a serious, sober time,” Obama said.

And as the interview wound down, the president got ready to head to his hometown of Chicago for the first fundraising rallies of his last campaign.

“I think the 2012 election is going to be important.  I said in my speech [Wednesday] that we are -- there -- there's clarity that is emerging about where we go as a country.  We are at a -- at a fork in the road here,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Sends Investigators in Search of Obama's Birth Certificate

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Determined to prove that President Obama wasn't born in the United States, Donald Trump said Thursday that he has sent investigators to Hawaii to dig up evidence that the president is lying about being born there.

The Celebrity Apprentice host, who's toying with the idea of seeking the GOP presidential nomination, has raised a stir by adding his voice to the those in the so-called "birther" movement who believe Obama was born outside the U.S., and therefore, is ineligible to be commander in chief.

Trump told NBC's Today show Thursday, "I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they're finding."

While Hawaii officials have certified that Obama is a native-born citizen, Trump mused, "His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya, and she was there and witnessed the birth.  He doesn't have a birth certificate or he hasn't shown it.  He has what's called a certificate of live birth.  That is something that's easy to get."

The real estate mogul claims the president has spent $2 million in legal fees to cover up the truth.  Still, Trump says he hopes that Obama can produce an authentic birth certificate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bill Clinton: 'Birther' Doubts About Obama's Citizenship 'Ludicrous'

ABC News(SAN DIEGO) -- Continuing outcry by "birthers" -- a small but vocal movement which questions whether President Barack Obama was actually born on U.S. soil -- could possibly end up hurting the Republican party, former President Bill Clinton said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

A recent poll indicates that 51 percent of Republicans who will vote in the 2012 presidential elections don't believe Obama was born in the United States.  Obama -- who announced his re-election campaign Monday -- so far has done little to fight back against the erroneous claims, but Clinton thinks that will change.

"I think he will fight back," the former president said, "but I think one of the elementary rules of combat is you don't want to get in your opponent's way if he's shooting himself in the foot ...."

He pointed out that "a very different America" tended to show up to a presidential election than to a Congressional one.

"The economy will be better," he said, speaking of the next presidential election.  "If I were them, I'd be really careful riding that birther horse too much.  Everyone knows it's ludicrous."

The former president was speaking in an exclusive interview with ABC News Sunday in San Diego, where he was for his annual Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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