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Obama Attempts to Put ‘Birther’ Controversy to Rest by Releasing Long Form Birth Certificate
On Wednesday, the White House released Obama’s long form birth certificate in an effort to quell speculation concerning his status as a citizen of the United States.
In a press conference held at the White House, Obama said that accusations concerning his citizenship, and thus qualification to hold the office of president, had become a “distraction” and “sideshow.” Obama then asserted that the country had more important issues to focus on.
“There are a lot of folks out there 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,” he said.
The idea that Obama may not be a natural born citizen of the U.S., and thus ineligible for the presidency, goes as far back as the Democratic Presidential primary in 2008.
The issue had faded into the background of political discussions as more pressing matters arose. But as the nation gears up for the 2012 campaign season, the issue was revived primarily by businessman and potential presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Trump made repeated calls for the President to release his long form birth certificate. Upon hearing the news of the release, Trump took credit for the release.
“Today I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish,” Trump said. Trump, at an airfield in New Hampshire, added that in order to put these accusations to rest, the document must be thoroughly examined.
“I want to take a look at [the birth certificate]. I hope it is true so we can get on to much more important matters. So the press can stop asking me questions, he should have done it a long time ago” Trump said.
Several journalists and media outlets have now begun calling for Trump to release his tax records, as he insinuated he might in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate…I may tie my tax returns into Obama’s birth certificate,” Trump said.
The story of Wednesday’s release caused a sensation on the internet, especially on the social networking site Facebook. According to NBC News, there were updates nearly every second related to President Obama’s release of the certificate, along with video from the President’s press conference, and from Trump’s statement afterwards.