Gibbs: Birth Certificate Controversy is “Made-Up Fictional Nonsense”

Whether by Snopes, Politifact, or, those in the business of gauging the truth have definitively stated that President Obama was born in the U.S., in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.

The campaign last year provided a copy of his certificate of live birth, as issued by the state of Hawaii.

Last October, Hawaii state health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued a statement: "There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record. Therefore I, as director of health for the state of Hawaii, along with the registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”

Both of Honolulu’s major newspapers, the Advertiser and the Star Bulletin have provided, from their archives, birth announcements from that week: “Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, son, Aug. 4."

And yet, for whatever reason, some persist in believing that the President, despite all evidence to the contrary, was born outside the U.S.

Today at the White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked by liberal talk radio host Bill Press if there was anything he could say to make the “birthers” go away.

"No," he said. "The God’s honest truth is no."

Gibbs said he almost hesitated to even bring it up in the “august” setting of the White House press room, and then decried the "made-up fictional nonsense of whether or not the president was born in this country."

"If I had some DNA it wouldn't assuage those who don’t believe he was born here," Gibbs said, talking about how he posted the president's birth certificate on-line last year to make the story go away, to no avail. “The President was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth.”

Gibbs said there were 10,000 more important issues than to be debating a the president’s citizenship, “which has been proven ad nauseam.”

Why does it keep coming up? Gibbs was asked.

"Because for $15 you can get an internet address and say whatever you want," Gibbs said.

And yet this is a story that persists – aided in no small way, White House officials say, by Republican members of Congress who have introduced legislation to require future presidential candidates to present copies of their birth certificates “to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications.”

“What you’re doing is appeasing the nutcases,” Chris Matthews said to Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., one of the legislators in question. “You’re verifying the paranoia out there.” He held up the copy of the birth certificate provided last year by the Obama campaign and told Campbell to “mail this birth certificate to the wacko wing of your party.” Asked about the birthers, Liz Cheney on CNN last week tried to explain the sentiment, saying, “one of the reasons you see people so concerned about this is people are uncomfortable” to have a “President so reluctant to defend the nation overseas.” People are “uncomfortable with an American president who seems afraid to defend America.”

James Carville said Cheney “refuses to say this is ludicrous because she actually wants to encourage these people to believe this.” Other Republican congressmen clearly find it a nuisance. Here’s Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., trying to talk to Sussex County citizens about health care reform. Conservative talk radio host Michael Medved today told NPR’s On Point that “conservatives need to speak out against it and be clear and not play games like Liz Cheney was doing. It is a fringe movement which is now poisoning and threatening the Republican Party."

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If nothing else, the issue has provided fodder for The Daily Show:

…but to many in the White House it’s no joking matter.


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