Conservative rural congressman says ‘birther’ argument on Obama ‘improbable’

Rep. Steve King talks about "birthers" and the Republican Party.

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Western Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King’s town hall meeting at the Santa Maria winery in Carroll, Iowa, Wednesday was a model in civility. Audience members from both conservative and liberal points of view asked questions as others in a banquet room at the new Santa Maria facilities listened politely. All but two questions were on health care.

None of the attendees challenged Barack Obama’s constitutional legitimacy as president as has been the case elsewhere where so-called “birthers” have hijacked elected officials’ town-hall meetings to charge that Obama wasn’t born in the United States. King, who thinks Obama is clearly a native of Hawaii, addressed this issue in an interview after the town hall meeting.

 Daily Yonder: Unlike some of the town-hall meetings that are looped over and over again on cable news this one was exceedingly civil. You had some people bring up points that were obviously at odds with your viewpoint. One thing that has happened at some of these town-hall meetings that have been so highly publicized is that people have held up birth certificates and questioned the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency.

That’s not something I’ve ever seen you do, and I’ve actually heard you speak movingly about what it was like being there in January and watching Obama be inaugurated. Obviously some of these people that hold these views about Obama’s legitimacy are conservative.,!–Break–>

Would you have any message for them? Do you think Obama’s a legitimate president, that this birther issue should be set side and that those people should move on on the issues?

 Congressman King: “I spent my time before the inauguration to look into that because I thought it was the time to do so.

“We discovered working with a small group and their staff in the Library of Congress the microfiche copy of one of the two Hawaii newspapers that published the birth announcement of President Obama on Aug. 4, 1961.

“It was published on either Aug. 10 or 16. I looked at that copy, and we began to play that out on how would that actually be there in many of the public libraries in America if he wasn’t born in Hawaii.

“It almost comes down to, yes, that information could have been sent, but his mother would have had to imagine that she was protecting the interests of a future president in order to do such a thing.

“I don’t think anyone has that kind of clairvoyance, yet alone a young mother, at that time.

“I came to the conclusion  that it’s improbable that Obama was not born in Hawaii as he says.

“I just don’t understand why he wouldn’t ask under Hawaiian law that the certificate of live birth, the real legitimate birth certificate, be released to the public. I’ve seen the one that they put out. It doesn’t look exactly like some of the others they’ve used to compare it.

“So I just wish the subject weren’t there. I think he could have avoided the subject if he would have just simply laid his birth certificate out.

“I don’t know what his motive for not doing that would be unless it would be something that is embarrassing, that he doesn’t want us to know, and, otherwise, I think he would have let us know. But he’s the one that has to answer that, and we have core public policy things to move forward on, and that’s not a priority of mine to dig into it.

“The truth will eventually emerge.” 

 

 

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