Obama's Birth Certificate Released; Urges "Birthers" to Focus on Bigger Issues

Apr 27, 2011, 06:52 by David Hope

President Obama's birth certificate was released by the White House Wednesday, hoping to shift the debate to "bigger issues," a spokesman said.

"The president believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn't good for the country," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote in a blog posted on the WhiteHouse.gov Wednesday. "It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country."

A vocal group of Americans questioned whether Obama was a U.S. citizen and called the certificate of live birth inadequate proof he was born in the United States. The certificate of live birth, which the Obama presidential campaign made public in 2008, is recognized in Hawaii and other states as valid documentation for proof of birth.

Because the issue of Obama's place of birth had become such an issue, Pfeiffer said the president asked the Hawaii State Health Department to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate, instead of the certificate of live birth that it usually issues.

U.S. business mogul Donald Trump, who's mulling a presidential bid as a Republican candidate, has questioned Obama's place of birth and wondered whether the president was hiding something by not releasing the long-form birth certificate. Lawmakers in several states have introduced several so-called "birther" bills that would require a presidential candidate to offer proof of being born in the United States. Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed such a bill.

"At a time of great consequence for this country -- when we should be debating how we win the future, reduce our deficit, deal with high gas prices, and bring stability to the Middle East, Washington, D.C., was once again distracted by a fake issue," Pfeiffer wrote. "The president's hope is that with this step, we can move on to debating the bigger issues that matter to the American people and the future of the country."

The uploaded certificate can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf.

Source: UPI