Conspiracy theories asserting Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States gained steam during his 2008 presidential campaign and continue to garner support in certain communities. The "birther" scandal has been made light of by the media and by President Obama. However, if it were the case that Obama's birth certificate were forged or otherwise invalid, under Article Two of the U.S. Constitution he would be ineligible to be the president of the United States.
Here are seven facts about Barack Obama's birth certificate controversy:
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1. Some people, dubbed by the media as "birthers," allege that Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii, but in his father's home country of Kenya. According to The Huffington Post, even if Obama
had been born in Kenya, "the president still would have been a U.S. citizen at birth, because his mother was an American, a fact which nobody to this date denies."
2. In 2008, Jim Geraghty from the National Review Online
suggested Barack Obama release his birth certificate to "debunk some rumors." In his article Geraghty wrote, "one could argue that he would not meet the legal definition of natural-born citizen under because U.S. law at the time of his birth required his natural-born parent (his mother) to have resided in the United States for “ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.” Obama's mother was 18 when he was born which means she did not meet this requirement.
3. A promotional booklet published by Barack Obama's literary agents in 1991 states, "Barack Obama, the first African-American president of Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii." As part of a "vetting of the president" series, Breitbart
published a copy the booklet. However, Andrew Breitbart was not a "birther" and published a disclaimer saying he did not believe Obama was born outside of the United States.
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4. An article published in 2004 about then U.S. Senate hopeful Barack Obama also identified him as Kenyan-born. According to Gateway Pundit, Obama
never refuted the article.
5. In 2009, USA Today
reported this statement from Hawaii's Health Director. "I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barrack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago...."
6. In 2011, the White House released the original long-form of Barack Obama's birth certificate in an attempt to put the citizenship scandal to rest. Donald Trump, who had consistently pressured Obama to release the certificate took credit and said, "I feel I’ve accomplished something really, really important," reported International Business Times.
"Now we have to look at it. We have to see is it real? Is it proper? What's on it? But I hope it checks out beautifully."
7. In August of 2014, NBC White House Correspondent Chris Jansing indicated relations between the U.S. and Africa should be better because of Obama's origin. "Yeah, the fact that he's from Kenya, and that fact that when he was elected there were expectations from the African continent that he would do great things for them…" Jansing clarified that she knew it was Obama's father who was from Kenya but her statement put the Obama citizenship scandal
back in the news.
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