JUPITER ISLAND, Fla. – The Republican presidential candidates appearing in last Monday’s tea-party debate in Tampa made plenty of news when it came to issues such as Social Security, job creation and Big Brother mandates, but one subject that was not brought up during the event was the constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama.
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum gets swarmed by news media following the first-ever tea-party debate in Tampa, Fla., Sept. 12, 2011 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)
Yet once the debate was over, some were willing to address the matter.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told WND, “My understanding is that issue was solved. If there’s evidence to the contrary [showing Obama is not eligible], they should bring it forth.”
The Constitution requires a president to be a “natural-born citizen,” which many legal analysts believe means being the child of two U.S. citizen parents at the time of birth.
When that was pointed out to Santorum, he responded, “I don’t think
that’s what the Constitution requires, and he (President Obama) was born
in the country, so it doesn’t matter.”
President Obama’s father was never a U.S. citizen, but rather a subject of Britain, which had control over Kenya back in 1961.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County has appointed a team of retired officers and lawyers to look into allegations that the birth certificate Obama released in April at a White House news conference may be forged.
His constituents asked for the investigation because of the damage that could be done should a 2012 candidate be placed on their election ballot based on a fraudulent document.
Businessman and presidential contender Herman Cain told WND Obama’s eligibility “should have been something that the United States Congress took up before he took office or up to this point. Now at this particular point, my focus is, ‘What do we do to get this economy going?’ If he is not eligible, that is not gonna be something that I am gonna focus my energies on because I want to get elected president to help people get jobs.
“If the United States of America didn’t do its homework and its due diligence, shame on us! I hope we don’t allow that to happen again just in case there’s something there to that.”
When asked if he personally thought Obama was constitutionally qualified to hold the office, Cain said, “I have not studied all of the information on his eligibility, so I don’t have an opinion on that. I’ve seen only some of the stories, but I have not studied all of the evidence weighing both sides in terms of his eligibility.”
Shortly before the debate commenced, a plane soared over the Florida State Fairgrounds trailing a banner demanding, “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?,” a reference to Obama’s release of what many experts believe is a fraudulent record of the president’s birth.
Aerial banner over Tampa
The Tampa debate was co-hosted by the Tea Party Express, a group which prides itself on championing adherence to the Constitution.
But its chairwoman, Amy Kremer of Atlanta, was not high on addressing the natural-born-citizen matter during this campaign.
“There are so many issues out there, and I know that there are people who are focused on that issue, [but] I think we need to focus on the next 14 months in getting a conservative candidate – a Republican conservative candidate – that can defeat Barack Obama, and that’s where I think we need to go.”