On stage with the top tier of GOP presidential contenders is an 800-pound gorilla that nobody wants even to acknowledge.

But as candidates prepared for tonight’s CNN-Tea Party GOP debate in Tampa, Fla., it was the star of the show as a plane soared overhead trailing a banner demanding, “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?”

Aerial banner over Tampa

The question was being posed by WND.com, which has posted billboards around the country for months now asking about Barack Obama’s birth documentation – and his resulting eligibility under the U.S. Constitution to occupy the Oval Office.

Just weeks earlier, a billboard went up in Des Moines, Iowa, questioning the very legitimacy of the current occupant of the White House even as Iowa GOP members converged on the college city of Ames to cast straw poll ballots.

The aerial billboard tonight was part of a new campaign organized by WND Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah to draw attention to Obama’s constitutional eligibility problems.

It immediately got the attention of the Miami Herald, which wrote, “Jobs, schmobs.
The WorldNetDaily website, which hypes the Obama-is-not-a-US-citizen line, is flying a banner around the site of the CNN Republican presidential debate to keep the story alive: Where is the real birth certificate?”

Billboard asking “Where’s the REAL Birth Certiifcate” located next to the Southridge Mall in Des Moines, Iowa, at the intersection of 14th Street and Army Post Road

The flight departed from Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg about 5 p.m. and was scheduled to be aloft for several hours over the booked-to-capacity region of hotels, commuters and debate events at the Florida Fairgrounds in Tampa as well as in St. Petersburg and other nearby areas.

It was CNN that suggested in its report today that there would be several major points for which to watch as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and others sparred onstage.

CNN said the event could turn into Round 2 of the Perry-Romney slugfest, launched last week when the two presumed frontrunners attacked each other.

Aerial banner over Tampa

Support the “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?” billboard campaign with your financial support.

“Since then, both candidates have swung at each other through e-mail releases and on social media. In a radio interview, Romney went a step further than he did onstage, saying, ‘If we nominate someone who the Democrats can correctly characterize as being opposed to Social Security, we would be obliterated as a party,'” CNN reported.

Another question was whether Bachman would target Perry, after making major waves early in the race before Perry joined. Third was about whether former Ambassador Jon Huntsman could build any momentum, fourth was what would happen with Herman Cain and fifth was “Who else will come out swinging?”

Aerial banner over Tampa

The flying banner question was available to audiences as far as Clearwater Beach, organizers said.

“Countless document experts have now made the persuasive case that the birth certificate released by Obama is fraudulent – a case that has been well-chronicled in WND,” said Farah. “No other media outlet has bothered to examine the document or question its authenticity. Neither have they found any experts willing to suggest the birth certificate is valid. That’s why I am taking this case directly to the American people,” he said.

Farah launched the famous “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” billboard campaign in May of 2009. At the time, only a very small percentage of Americans were even aware of the eligibility questions surrounding Obama. More than 90 billboards were placed nationwide throughout the course of the campaign. Within six months of its launch, polls showed most Americans were aware of the controversy. Six months later, most Americans doubted Obama’s eligibility.

In April of this year, when Jerome Corsi’s book of the same title – “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” – hit No. 1 on the Amazon best-seller’s list, the White House realized it could no longer stonewall the issue. One week later, the so-called “long-form birth certificate” was posted on the White House website. Media outlets quickly accepted the document as genuine without examination, analysis or question. But WND has since produced a shocking series of reports that point in the direction of fabrication.

“I promised a long time ago that this issue would follow Obama through the 2012 campaign,” said Farah. “This is the realization of that promise.”

The reference to the 800-pound gorilla came from a woman attending a meeting with U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren. She asked when “are we going to address the 800-pound gorilla in the room that everything this man in the office does is illegal?”

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