by Jim Nintzel
The New York Times:
In a statement to the news media Wednesday morning, Mr. Obama said he decided to release the document in an effort to end the “silliness” about his birth that threatened to distract from the serious issues facing the country.
“Over the last two and a half years, I have watched with bemusement,” he said in brief remarks. “I’ve been puzzled by the degree to which this thing just kept on going.”
Mr. Obama said there would be a “segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest.” But he said that he was “speaking to the vast majority of the American people as well as to the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness.”
The president said he decided to release the “long-form” birth certificate two weeks ago, after news reports about the controversy dominated a week in which Republicans released their 2012 budget and Mr. Obama gave a speech on the nation’s debt.
“This is going to generate huge and serious debates, important debates,” Mr. Obama said of those issues. “That’s how democracy is supposed to work.”
But, he added that “we are not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We are not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We are not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts.”
He also called out, without using names, Republicans like Donald Trump who have repeatedly raised the birth certificate issue, saying that the political process should ignore the “sideshows and carnival barkers.”
Carnival barkers and sideshows, indeed: From Trump to the dopes in the Arizona Legislature who voted for the birther bill. Gov. Jan Brewer is looking pretty good today for vetoing that nonsense.