The Birther Nonsense Will not Die

Via Politico:  Candidate trips on birther issue

Asked on a local call-in radio show whether he believes Obama was born in America or if the president is a Muslim, [Tim Walberg, the former GOP congressman running to win back his Michigan seat from freshman Democratic Rep. Mark] Schauer
said Thursday he wasn’t sure.

"My question is, do you believe this president was born in America, because I have not seen enough evidence to see he is an American citizen and do you believe that he is a Muslim?" the caller asked.

"You know, I don’t know. I really don’t know. We don’t have enough information about this president. He was never given a job interview that was complete," Walberg answered. "But that’s not the issue now. He is president. Right now we need to make sure that he doesn’t remain as president, whether he’s an American, a Muslim, a Christian, you name it."

Amazing—and Schauer isn’t the only one:

Walberg isn’t the only Republican House candidate this year to stumble on the "birther" issue: Fellow Michigan GOP challenger Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski asked to see Obama’s birth certificate before later walking back his remarks, and Ohio businessman Tom Ganley, running against Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton in the state’s 13th District, initially refused to say whether he believed Obama was a Muslim.

What is unclear is the degree to which these people are honesty unclear on the subject or whether they just think that pandering to certain voters is worth engaging in such nonsense.  Neither option is especially impressive, to say the least.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, US Politics, , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Jay Dubbs says:

    Get used to it. I expect that Congressional hearings will start January 15.

  2. Jim Henley says:

    It’s not “stumbling” if you mean to go there.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    Okay. The OTB page-view trolling has noted. Will the loyal commenters respond to the dog whistle? (I’m as guilty as any.)

  4. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Define Natural BORN Citizen. Not natural, but Natural Born. The requirement to be President is natural born citizen. Some take that to mean both parents are U.S. Citizens. Obama has one. Obama could have been born in any nation on earh if his parents were both U.S. citizens. He would still be a natural born citizen. His father was a subject of the British crown. A citizen of the UK do to the colonial status of Kenya. Obama could have chosen British citizenship had he wished. That is not something a Natural born citizen can do. This other BS is just slight of hand. When the long form of his birth certificate tells of his fathers citizenship. The jig, so to speak, will be up.

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    Kill the “birther nonsense” by opening all records to scrutiny. Hospital records, state documents, school records, college transcripts, all of it. Until you do that questions will always remain and start with the argument ‘nothing will ever satisfy some people’ because simple answers will satisfy much quicker than complex non answers.

    Regardless of what’s in those records I don’t want to see Obama removed from office but secrecy about college grades and the like breeds mistrust. Do we want a president who hides his college grades? Seriously, why not open it all up?

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Why kill it? It’s much easier to just leave it out there…nothing better to make one seem reasonable than to have one’s political enemies exposed as pathetic, hopeless loons like ZR III…

  7. wr says:

    SPlunk — If your inability to see Obama’s grades breeds mistrust in you, it’s pretty clear that anything will.

  8. Steve Plunk says:

    wr, I think you miss the point. Bush’s grades were on display and while they weren’t stellar they showed us he had nothing to hide. Our current president portrays himself as some sort of intellectual but won’t let us see his grades. He brought it on himself.

    Back to the issue, why won’t they just open it all up? Is it like AIP says and it’s politically useful? Does the President have six toes? Was the doctor who delivered him a Marxist? What could possibly compel them to not just say what the hell and open everything up?

  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Interested, we will see who is hopeless on November 3rd. You pissy attack on me does not defeat my arguement. Wimp ass MFers like your punk a$$ only attack the messenger. If you had the money or the ability to understand facts, you could hire someone to do research for you as your ability to read and understand seems quite limited. What a punk!

  10. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    WR are you afraid his grades will show his is the unqualified stooge he is proving to be. George Soros is the man behind the curtain. Obama, as described by one of his Profs. was just a shucker and jiver who was trying to get over. He evidently is uncomfortable with being an affirmative action President. We should to but some of you are so far left it makes no difference if the guy you run is good for the country or not. If you want to live in socialist nation, move to one.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    “You [sic] pissy attack on me does not defeat my arguement.”

    It is being quite charitable to call the ridiculous drivel you wrote an “argument”…these silly arguments you make put you in the same territory as the LaRouchite fools…the jig is up, alright, you just don’t realize which jig that is…perhaps you could take some of those government funds you’re sucking up and seek out some therapy for your obvious anger problems…

  12. Max Lybbert says:

    First, if we’re going to get into arguments about “natural born,” does that mean that an American born by Caesarian would be ineligible (yes, I’m looking at Zelsdorf Ragshaft III)? Not long before the election people started pushing the argument that since McCain had been born in the Panama Canal Zone, to American parents, that he wasn’t a “natural born citizen.” That was hogwash: both President Obama and Senator McCain are citizens and they never had to take a citizenship oath, i.e., they are not naturalized citizens.

    Second, this is nothing new. Democrats spent a lot of time pandering to Truthers before President Obama won office.

  13. @Max: I do not recall mainstream Democratic candidates stating that they didn’t know whether or not the US government was involved in 9/11. As such, I am not sure what you are referring to with your second point. I see no parallel here at all.

  14. Max Lybbert says:

    I’m not sure who qualifies as a mainstream Democrat, but here is a short list of Democrats appeasing Truthers:

    * John Edwards ( )
    * Kirsten Gillibrand ( )
    * Jesse Ventura ( )

    Additionally, when Van Jones turned out to a be a Truther, people rushing to his defense argued it was wrong to hold Trutherism against him because polls showed a large number of Democrats were Truthers (for instance, this poll: ).