This morning the White House press secretary passed out copies of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate. We’re expecting Mr. Obama to brief reporters within the hour. More news here when we get it.
From the White House blog:
The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country. Therefore, the President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long form certificate and to request on that basis that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate. They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting.
Republican presidential-maybe Donald Trump is telling Portsmouth, New Hampshire, how “amazing” it is that he got President Obama to release the birth certificate. He’s also plugging his “very, very successful” TV show. “When the show is over, I will be free to announce,” Mr. Trump just said. “I think you will be surprised at what my announcement is.” Now he’s going after President Obama’s college transcripts. “Why doesn’t he release his Occidental records?” Mr. Trump said. He said he wants to know how Mr. Obama later got into Ivy League schools.
UPDATE: 9:54 a.m.: President Obama spoke briefly to reporters, taking no questions afterward. Mr. Obama said that he knows that the release of his birth certificate won’t satisfy everyone, but that he’s doing this for the majority of the American people. He said that he has watched with “bemusement” as the birth certificate issue dragged on, and sounded frustrated that the questions about it had dominated the news cycle even during the recent budget fight. Americans face difficult challenges right now, and we can’t fix them if we’re divided, distracted, and just plain making stuff up. (That’s a rough paraphrase, but not that rough.)
“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” Mr. Obama said. He added, “We do not have time for this kind of silliness.”
The Political Theater of the Absurd and Surreal will now take a brief intermission. Please talk amongst yourselves.
P.S. The political haymaking begins for Republicans. From Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus: “Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our number one priority — our economy.”