We’ve collected a list of lawmakers whose comments have helped fuel the debate. Most either said outright that the president is a Muslim, that he is not a U.S. citizen or appeared to leave open the possibility that either falsehood could be true. Several of the officials later issued statements saying that they don’t doubt the president’s citizenship. Feel free to let us know of others that we may have missed in the comments below:
Republican House candidate Tom Ganley
Ganley, of Ohio, told Roll Call “I don’t have a position on whether he’s a Muslim.” A spokeswoman later told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer that Ganley does not believe the president is a Muslim.
The former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor said in a 2009 interview that the president’s birth certificate was “a fair question.” (Politico)
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)
In this video, Schmidt appeared to agree with a woman who claimed that Obama could not be president “by our Constitution.” Schmidt later issued a press release stating, “The President is indeed a Citizen of this country and constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States.”
Arizona state Rep. Judy M. Burges (R)
CNN reported that in April, Burges said, through a spokesman, that an amendment she introduced was “an attempt to bring back transparency and confidence in the electoral process.” The amendment would have required presidential candidates to provide documents, including a birth certificate, to show they were legal citizens of the United States.
Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.)
He introduced a bill that would have required presidential hopefuls to produce “a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate.”
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.)
Expressed support for Posey’s bill that would have required presidential candidates to produce a birth certificate.
Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.)
Burton co-sponsored Posey’s bill. In July, the Washington Independent reported that a spokesman for Burton called the bill “a good idea,” saying: “If candidates provided that information to the Federal Election Commission you wouldn’t have all this hullabaloo. You don’t want to needlessly expose presidents to crazy conspiracy theories.”
Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.)
Campbell has become well known for this heated exchange over the president’s birth certificate with MSNBC host Chris Matthews.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Inhofe told Politico that birthers “have a point.”
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
Shelby told the Cullman Times last year: “Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate. …You have to be born in America to be president.” A spokesman later clarified, “While [Shelby] hasn’t personally seen the president’s birth certificate, he is confident that the matter has been thoroughly examined.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
Co-sponsored the Posey bill that would have required candidates to produce a birth certificate. A spokesman for Blackburn said the congresswoman did not doubt the president’s citizenship.
Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.), Charles Boustany (R-La.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) and Greg Harper (R-Miss.)
All are featured in this video produced by the progressive Web site Firedoglake and, to varying degrees, express doubts about Obama’s citizenship.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)
The Associated Press reported that Vitter said that although he doesn’t personally have legal standing to bring litigation, he supports “conservative legal organizations and others who would bring that to court.” He said, “I think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do it.” He added later that the debate could distract from policy issues.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.)
Broun questioned during an interview in March whether Obama was a citizen. The interview was initially spotted by the progressive organization Think Progress and later reported by Politico:
“Is he a Christian?” [Sirius XM host Pete] Dominick then asked.
“I don’t know that,” Broun responded, explaining that “I’m a Christian but only me and the Lord know that for sure.”
Bill Hudak, a Republican congressional candidate from Massachusetts
Hudak told a local paper that he believed the president was born in Kenya and had ties to radical Islam.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
A recording of Cuccinelli features him saying, “Someone is going to have to come forward with nailed-down testimony that he was born in Place B, wherever that is.” Cuccinelli later clarified his remarks in statement: “I absolutely believe that President Obama was born in the United States. I don’t buy into the claims that he wasn’t. On the recording, I was asked a hypothetical legal question, and I gave a hypothetical legal answer in response,” (Politics Daily/Talking Points Memo) (Thanks to commenter “vexvet” for the tip.)