US President Barak Obama on Wednesday produced a long-form Hawaii birth certificate hoping to end questions about his eligibility to be President.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution sets the principal qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of president. A president must,
- be a natural born citizen of the United States;
- be at least thirty-five years old;
- have been a permanent resident in the United States for at least 14 years.
White House officials say the entire discussion is moot due to Obama's previous release of a short-form birth certificate.
But voters opposed to Obama's policies, often derided as "birthers," have kept the issue alive.
Seeking to present himself as a voice of reason amid the angry debate over his birth status, Obama declared, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness."
"We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," Obama said.
Citing huge budget decisions in Washington, Obama said: "I am confident that the American people and America's political leaders can come together in a bipartisan way and solve these problems. We always have. But we're not going to be able to do it if we are distracted."
Obama's comments came shortly after the White House released the long form of his birth certificate.
Graphic: Obama's Long-Form Birth Certificate
The newly-released certificate says Obama was born in Hawaii, which would make him constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States.
Hawaii's registrar certified the new photocopy of the document provided to the White House on Monday. It states that Barack Hussein Obama II was born at 7.24pm on 4 August, 1961, at the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital, in Honolulu city.
The certificate is signed by the delivery doctor, Obama's mother and the district registrar. His mother, then 18, signed her name (Stanley) Ann Dunham Obama.
The birth certificate records Obama's father as Barack Hussein Obama, age 25, born in Kenya, and lists his occupation as student and "race of father" as African.
Obama's mother is recorded as "Caucasian" under race, and as born in Wichita, Kansas.
There is no reference to Obama's religion on the certificate.
"Today I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else was able to accomplish," Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who recently began questioning why Obama hadn't ensured the long form was released, said.
Trump recently claimed to have investigators in Hawaii researching Obama's birth.
House majority leader Eric Cantor, who has expressed dubiety over a Trump candidacy in 2012, said, “I have criticized members of my own party for making this some kind of an issue and so I am really surprised that the White House is doing the same.”
Sarah Palin wrote in a tweet, "Media: admit it, Trump forced the issue. Now, don't let the WH distract you w/the birth crt from what Bernanke says today. Stay focused, eh?"
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Talking Points Memo that he sees the birth certificate ordeal as "strange." He said, "All I would say is, why did it take so long?"
Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney wrote in a tweet, "What President Obama should really be releasing is a jobs plan."