White House releases Obama birth certificate
(AP) - Responding to critics' relentless claims,President Barack Obama on Wednesday produced a detailed Hawaiibirth certificate in an extraordinary attempt to bury the issue ofwhere he was born and confirm his legitimacy to hold office. Hedeclared, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness." By going on national TV from the White House, Obama portrayedhimself as a voice of reason amid a loud, lingering debate on hisbirth status. Though his personal attention to the issue elevatedit as never before, Obama said to Republican detractors and themedia, it is time to move on to bigger issues. Citing huge budget decisions in Washington, Obama said, "I amconfident that the American people and America's political leaderscan come together in a bipartisan way and solve these problems. Wealways have. But we're not going to be able to do it if we aredistracted." Obama spoke shortly after the White House released a copy of thelong form of his birth certificate, which contains more extensivedata than a version released earlier. The certificate says Obama was born to an American mother andKenyan father, in Hawaii, which makes him eligible to hold theoffice of president. Obama released a standard short form before hewas elected in 2008 but requested copies of his original birthcertificate from Hawaii officials this week in hopes of quietingthe controversy. Until Wednesday, the White House had insisted that the shortform certificate was the appropriate legal document confirmingObama's birth and no further proof was needed. But so-called "birthers" opposed to Obama have kept the issuealive. Potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trumprecently began questioning why Obama hadn't ensured the long formwas released. From New Hampshire, Trump took credit for getting Obama to act. "He should have done it a long time ago. I am really honored toplay such a big role in hopefully, hopefully getting rid of thisissue," Trump said. Polls show large numbers of Republicans have continued to doubtObama is a natural born citizen eligible to be president. Trump hasseized on the issue as he weighs a GOP candidacy. "This issue has been going on for two, two and a half yearsnow. I think it started during the campaign," Obama said. "I havewatched with bemusement, I've been puzzled at the degree at whichthis thing just kept on going." "We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we getdistracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," the president said.