Sen. Richard Shelby has revisited an earlier controversy by suggesting that Barack Obama is foreign-born and not eligible to be president.
The Alabama Republican met with constituents in Cullman County on Saturday, mainly to discuss the economic stimulus bill, which he opposed.
But a local resident asked Shelby if there is any truth to allegations that arose during the presidential campaign concerning Obama’s place of birth, the Cullman Times reported.
“Well, his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate,” Shelby said.
“You have to be born in America to be president.”
Shelby is correct in stating that Obama has not released his birth certificate. Instead, Obama’s campaign released his certification of live birth — not his actual birth certificate. The certification acknowledges birth but does not include such details as place of birth.
State officials in Hawaii sought to stem the controversy during the campaign, claiming that they had checked health department records and determined that Obama was in fact born in Hawaii.
Also, Factcheck.org reproduced an announcement of Obama’s birth that was published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Aug. 13, 1961, nine days after his birth. It included his parents' address in Honolulu.
Arch-conservative Alan Keyes is among those who allege that Obama has failed constitutional muster to become president. Keyes, a former U.S. ambassador who ran against Obama in 2004 as the Republican Senate candidate in Illinois, said in a recent interview that Obama was born in Kenya.
Obama could put the urban legend to rest by simply releasing his actual birth certificate, but he has declined to do so. Since his place of birth in Hawaii is identified on his still undisclosed birth certificate, he is one of the few U.S. presidents whose location of birth is still not known to the public.
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