Nearly half the members of the Arizona House of Representatives already have signed on in support of a measure that would require presidential candidates to document their constitutional eligibility for the office in 2012, but Barack Obama apparently isn’t paying any attention.
A question about Obama’s eligibility was raised at today’s White House news briefing, and as before, spokesman Robert Gibbs turned it into a joke.
But 40 of the 90 members of the Arizona House are co-sponsors of the plan, HB 2441, and it already has been approved at the committee level. Such a requirement by a single state could impact an election nationwide, since that state’s decision to allow a candidate on – or keep him off – a state ballot certainly would draw attention from coast to coast.
WND reported last month when a legislative committee voted 6-1 on a plan by Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley, and advanced it to the full House.
The question at the White House briefing today was posed by Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House.
“What was the president’s reaction to the [reports] that nearly one half of the state of Arizona’s state legislators already support a bill to require that all presidential candidates who want to be on the ballot in 2012 submit documents proving they meet the requirements to be president?” he asked.
“I do not know if he saw that article,” said Gibbs.
“Did you see it?”
“I did not,” said Gibbs. “But I’m…”
“It’s there,” Kinsolving said.
“Lester, I’m the guy – I’m the guy that said, put the president’s birth certificate on the Internet two years ago,” Gibbs joked, to which Kinsolving asked, “No hospital, no doctor.”
He was referring to the fact that the “Certification of Live Birth” posted by the Obama campaign before he was elected, and given to selected outlets, is a computer-generated short-form certificate that does not prove the president was born in Hawaii as he claims.
Under Hawaiian law at the time, such documentation could have been issued based on the uncorroborated word of a family member.
“Yes, I know, I know,” continued Gibbs.
Another reporter then followed up, with, “Why did you go there?”
“For the crazy idea that … for the crazy idea that somebody might actually look at the birth certificate under the rubric of transparency and come to the conclusion that the state of Hawaii came [to], that the president was indeed born in the state of – say it with me, Lester – Hawaii,” Gibbs joked.
In fact, Arizona lawmakers are serious about their plan, as are lawmakers in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, New Hampshire and South Carolina, who also have some sort of legislative eligibility challenge under consideration in their states.
As WND has reported, Gibbs previously has either joked about such questions or simply deflected them.
In January, Kinsolving asked, following Obama’s holiday vacation in Hawaii, “While he was in Hawaii, did the president visit the hospital where he was reportedly born, which is which one?”
“I don’t believe I saw any pool reports of hospital visits,” was Gibbs’ answer.
“I can’t tell you why somebody believes, despite all preponderance of the evidence, that the president was born … uhm … in … uhh, uhh … was born here and not somewhere else. I’ve stopped trying to explain that,” Gibbs said.
The response, in which he apparently meant, “I can’t tell you why somebody believes that the president was born somewhere else and not here,” came to a question about Obama’s promises, and the lack of follow-through, to get beyond a partisan atmosphere in Washington.
Gibbs earlier said questions about Obama’s eligibility to be president simply won’t go away, even though he contends there are 10,000 things “more important” for Americans to worry about.
Gibbs appeared exasperated by the issue, even when it was raised by left-leaning pundit Bill Press, who phrased his interest this way: “Robert, I hate to bring this up but somebody has to … Is there anything you can say that will make the birthers go away?”
“No,” said Gibbs. “I mean, the God’s honest truth is no. I mean, Bill, let’s understand this – and I almost hate to indulge in such an august setting as the White House – and I mean this in seriousness – the White House briefing room discussing the made-up, fictional nonsense of whether or not the president was born in this country.
“Here’s the deal, Bill. If I had some DNA, it wouldn’t assuage those that don’t believe he was born here. But I have news for them and for all of us: The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth. He’s a citizen,” Gibbs said at that time.
“Are you looking for the president’s birth certificate?” Gibbs asked incredulously after the issue was raised by Kinsolving. “Lester, this question in many ways continues to astound me. The state of Hawaii provided a copy with the seal of the president’s birth. I know there are apparently at least 400,000 people … that continue to doubt the existence of and the certification by the state of Hawaii of the president’s birth there, but it’s on the Internet
because we put it on the Internet for each of those 400,000 to download. I certainly hope by the fourth year of our administration that we’ll have dealt with this burgeoning birth controversy.”
Kinsolving had asked, “Thank you, thank you, very much. Just one question concerning what the president said in his speech on Thursday, and I quote, ‘I ran for president promising transparency, and I meant what I said. This is why, whenever possible, we will make information available to the American people so they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable.’ End of quote. Do you remember that statement?”
Gibbs: “I can confirm that he said that.”
Kinsolving: “Good. In consideration of this very good promise of transparency, why can’t the president respond to the petition to requests of 400,000 American citizens by releasing a certified copy of his long-form birth certificate listing hospital – (laughter) – 400,000. …”
Gibbs: “Are you looking for the president’s birth certificate?”
Gibbs: “It’s on the Internet, Lester.”
Kinsolving: “No, no, no — the long form listing his hospital and physician.” (Laughter.)
has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s
status as a “natural born citizen” – challenges that all have been confronted by attorneys acting on the president’s behalf to keep his records sealed.
The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1,
states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United
States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to
the Office of President.”
Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually
born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s
American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to
confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship
through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom
at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the
framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural
Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend an estimated sum approaching $1.7 million to avoid releasing a
state birth certificate that would put to rest all of the questions.
The key question in the dispute also is being raised on billboards nationwide.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard in
The billboard campaign follows an ongoing petition
campaign launched several months ago by WND Editor and Chief Executive
Officer Joseph Farah.
They are intended to raise public awareness of the fact
that Obama has never released the standard “long-form” birth certificate that
would show which hospital he was born in, the attending physician and establish
that he truly was born in Hawaii, as his autobiography maintains.