After years of ignoring demands that he release his full birth certificate, and steadfast goading from Donald Trump and others, President Barack Obama has finally presented the official document, saying he has “better stuff to do” than deal with the controversy.
The White House posted the birth certificate on the Internet before Obama spoke to reporters on Wednesday morning.
“We provided additional information today about the site of my birth,” Obama said.
“This issue has been going on now for two, two and a half years now, and I have to say that over the past two and a half years I have watched with amusement, I have been puzzled by the degree to which this thing kept on going.
“Every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this, has confirmed that yes, in fact I was born in Hawaii in 1961 at Kapiolani Hospital.
“We posted the certificate that is given by the state of Hawaii on the Internet for everybody to see. People have provided affidavits that they have seen this birth certificate, and yet this thing just keeps on going.”
Obama explained why he had finally made the decision to release his full birth certificate.
“Normally I would not comment on something like this because there’s a lot of stuff swirling in the press on any given day, and I’ve got other things to do.
“But two weeks ago the Republican House put forward a budget that would have huge consequences for the country, and I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt we needed to invest in education and infrastructure, making sure we have a strong safety net for our seniors.
“During that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge monumental choices, but about my birth certificate.
“I just want to make a larger point here. We’ve got some enormous challenges out there. There are a lot of folks who are still looking for work. Everybody is still suffering under high gas prices. We’re going to have to make a series of very difficult decisions about how we invest in our future, but also get a hold of our deficit and our debt.
“This is going to generate huge debates and there are going to be fierce disagreements. I am confident that American people and America’s political leaders can come together and solve these problems.
“But we’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We are not going to be able to do it if we vilify each other.”
Then in an apparent reference to Donald Trump and the so-called “birthers,” Obama declared: “We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers.
“I have every confidence that America in the 21st century is going to come out on top, but we’re going to have to get serious to do it.
“I know there’s going to be a segment of people who, no matter what we put up, this issue will not be put to rest. But I’m speaking to the vast majority of the American people. We do not have time for this kind of story. I’ve got better stuff to do.”
On Sunday, Rev. Franklin Graham added his voice to those who have been calling for Obama to release his full birth certificate, saying: "He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly."
But the release of the president’s birth certificate is not likely to silence critics who have called on Obama to release other official documents. The critics — many of whom never bought into birther claims that he was born outside the U.S. — still note a pattern of secrecy surrounding much of Obama’s life before he entered politics.
They note that Obama has never unveiled many key documents that presidential candidates release to the press and public.
• During the presidential campaign, Obama released just one brief document detailing his personal health, while GOP opponent John McCain released what he said was his complete medical file totaling more than 1,500 pages. The Obama campaign eventually released some routine lab-test results and electrocardiograms for Obama.
• Obama refused to offer his official papers as a state legislator in Illinois and did not produce correspondence, such as letters from lobbyists and other information, from his days in the Illinois State Senate.
• Obama did not release his client list as an attorney or his billing records.
• Obama declined to release his college records from Occidental College, where he studied for two years before transferring to Columbia University.
• Obama’s campaign refused to give Columbia University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in political science, permission to release his transcripts. Such transcripts would list the courses Obama took, and his grades.
• Obama’s college dissertation, reportedly titled “Soviet Nuclear Disarmament,” has disappeared from Columbia’s archives.
• Obama did not agree to the release of his application to the Illinois state bar, which would clear up intermittent allegations that his application to the bar may have been inaccurate.
• Obama has not released records from his time at Harvard Law School.
Ironically, during his campaign for president, Obama promised he would make his White House “the most open and transparent administration in history.”
The image the White House released:
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