Obama Releases Birth Certificate While Trump Gloats
In a move to finally quash the claims of some skeptics that he may not have been born in the U.S., President Barack Obama released the “long-form” version of his birth certificate Wednesday morning, which confirms that he was indeed born in Hawaii.
“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. “We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do.”
Donald Trump, the early Republican presidential favorite whose antics over the last couple weeks have thrown the “birther” debate back into the news cycle, said he got the news while “on his helicopter,” and promised to “check it out” and find out "if it's real." He even took credit for forcing the president’s action.
"I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue," he told reporters.
Washington Post writer Adam Serwer called the certificate’s release “an embarrassment to the country”:
Aside from being one of the most idiotic moments in American political history, this marks a level of personal humiliation no previous president has ever been asked to endure. Other presidents have been the target of crazy conspiracy theories, sure, but few have been as self-evidently absurd as birtherism.
Even prominent Republican policymakers are taking pains to distance themselves from the issue. From a spokesperson for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (via Politico):
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called this issue a sideshow. We fully agree. The White House shouldn’t engage political sideshows, particularly at a time when the challenges facing our country are so immense. Despite the excitement caused by the media circus this morning, House Republicans remain squarely focused on the things that truly matter to families and business owners throughout our country.
Obama criticized media outlets for focusing on the birther issue at a time when coverage ought to focus on more serious issues, such as the federal budget. “Normally, I wouldn’t comment on an issue like this,” he said, complaining that the birth certificate issue had become the “dominant story.”
Well, not quite the dominant story. The economy is now the subject of 39 percent of news coverage, according to the Poynter Institute, while the Obama administration received about 4 percent. On the other hand, Donald Trump was the second biggest newsmaker last week behind Obama.
Speaking of silliness, a post on Salon Wednesday called Trump out for making his own line of clothing in China while urging Americans to stop buying “crap” made there.
What's more, a piece in the Washington Post shows that the majority of Trump's political contributions have been to Democratic candidates.
Reach Ryan Faughnder here.