Obama releases long-form birth certificate

April 27, 2011 at 10:18 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- President Obama released his long-form birth certificate Wednesday, saying it was time for the country to focus on huge issues and not "silliness."

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Obama said. "We've got better stuff to do. I've got better stuff to do. We got big problems to solve, and I'm confident we can solve them, but we're gonna have to focus on them, not on this."

In a blog posted on WhiteHouse.gov, White House Communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote: "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."

A vocal group of Americans questioned whether Obama was a U.S. citizen and called the certificate of live birth inadequate proof he was born in the United States. The certificate of live birth, which the Obama presidential campaign made public in 2008, is recognized in Hawaii and other states as valid documentation for proof of birth.

"I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest," Obama said.

Because the issue of Obama's place of birth had become such an issue, Pfeiffer said the president asked the Hawaii State Health Department to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate, instead of the certificate of live birth that it usually issues.

U.S. business mogul Donald Trump, who's mulling a presidential bid as a Republican candidate, has questioned Obama's place of birth and wondered whether the president was hiding something by not releasing the long-form birth certificate. Lawmakers in several states have introduced several so-called "birther" bills that would require a presidential candidate to offer proof of being born in the United States. Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed such a bill.

Trump took credit for forcing Obama's hand, CNN said.

"Today I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished something" others failed to do," Trump said in a visit to New Hampshire. "Our president has finally released a birth certificate."

Obama said he wouldn't normally comment on such an issue but "there's a lot of stuff swirling in the press at any given day and, you know, I've got other things to do."

"But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week, the dominant news story wasn't about these huge, monumental choices that we're gonna have to make as a nation, it was about my birth certificate."

He said he was confident political leaders would come together in a bipartisan way to address the issues facing the United States, but "we're not going be able to do it if we are distracted. We're not going be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other."

"We're not going be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts," Obama said. "We're not going be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers."

The uploaded certificate can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf.

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