The press secretary for Barack Obama, who first laughed at a question about the president's constitutional eligibility and later said there are 10,000 things more important, now is stumbling over the explanation.
"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," Robert Gibbs said in a recent news briefing.
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.
The subject was the confrontational town hall meetings at which members of Congress are being blasted by their constituents for pursuing a nationalized health care program.
TRENDING: Tulsi Gabbard: An enigma with options
"If you look at the protests that we saw outside of the building yesterday as a kind of continuum, from the tea parties, then the controversy over the birth certificate, then some of the anger from the Gates-Crowley episode, you look back at that…." came a comment from the press corps.
Gibbs said he hadn't seen a "representative sample" to comment
Then from the press corps came the following question: "This is a president who campaigned on the notion that we could get beyond the ugly partisan warfare of the last 16 years and there could be rational discussions that could bring parties together. I wonder what happened to that. Why did the post-partisan presidency not materialize?"
Gibbs responded with a comment about town halls.
"I don't know if you were outside or inside. I think there was a rational discussion of issues not based on ideology or party inside the town hall meeting," Gibbs said.
Then he continued: "It's not for me… 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.
"I did see a poll yesterday where 8 percent of the people said they didn't know if Hawaii was … or weren't sure if Hawaii was a state," he continued.
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.
"A year-and-a-half ago I asked that the birth certificate be put on the Internet because lord knows, you got a birth certificate and you put it on the Internet, what else could be the story?" Gibbs continued.
"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.
Gibbs previously had refused to confirm the authenticity of a letter purportedly from Obama that claimed Hawaii's Kapi'olani hospital as his birth location
"Do all of your listeners and the listeners throughout this country the service to which any journalist owes those listeners, and that is the pursuit of the noble truth," Gibbs lectured Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House. "And the noble truth is that the president was born in Hawaii, a state of the United States of America."
All of this matters because President Obama has still not provided simple, incontrovertible proof of his exact birthplace. That information would be included on his long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate which Obama has steadfastly refused to release amid a flurry of conflicting reports.
He has only proffered a "Certification of Live Birth" to assert he was born in Hawaii, but many people remain unaware a child does not even have to be born in Hawaii to
receive a COLB. Hawaiian
law specifically allows "an adult or the legal parents of a minor child" to
apply to the health department and, upon unspecified proof, be given the birth
Nor is Obama's birth certificate the only document at issue. WND has
reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes
kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College
records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law
School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the
University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his
years as an Illinois state senator, Illinois State Bar Association records,
any baptism records, and his adoption records.
The first time Kinsolving posed the question, Gibbs' response was to guffaw in unison with members of the Washington press corps about the concerns of 450,000 petitioners who have demanded it.
"Are you looking for the president's birth certificate?" he asked incredulously. "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 – (laughter) – 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."
WND 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 $1.4 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.