The action, intended to forcibly shift the news cycle from so-called birthers to more pressing matters such as national security and the economy, guarantees that commentators and politicians — the very “carnival barkers” Obama insisted he would not buckle to — will be offering their thoughts on the document’s disclosure for the foreseeable future, not to mention public discussion. After all, recent polls show that about half of Republicans say they don’t think the president was born in America.
Conservative figures’ reactions have ranged from doubt to pride to, well, debt. Here are seven boldface names’ take on the events of this morning.
1. Donald Trump is proud of himself.
The maybe-candidate for the GOP’s 2012 nomination claimed credit for the White House’s release of the birth certificate in a windswept New Hampshire press conference immediately before Obama’s own press briefing.
“I want to look at it, but I hope it is true so that we can get on to much more important matters, so the press can stop asking me questions,” Trump said. He added that Obama should “get off his basketball court,” then plugged his Celebrity Apprentice reality show, and indirectly praised the U.S. Civil War-era confederacy.
2. Birther queen Orly Taitz remains unconvinced.
Taitz, widely considered to be one of the leaders of the so-called birther movement, said the release was a “step in the right direction,” but evidently still had her suspicions. Namely, she said the document seems too politically correct to be written in 1961.
“In those years … when they wrote race, they were writing ‘Negro’ not ‘African’,” Taitz told Talking Points Memo. “In those days nobody wrote African as a race, it just wasn’t one of the options. It sounds like it would be written today, in the age of political correctness, and not in 1961 when they wrote white or Asian or ‘Negro’.”
Taitz plans to continue pursuing the origin of Obama’s birth, claiming he is a “non-natural citizen.”
3. Newt Gingrich thinks it’s “strange.”
The former House speaker and another potential GOP 2012 challenger, had just left the National Prayer Breakfast when the story broke. “All I would say is, why did it take so long?” he told Talking Points Memo as he left the event. “The whole thing is strange.”
4. John Boehner would like to move on.
Through his spokesman, Kevin Smith, the House Speaker told The National Review, “This has long been a settled issue. The Speaker’s focus is on cutting spending, lowering gas prices, and creating American jobs.”
5. Andrew Breitbart still doesn’t care.
The controversial conservative blogger seemed pleased that the wind was being forcibly taken out of the birthers’ sails when Slate asked him for comment. “I’m ecstatic that the tea party made its focus on the economy and the constitution,” said Breitbart, “and avoided making a sideshow part of its righteous cause.”
6. Sarah Palin flip-flopped.
John McCain’s former running mate tweeted, “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?”
Earlier in April, Palin appeared on Fox News and gave a thumbs-up to Trump’s “investigation,” and said of Obama, “obviously there’s something there that the president doesn’t want people to see on that birth certificate.”
7. Birther czar Jospeh Farah owes the hospital where Obama was born a lot of money.
Farah, the CEO of WorldNetDaily, has been an outspoken birther leader. In August 2009, on Obama’s birthday, Farah offered a $10,000 charity incentive for the document’s release. “Obama has said he was born in Kapi’olani Hospital in Honolulu,” Farah wrote on WorldNetDaily. “He participated in a fund-raiser for the medical center in January. WND will send a check to whatever birth hospital is listed on his long-form birth certificate. All Obama has to do to see that donation made is to release it publicly.”
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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