"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," President says of birther controversy...
Deeming questions over President Obama's place of birth as "a fake issue," the White House has at long last released his Long Form Birth Certificate, after more than three years of controversy, most recently brought to a head by New York tycoon Donald Trump.
The certificate was released in paper copies to reporters during an off-camera gaggle in the briefing room this morning, as well as in a post on the White House blog. President Obama made a short appearance in the briefing room at 9:45 AM. (Above: The Long Form Birth Certificate; inset is the President during his remarks)
"Over the last two and a half years I have watched with bemusement, I've been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going," President Obama said. "We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve."
He added that he knows "a certain segment of the American public" will continue to believe he is not a US citizen. The full transcript of his remarks and the transcript for the press briefing IS HERE. The President departed for Chicago to tape a segment of the Oprah Winfrey show immediately after his statement.
Barack Hussein Obama II was born on Friday, August 4, 1961 at 7:24 PM to Stanley Ann Dunham Obama and Barack Hussein Obama, at Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. President Obama's mother is now known as "Stanley Ann Dunham," her maiden name.
"When we should be debating how we win the future, reduce our deficit, deal with high gas prices, and bring stability to the Middle East, Washington, DC, was once again distracted by a fake issue," Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House blog. "The President’s hope is that with this step, we can move on to debating the bigger issues that matter to the American people and the future of the country."
Also posted was the President's Certificate of Live Birth, released during the campaign, which the White House had previously hoped was enough to satisfy birthers. Correspondence with the Hawaii State Department of Health was also posted on the White House blog.
Pfeiffer's full blogpost:
In 2008, in response to media inquiries, the President’s campaign requested his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. The state sent the campaign the President’s birth certificate, the same legal documentation provided to all Hawaiians as proof of birth in state, and the campaign immediately posted it on the internet. That birth certificate can be seen here (PDF).
When any citizen born in Hawaii requests their birth certificate, they receive exactly what the President received. In fact, the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state and the document recognized by the Federal Government and the courts for all legal purposes. That’s because it is the birth certificate. This is not and should not be an open question.
The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country. Therefore, the President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long form certificate and to request on that basis that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate. They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting. President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate can be seen here (PDF). Correspondence with the Hawaii State Department of Health can be seen here (PDF).
Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director