Birther Legislator in Texas Not Convinced by Long-Form Certificate

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 27 2011 12:43 PM

Birther Legislator in Texas Not Convinced by Long-Form Certificate

Texas state legislator Leo Berman, a Republican, has introduced a bill that would require proof of citizenship from presidential candidates. It's one of many such bills in the states. And according to Sharon Guthrie, Berman's legislative director, the legislation is still needed and the long-form birth certificate released by the White House today does not satisfy its requirements.

"What I've seen online, what they produced today, still says certificate of live birth across the top," she told me. And she's right.

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But why isn't that just a nomenclature issue? Why does it matter?

"We want to see a 'birth certificate,'" Guthrie explained. "The one that we have that says 'birth certificate' is from Mombassa, Kenya, with his footprint on it. He has still not produced an American birth certificate."

Guthrie is referring to an internet rumor that Lucas Smith, an Iowa activist, found a birth certificate from Kenya that contains all the information skeptics want to see from Obama. It was introduced as evidence in one of Orly Taitz's filings. The problem: That certificate is forged . But it's one of several online rumors that convinces Obama birth skeptics that a real birth document is out there.

"I'm a Republican precinct chairman in Texas, in Smith County," said Guthrie. "We have to show an official birth certificate. Why shouldn't a presidential candidate or president show his or hers? I'm at the bottom of the ticket. He's at the top."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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