The chief elections officer in the state of Arizona, who ignited a firestorm of outraged Democrat reaction when he answered a hypothetical question regarding Barack Obama and the 2012 presidential election ballot, has told a meeting of Republicans that he believes Obama might have lied about his birth being in Kenya in order to gain status in the American college system.
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett recently addressed a meeting of state Republicans and discussed the heat that was generated when he responded to a hypothetical question that Obama could be kept off the 2012 election ballot if his claim of a birth in Hawaii could not be verified.
He joked about touching the "third rail" with the comment.
Bennett formally inquired of Hawaii for verification of Obama's birth records there, and when he received a statement from state officials announced his inquiry was closed.
In the address, he said he believes Obama was born in Hawaii, but suggested that all is not truthful and straightforward in the Obama camp.
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"I actually think he was fibbing about being born in Kenya when he was trying to get into college," Bennett said.
Obama entered higher education in the U.S. at Occidental College. He later was at Columbia and Harvard. It was the Occidental records that were subpoenaed during one of the multitude of court challenges to his occupancy of the Oval Office, and Obama promptly dispatched his attorneys to shut down the effort to see his documentation.
At issue is his status as a "natural born citizen" as required by the U.S. Constitution. Some allege he wasn't born in Hawaii as he says, so he wouldn't hold that special status. Others allege it makes no difference, as the Founders would have required two citizen parents for their offspring to be a "natural born citizen" and Obama's father was never more than a Kenyan student studying in America.
There are numerous challenges that have developed now trying to keep Obama's name off the 2012 presidential election ballot on the grounds that he is not, in fact qualified as a "natural born citizen."
Bennett said in his opinion the case is "closed" but he realizes other people remain skeptical.
"As to whether the president was born in Hawaii, personally I believe he was," he said. "I actually think he was fibbing about being born in Kenya when he was trying to get into college."
He noted "weird stuff" that happened back in those days, including a biography by a potential book publisher that specifically cited Obama's Kenyan birth.
See the speech, from SamuelAdams1772 via BirtherReport.com:
"I think he has spent $1.5 to $2 million through attorneys to have all the college records and all that stuff sealed," Bennett said. "So if you're spending money to seal something, that's probably where the hanky panky was going on."
WND actually documented that Obama spent some $1.7 million to his top eligibility lawyer, but that primarily was for fighting efforts to pry loose information about his birth documentation, not just his college records.
Bennett said, "If you're sending attorneys out to Hawaii to get a copy of the certificate and post it on the website… I actually think he was born in Hawaii."
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Cold Case Posse has reached a different conclusion on the certificate. That investigative unit announced in March that there was probable cause to believe the birth certificate image was a forgery.
Bennett brought up the issue by encouraging Republicans to vote for Mitt Romney and send Obama back home, "wherever home is."
He blamed reporting by WND for the heat that was applied while he was trying to get information from Hawaii regarding Obama's birth.
"Right about in that period of time, [my] email chain got sent around the country, picked up at WorldNetDaily," he said.
He blamed himself, too, because he answered that Obama's name might be left off the ballot should the documentation not be provided.
"My probable mistake was answering a hypothetical question," he said.
When Bennett got a "verification" from the state of Hawaii in lieu of an actual birth document, Arpaio said he was not impressed.
He said he wanted to see the proof himself.
Arpaio appeared on "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on New York's WABC Radio to talk, in part, about a letter sent from the Hawaii Department of Health to Bennett affirming Obama's birth in the island state.
As WND reported, after more than eight weeks of pressing for answers, Bennett received verification from Hawaii of Obama's American birth, which Bennett says satisfies Arizona's requirements for placing Obama on the 2012 presidential ballot.
So if Bennett is satisfied by the letter, Klein asked, does it satisfy Arpaio?
"That doesn't impress me," Arpaio responded. "Why doesn't [Bennett] ask for the birth certificate? The microfilm, look at the originals to see if it exists? … Just saying that there is some information about the president's background doesn't impress me."
The sheriff's Cold Case Posse has already concluded there is probable cause that the Obama birth document presented by the White House and Obama's Selective Service registration are forgeries.
"I just said from day one," Arpaio replied, "I wanted to clear the president. I'm not accusing him of any crime; I just want to see the microfilm. We have two twins on the microfilm around the time the president was born. So let's see the microfilm, let's see the original copy of the birth certificate, then we'll put this to rest."
"I don't know why it's a big secret," Arpaio continued. "Why is just a letter coming out and saying, 'Yes, we say that he was born there'? Show us the proof."