U.S. President Barack Obama releases original birth certificate

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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

—President Barack Obama

The long form birth certificate released by the White House.
Image: The White House.

The White House today released a detailed Hawaii birth certificate in an attempt to put to rest the issue of President Barack Obama's legitimacy to hold the office of president. Shortly after the unexpected release, the president spoke live on national television, explaining, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness."

President Obama noted that the issue of his birthplace began during his campaign. "I have watched with bemusement, I've been puzzled at the degree at which this thing just kept on going," he said, and blamed media culture for perpetuating the controversy. The president did not answer reporters' questions nor explain why the document was not released until now.

"We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," he said, noting the severe problems the nation faces and the importance of the decisions that need to be made. Obama said the problems could not be resolved "if we are distracted."

The U.S. Constitution states that only a "natural born" citizen of the country can become president. Some have contended that Obama was born overseas and is thus disqualified from holding the office. Although a recent poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that most Americans believe Obama was "definitely or probably born in the United States", according to CNN, 40 percent of Republicans doubted Obama is a natural born citizen eligible to be president.

The newly released document, signed by the obstetrician and Obama's mother, shows that Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 of a Caucasian mother born in Kansas and and an African father born in Kenya. It was signed on August 7 and 8.

Prominent businessman Donald Trump has been highlighting the question of Obama's birthplace recently as he mulled over whether to run for the presidency himself, and took credit for its release today. "He should have done it a long time ago," he told journalists. "I am really honored to play such a big role in hopefully, hopefully getting rid of this issue."