Boehner Won’t Tell Birthers “What to Think”

February 14th, 2011 at 1:11 am | 15 Comments |

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The AP reports:

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner says Americans have a right to think what they want to think, even when they’re wrong about President Barack Obama’s citizenship and his religion.

Some people believe that Obama, a native of Hawaii, was actually born outside the U.S. or in some other way is not a natural-born citizen eligible to be president. There is also a persistent belief among some that Obama, a Christian, is actually a Muslim.

When the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” asked Boehner whether he, as speaker of the House, had a responsibility to “stand up to that kind of ignorance,” Boehner told David Gregory: “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people.”

Boehner continued: “Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.” He later called those “the facts” of Obama’s background.

Gregory asked, “But that kind of ignorance, about whether he’s a Muslim, doesn’t concern you?”

“The American people have the right to think what they want to think,” Boehner replied. “I can’t – it’s not my job to tell them.”

Boehner denied that he is willing to let those misperceptions remain because they weaken and delegitimize Obama.

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15 Comments so far ↓

  • ktward

    Gregory asked, “But that kind of ignorance, about whether he’s a Muslim, doesn’t concern you?”

    Boehner: “Concern me? Hell no. We like ignorant constituents. In fact, the GOP’s counting on it.”

  • rbottoms

    Ignoramus Republicans, kind of an oxymoron don’t you think.

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  • Primrose

    So in other words, he knows that the “birther” movement is a lie but is perfectly willing to use their racism and bigotry to get the GOP elected. Great values there Mr. Boehner.

  • TJ Parker

    Gimme a break, Boehner. You’re a chain smoker and you’re making us pay for your health insurance. The only plus for us taxpayers in that is that, by the statistics, we won’t have to pay much for your pension.

  • Deep South Populist

    Barack Obama is responsible for the birther issue not going away. He has yet to release his original birth certificate from 1961.

  • _will_

    no, Deep South Populist (and his/her ilk) is responsible for the birther issue not going away. they have yet to accept that a black man won the ’08 by the widest margin since Clinton trounced Dole in ’96.

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

  • politicalfan

    This invicility will not help a future Republican President. Let’s build up the animosity and solidify the negativity. Doesn’t seem helpful???

  • midcon

    DSP,

    I think Obama should release his birth certificate right after Reagan’s is released. There is no proof that Reagan was a citizen. He was born in a Great Lakes state with clear access from Canada by boat. Additionally, Canadian/American borders were not even guarded in the time of his birth. I have seen no proof that he was not a Canadian. As further proof, he was in the movie business in Hollywood and everyone knows that half of Hollywood comes from Canada.

    You want to make it a law that candidates have to demonstrate their credentials for offices where there is an age, citizenship, or other requirement? I have no objection to that whatsover. You want to pick and choose where that applies, well you are in the wrong America. Perhaps one of the Southern Hemisphere countries would suit your needs better. In this America, we are all equal.

  • jamesj

    I agree with Deep South Populist that those accused of an infraction should spend the time and energy necessary to properly address and refute such claims, no matter the validity/merit of the original accusation. George Bush is responsible for the 9/11 “Truther” issue not going away. Glenn Beck is responsible for rumors about his rape and murder of a young girl in 1990. Seems perfectly sensible to me.

    In an effort to keep this cycle of reason going, I’d like to take this opportunity to accuse Deep South Populist of being a terrorist who operates a computer from a cave in the mountains of Pakistan. Deep South Populist is responsible for this controversy. I’m not sure why he doesn’t just produce formal records that prove his primary location of residence for each of the past 20 years. A hearsay record of his whereabouts won’t satisfy a seeker of truth like me. I’d only be satisfied to see notarized/witnessed rental records or verifiable mortgage records. Only then will we truly know whether or not Deep South Populist is a terrorist who lives in Pakistan. Until then, I’d say there is a 50/50 chance of a terrorist in our midst. Even if residence records are produced… how can we know for certain whether or not Deep South Populist has contact with terrorists who reside in Pakistan? Deep South Populist’s alleged activity disturbs me greatly.

    On a side note… what the hell happened to the mental capacity of right wingers in this country?

  • Saladdin

    So, Boehner is so full fired sure of when life begins; that HCR will add to the deficit instead of shrinking it; that tax cuts pay for themselves, but in terms of the President of the US being a citizen by birth, it’s “we can’t tell the American people what to think?” Please, your hypocrisy is showing.

  • Saladdin

    On a side note… what the hell happened to the mental capacity of right wingers in this country?

    JamesJ, gone the way of the Eisenhower Republicans.

  • medinnus

    “I agree with Deep South Populist that those accused of an infraction should spend the time and energy necessary to properly address and refute such claims, no matter the validity/merit of the original accusation.”

    The problem is that the lunatics are so invested in the question, no matter what Obama provides them with they’ll claim its a forgery, and add another layer on the myth, wearing tin hats and looking for the black helicopters.

    Its House Congressional Investigations writ small – Shout LOUD about Obama being a socialist Kenyan, and ‘begin an investigation’. Scream about the ongoing investigation as loudly as possible. Six years later after there is a new President, quietly shut down with a report saying “No, he’s not a socialist Kenyan. Ooops.”

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    DSP: your powers of ratiocination and polemical gifts are inspiring. You should’ve been a theologian– a 14th C theologian, that is.

    John Boehner: cynical, and unserious. That simple.