Video: Obama birth certificate—signed, sealed, delivered

  1. Closed captioning of: Obama birth certificate—signed, sealed, delivered

    >>> good evening. there are people who remember his mother when she was pregnant and living in hawaii . there are people who remember seeing him as a baby in the nursery in the hospital right after barack obama was born in hawaii on august 4th , 1961 . but because there have always been doubters demanding more and because one of them is famous and loud and named trump, today, president obama offered further proof of his american birth. the long-form birth certificate showing the particulars, and while the president acknowledged it still won't be enough for some, he told the american people today, we don't have time for this kind of silliness, as he put it. white house correspondent savannah guthrie starts us off tonight. good evening.

    >> reporter: good evening, brian. the president's personal lawyer had to get a special legal exception from hawaii to get the document and then travel physically to hawaii to retrieve it. aides say this is a side show and a fake controversy, but this was kind of creeping into the ma mainstream. today, the president decided enough was enough.

    >> yet, this thing keeps on going.

    >> frustrated that a conspiracy theory about where he was born refuses to die.

    >> yes, in fact, i was born in hawaii , august 4th , 1961 .

    >> the president tried again today to put the issue to rest.

    >> we're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.

    >> reporter: the white house today released the long form of the president's birth certificate , hoping to disspell a rumor dating back to the presidential race that mrmr. bomb ozwas born somewhere other than america. in june 20008, they posted the official birth certificate on the internet, and news clippings also surfaced showing his birth announcement in the honolulu news paper. still, some doubters said the only sufficient proof would be the long-form department kept by the hawaii department of health and by law unavailable for public release, even to obama himself.

    >> because if he's not born here, he is not president.

    >> the argument got new life when donald trump started pushing it as part of his possible presidential campaign . today, trump claimed credit for the birth certificate 's release.

    >> today, i'm very proud of myself.

    >> reporter: but said closer inspection was needed.

    >> we have to see is it real, is it proper, what's on it? but i hope it checks out beautifully.

    >> when nbc's ron allen tried three times to show the document to trump --

    >> why don't you take a look at it?

    >> reporter: he was ignored. a recent poll showed two thirds of republicans question the president's birth place, and though he's tried to laugh it off at times --

    >> i happen to know my approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth --

    >> reporter: the president has grown increasingly tired of the issue. with nbc's brian williams last year.

    >> i can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead.

    >> reporter: today, the cable tv split screen gave way to the president who played his trump card .

    >> we live in a serious time right now, and we do not have time for this kind of silliness. we have better stuff to do.

    >> reporter: at that moment, the real president sounding a lot like that hollywood one.

    >> this is a time for serious people, bob, and your 15 minutes are up. my name is andrew shepherd , and i am the president.

    >> reporter: traveling to chicago later for an appearance on oprah, the first lady weighed in.

    >> he was born here.

    >> reporter: well, i was actually given an opportunity to look at this birth certificate today. i felt the raised seal, i saw the names, the date, the place of birth. so mr. trump is saying there's a lot of revelations thanks to him, but the fact remains as it has with the short-form certificate as it has for years, the president was born in honolulu, hawaii .

Image: birth certificate
J. Scott Applewhite  /  AP
This handout image provided by the White House shows a copy of the long form of President Barack Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii. staff and news service reports
updated 4/27/2011 7:28:36 PM ET 2011-04-27T23:28:36

Responding to critics' relentless claims, President Barack Obama on Wednesday produced a detailed Hawaii birth certificate in an extraordinary attempt to bury the issue of where he was born and confirm his legitimacy to hold office. He declared, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness."

By going on national TV from the White House, Obama portrayed himself as a voice of reason amid a loud, lingering debate on his birth status. Though his personal attention to the issue elevated it as never before, Obama said to Republican detractors and the media, it is time to move on to bigger issues.

Citing huge budget decisions in Washington, Obama said, "I am confident that the American people and America's political leaders can come together in a bipartisan way and solve these problems. We always have. But we're not going to be able to do it if we are distracted."

Click here for an up-close look at the birth certificate
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Obama spoke shortly after the White House released a copy of the long form of his birth certificate, which contains more extensive data than a version released earlier.

Vote: Are you convinced of Obama's citizenship?

The certificate says Obama was born to an American mother and Kenyan father, in Hawaii, which makes him eligible to hold the office of president. Obama released a standard short form before he was elected in 2008 but requested copies of his original birth certificate from Hawaii officials this week in hopes of quieting the controversy.

Until Wednesday, the White House had insisted that the short form certificate was the appropriate legal document confirming Obama's birth and no further proof was needed.

Trump takes credit for birth certificate release

Trump takes credit
But so-called "birthers" opposed to Obama have kept the issue alive. Potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently began questioning why Obama hadn't ensured the long form was released.

From New Hampshire, Trump took credit for getting Obama to act.

Video: Putting the birther debate to rest (on this page)

"He should have done it a long time ago. I am really honored to play such a big role in hopefully, hopefully getting rid of this issue," Trump said.

Polls show large numbers of Republicans have continued to doubt Obama is a natural born citizen eligible to be president. Trump has seized on the issue as he weighs a GOP candidacy.

While Obama and White House officials avoided mentioning Trump by name, officials said they released the birth certificate partially because the issue had moved beyond fringe discussion, and Obama criticized a media culture that had not let the story go.

"This issue has been going on for two, two and a half years now. I think it started during the campaign," Obama said. "I have watched with bemusement, I've been puzzled at the degree at which this thing just kept on going."

"We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," the president said.

He did not take any questions and did not say why the document had not been released earlier.

House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman also released a statement, saying, "This has long been a settled issue."

GOP leaders distance themselves from 'birther' theory
Many Republican leaders have sought to distance themselves from the "birther" theory as a discredited notion not worthy of national public debate.

Story: Trump: I have ‘real doubts’ Obama was born in U.S.

In a statement after Obama spoke, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the issue a distraction — and yet blamed Obama for playing campaign politics by addressing it.

"The president ought to spend his time getting serious about repairing our economy," Priebus said. "Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our number one priority — our economy."

Story: Text of Obama's remarks on his birth certificate

The short form certificate Obama's campaign released in 2008 is a legally recognized document, the one Hawaii residents receive when they request proof of their birth. Anyone who wants a copy of the more detailed, long form document must submit a waiver request, and have that request approved by Hawaii's health department.

Obama submitted his waiver request last week, asking for two certified copies. His personal counsel, Judith Corley, also submitted a letter on Obama's behalf, saying the president was asking for a waiver so he could make the certificate publicly available and relieve the burden on the health department by the numerous requests it receives for records of his birth.

Hawaii's health director, Loretta Fuddy, responded with a letter of own dated April 25, approving the waiver request. Corley traveled to Hawaii to pick up the documents and carried them back to Washington on a plane. The documents arrived at the White House around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The White House has released copies of each of the letters.

The newly released certificate is signed by the delivery doctor, Obama's mother and the local registrar. His mother, then 18, signed her name (Stanley) Ann Dunham Obama.

The form says Barack Hussein Obama II was born at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital, within the city limits of Honolulu.

Story: Obamas visit Chicago to film Oprah episode

There's no mention of religion. It says his father, Barack Hussein Obama, age 25, was African and born in Kenya and his mother was Caucasian and born in Wichita, Kan. Obama's mother and the doctor signed the certificate on Aug. 7 and 8.

Hawaii's registrar certified the new photocopy of the document provided to the White House on April 25, 2011.

© 2013

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