Obama Releases Birth Certificate
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, the move comes after Donald Trump revived questions about the president's place of birth and his eligibility to serve as president.
SCOTT HORSLEY: The TV lights were turned up bright in the White House briefing room this morning. Correspondents from all the major networks went live with the news that President Obama would soon be making a statement - not about the economy or the choice of a new defense security, but about his birth certificate. Mr. Obama could only smile when he walked into the room.
BARACK OBAMA: Let me just comment, first of all, on the fact that I can't get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
HORSLEY: Just an hour earlier, the White House had surprised reporters by passing out copies of the long-form certificate signed by Obama's late mother and an attending doctor, showing he was, in fact, born in Hawaii. Of course, we already knew that - most of us anyway. The Obama team had published short-form version of the birth certificate during the primary campaign and there's ample documentation, including contemporary news clippings, to show that Barack Obama is a natural-born American.
OBAMA: We've had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4th, 1961 in Kapi'olani Hospital.
HORSLEY: The president's lawyer flew to Honolulu and returned yesterday with two certified copies. Mr. Obama said he was worried the ongoing focus on his birthplace was becoming a distraction, making it harder for the country's leaders to tackle real problems like unemployment with a budget deficit.
OBAMA: We're not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We're not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.
HORSLEY: The president did not mention Donald Trump by name. Meanwhile, the developer, TV star and possible Republican presidential hopeful was on live television himself this morning telling reporters in New Hampshire he's proud to have played such a big role in getting the birth record released.
DONALD TRUMP: 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. I am really proud. I am really honored.
HORSLEY: Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House.
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