Despite egging on by NBC, Boehner won’t slam birthers

By Joe Kovacs

Despite intense egging on by NBC newsman David Gregory, House Speaker John Boehner refused today to attack people who have doubts about Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency.

Gregory was pressing the Ohio Republican about a recent focus group of Iowa voters on “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel. Some had said they believe Obama is Muslim, and not Christian.

Gregory, host of “Meet the Press,” asked Boehner: “As the speaker of the House, as a leader, do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?”

“It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think,” Boehner responded. “Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.”

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Though the White House has claimed that Obama was born in Hawaii, a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate has never been produced showing the details of Obama’s birth, such as the name of a hospital and the attending physician.

During this past week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, freshman Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, clowned that he himself is an American citizen and that he has the birth certificate to prove it.

When Gregory asked Boehner about the appropriateness of the remark, Boehner said, “The gentleman was trying to be funny, I would imagine.”

Just last month on “Meet the Press,” Gregory also badgered House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., by asking, “This is a leadership moment here. There are elements of this country who question the president’s citizenship, who think that his birth certificate is inauthentic. Will you call that what it is, which is crazy talk?”

Cantor responded, “David I don’t think it’s nice to call anyone crazy, OK?”