Birther Movement Picking Up Steam? Or Just Causing A Divide?

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Uploaded on April 23, 2011 by newsydotcom

BY ALANA YOUNG
ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN

You're watching multisource politics video news analysis from Newsy.

Is he Kenyan, or U.S. born? For some Americans, the answer seems obvious -- the President is clearly a U.S. citizen. But for a growing group of conservative voters, the validity of the Mr. Obama’s presidency isn’t so clear.

A recent Public Policy poll shows that only 26% of Iowa Republican voters were sure of President Obama’s U.S. citizenship.

But an even larger question emerging from the birther debate is the impact birthers will have on Republicans in 2012. Potential presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney -- are distancing themselves from the movement -- calling it distracting and dangerous. A few other Republicans have followed suit.

JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): “Barack Obama is a citizen of the country, and we ought to get off this kick. There are plenty of differences we have with the President between Republicans and Democrats than to spend time on something like this.”

KARL ROVE: “... every moment the conservatives talk about this they marginalize themselves and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters.” "...within our party we have to be very careful about allowing these people who are the birthers and the 9/11 deniers to get too high a profile and say too much without setting the record straight.”

MICHAEL STEELE: “To be rather frank about it, I think rank and file Republicans don’t give a rat’s gibblet about the birther issue.”

But leading birther advocate and potential presidential hopeful Donald Trump refuses to drop the discussion -- and tells ABC he has serious doubts about Mr. Obama’s citizenship.

STEPHANOPOULOS:“He’s got a certificate of live birth that is recognized by the State Department.”
TRUMP:George, George.”
TRUMP:“George, I know exactly what you’re getting at.”
STEPHANOPOULOS:“The facts.”
TRUMP:“George, they’ve coopted you.”
STEPHANOPOULOS:“Who’s they?”
TRUMP:“It’s not-- obviously, Obama and his minions. They have co-opted you. A certificate of live birth is not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.”

A writer for the conservative website Hot Air gets to the root of birther concerns -- if the President has nothing to hide, why won’t he release his long-form certificate?

“It’s the story that just won’t go away–and it won’t go away until Obama himself releases the long-form document... Is Obama intentionally withholding his long-form birth certificate to continue to perpetrate the notion that those who question him are crazy... What if the Birthers are right?”

But others say these claims are ridiculous -- the certificate of live birth is sufficient to establish candidacy.

And on Good Morning America, GOP Representative Michele Bachmann conceded the discussion should be over -- though just days after asking for proof herself.

And with Republican Governor Jan Brewer’s recent veto of “birther” legislation in Arizona, it seems unclear where GOP leadership stands on the issue. In an interview with CNN, one government expert says the birther bandwagon will only give short-term success to its leading advocates.

"It seems clear that those who question Obama's birthplace represent a fringe element in the Republican Party. There's some evidence that someone who runs on the 'birther' issue can do well in the primary, but there's no evidence that they can win in a national election."

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Tags:
Barack Obama, Birther, Birth Certificate, Movement, Citizen, Citizenship, Conservative, Voters, Donald Trump, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, State Department, Republican Party, Elections, News, Multisource, Video News, Political News, News & Events
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