So if President Barack Obama has never released his original birth certificate and, as Donald Trump has recently proved, this fact bothers many voters, why doesn’t the White House press corps just ask to see it?
As it turns out, a few reporters have asked to see the document over the years. None has gotten very far.
“In consideration of this very good promise of transparency,” began World Net Daily’s Lester Kinsolving during a May 2009 White House briefing, “why can’t the president respond to the petition to requests of 400,000 American citizens by releasing a certified copy of his long-form birth certificate, listing hospital?”
Robert Gibbs, then Obama’s press secretary, cut him off. “Are you looking for the President’s birth certificate?” he replied acidly. “It’s on the Internet, Lester.”
Laughter erupted in the briefing room, but Kinsolving pushed on: “No, no, no. The long form listing his hospital and physician.”
Gibbs responded this way: “The state of Hawaii provided a copy of with the seal of the president’s birth,” Gibbs said. “I know there are apparently at least 400,000 people that continue to doubt the existence of and the certification by the state of Hawaii of the president’s birth there, but it’s on the Internet because we put it on the Internet for each of those 400,000 to download. I certainly hope by the fourth year of our administration that we’ll have dealt with this burgeoning birth controversy.”
Kinsolving remained unappeased. Two months later, he asked Gibbs to verify the authenticity of a letter from Obama stating he was born at Honolulu’s Kapi’olani Medical Center, a fact the hospital itself refuses to confirm. “I don’t have the letter at my fingertips, obviously, and I don’t know the name of the exact hospital,” Gibbs responded. “Lester, the next time you ask me a question I’m going to ask you what reporting you’ve done to demonstrate to your listeners the truth, the certificate, the state, so that they can look to you for that momentous search for the truth, and you can wipe away all the dark clouds and provide them with the knowing clarity that comes with that certainty.”
The next month, liberal radio host Bill Press asked Gibbs a different version of the same question: “Is there anything you can say that will make the birthers go away?” Gibbs responded that there wasn’t. “I almost hate to indulge in such an august setting as the White House – and I mean this in seriousness – the White House briefing room discussing the made-up, fictional nonsense of whether or not the President was born in this country,” Gibbs said. “A year-and-a-half ago I asked that the birth certificate be put on the Internet because lord knows, you got a birth certificate and you put it on the Internet, what else could be the story? Here’s the deal, Bill. If I had some DNA, it wouldn’t assuage those that don’t believe he was born here. But I have news for them and for all of us: The President was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth. He’s a citizen.”
Helen Thomas, who was later fired from her job as a columnist for anti-Semitic remarks, interjected to ask why the birth certificate question kept coming up. “Because for $15,” Gibbs replied, “you can get an Internet address and say whatever you want.”
The following year, in October of 2010, Jake Tapper of ABC News asked Obama adviser David Axelrod about the administration’s attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, said Axelrod, needs to “disclose the source of the $75 million that they are spending in campaigns.” To which Tapper replied: “Isn’t that like the whackjobs that tell the president he needs to show them his full long-form birth certificate so he can put to rest the questions that have been raised?”
When Axelrod responded that Obama’s birth certificate has been made available, Tapper asked about the original, long-form version. Axelrod dodged the question.