Another U.S. lawmaker has questioned the authenticity of President Obama’s purported birth certificate, asking, “Is it legitimate?”

At a Feb. 25 townhall meeting with Rep. Clifford Stearns, R-Fla., in Belleview, Fla., an elderly constituent expressed concern about Obama’s natural-born citizenship status because his father was Kenyan.

When the man suggested impeaching Obama, Stearns told the crowd:

“All I can tell you is that the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. The question is, is it legitimate? That’s where we stand now. I’ve seen a copy of it on television of the birth certificate. But, you know, the governor of Hawaii couldn’t get what he felt was an original of the birth certificate. He tried to do it and gave up on it. So I think what Obama’s showing is a facsimile, but I think that debate probably is not enough, shall we say, enough just to impeach him. We’re going to have an election in five or six months, so we can change the course of history by electing someone other than Obama. So that’s what elections are all about. If we started impeachment this time of year it’d be very difficult in terms of time and strength.”

(Scroll down to see a video of Stearns’ comments.)

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According to the New York Times, Democrats and liberal pundits criticized Stearns’ comments as a desperate effort to win over conservative Republican voters who question Obama’s eligibility status.

Stearns “seems to subscribe to the most right-wing discredited conspiracy theories out there,” said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “What’s next for Cliff Stearns, an investigation into whether the moon landing happened on a sound stage in Los Angeles?”

Likewise, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir suggested it is the responsibility of Republican leaders such as John Boehner and Eric Cantor to “discipline” GOP lawmakers who make such assertions about Obama’s eligibility for office.

Blaze contributor S.E. Cupp replied, “I don’t think that’s within his purview. No, I don’t think that’s their job. Where was the president when Alan Grayson spoke out? I mean, these guys speak out and say stupid things all the time. It’s not the job of Speaker Boehner or Eric Cantor to reign them in. It’s up to voters to decide whether they want to re-elect those guys or not.”

Bashir suggested that the eligibility issue is “serious” because “people are repeatedly insulting this president.”

Cupp interrupted him, calling the issue “ridiculous” and saying “‘birthers’ make conservatives look bad.”

However, panelist Julian Epstein disagreed with Cupp, arguing that Republicans have a responsibility to condemn those who question Obama’s qualifications for office: “I think the point here is that, when large members of one party say things that are very, very offensive, it is incumbent on the leadership of the party to either say that they disavow it or they agree with it, and silence, I think, just doesn’t cut it.”

Cupp cut in: “But this isn’t large numbers, Julian. That’s not true.”

Epstein replied: “This has been huge numbers inside the Republican Party who have questioned the birth certificate legitimacy of the president. You’re wrong about that. It’s been huge numbers.”

He later added, “What I’m talking about is a consistent message coming out of the Republican Party, whether it’s the candidates or whether it’s leading members of Congress that say things that either the president isn’t somehow legitimate or making repeated statements that offend women, offend African-Americans, offend Hispanics. … the Republican leadership continues to stay silent, won’t do the right thing … and stand up to the Republicans and say, ‘What you just said is wrong.'”

A video of Stearns’ comments posted by the left-leaning political blog Think Progress can be seen below:

WND has compiled a list of dozens of statements, questions and videos of the many other high-profile personalities and leaders who have raised questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility to occupy the Oval Office.

Read the complete findings of Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse investigation, which spent six months investigating Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president. Get “A Question of Eligibility,” co-authored by Jerome Corsi and Mike Zullo.

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