ABC News' Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller report:
The White House Thursday morning expressed exasperation with news that a poll of indicating that only 53% of Virginians in a recent poll were sure that President Obama was born in the U.S.
“You couldn’t sell this script in Hollywood,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters of the conspiracy theorists, called birthers.
“Tell me if you’ve heard one that’s this totally crazy,” Gibbs said. “A pregnant woman leaves her home to go overseas to have a child -- who there’s not a passport for -- so is in cahoots with someone…to smuggle that child, that previously doesn’t exist on a government roll somewhere back into the country and has the amazing foresight to place birth announcements in the Hawaii newspapers? All while this is transpiring in cahoots with those in the border, all so some kid named Barack Obama could run for President 46 and a half years later. You couldn’t sell that to the WB.”
Being born in the US is a Constitutional requirement for the presidency. But in a phone survey of Virginians, Public Policy Polling asked “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States?”
Fifty-three percent of those responding pressed “1,” indicating “Yes.” Twenty-four percent pressed “2,” indicating “No,” while another 24% pressed “3,” indicating they weren’t sure.
Phone surveys are not considered reliable by many respected pollsters.
“I’ve said this before: If I had DNA I’m entirely sure that a sizeable number of people would not believe it,” Gibbs said. “ They’ve seen the birth certificate – it’s on the internet . It’s been there for a year and half.”
Gibbs pointed out that officials of Hawaii have said the president was born in that state and there were contemporaneous birth announcements in both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin in 1961.
Last month Gibbs called questions about the president’s birth certificate “made-up fictional nonsense” as a host of mainstream Republican figures and commentators began to feed birther hysteria.
The Democratic National Committee this week sought to discredit protestors opposed to President Obama’s health care reform push by painting them as a birther mob.
-Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller