April 26th, 2011
02:05 AM ET

AC360 Investigation: Obama 'birther' claims have no merit

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° Tuesday beginning at 10 p.m. ET to see the remainder of Gary Tuchman's investigation into President Barack Obama's birthplace. Tuchman speaks with Hawaii’s Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie who says he knew Obama’s parents decades ago. Abercrombie weighs in on the controversy over Obama’s birthplace and explains why he has not released Obama’s birth certificate like he said he would.

(CNN) - Was Barack Obama really born in America?

A new CNN investigation reveals what most analysts have been saying since the so-called "birther" controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign: Obama was born in the state of Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Period.

While the president has made light of the controversy, the question remains political red meat for some of his critics. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that nearly 75% of Americans believe Obama was definitely or probably born in the United States. More than four in 10 Republicans, however, believe he probably or definitely was not born in America.

The U.S. Constitution says only "natural born" citizens can become president - a vague clause that some members of the birther movement contend disqualifies Obama because, they insist, he was born outside the United States.

Skeptics contend, among other things, that Obama was born in his father's home country of Kenya. Potential GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump recently seized on the issue, saying he had doubts about Obama's background.

CNN investigators in Honolulu, however, found nothing to reinforce those doubts.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • President Barack Obama
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Donald Walker & Mary Beth Higgins

    We cannot for the life of us understand why would you give Donald Trump, this ridiculous man, the time of day. If he was shown video of Obama's birth in Central Park he wouldn't believe it. His drones on and provides his myopic analysis of what someone said. "I hear" the certificate doesn't exist, "I hear" that it's missing. He has nothing intelligent to say – he just talks and talks and talks and says nothing.

    We have all the respect in the world for you but cannot understand why you give him any time. The only benefit is that it shows him and the rest of his cronies as the idiots they are.

    April 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  2. joe wisconsin

    Enough,enough,enough!! of the whole birth certificate ordeal!! Who cares. Mr. Trump needs to focus on what this country needs. With rising medicare costs,public transportation cuts,astronomical gas prices and historic unemployment numbers are country is in a downward spiral. Concentrate on what the people need Mr. Trump.

    April 26, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  3. Sharon McDonnell

    I am surprised that you have not mentioned that for the the last 10 years, particularly since 9/11, every health department and the national programs that work with them have "closed the state vital record systems in the US. Thus, for security purposes we have made an enormous effort to control access to birth and death records. The context of this discussion has changed significantly. What was an important research tool and administrative record has become a focus of homeland security. At what point do you stop dignifying the questions raised because the people asking them have proven they have not earned yours or the publics' trust?

    April 26, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  4. honee vox

    Anderson!! Dont use your "Keeping Them Honest Moniker" on this set of reports unless you are dead set on making sure the ORIGINAL Birth Certificate is released. Yes, yes and yes, we all realize "The Certificate of Live Birth" is "proof", yes, yes, we all know there are reputable officials saying they have seen the ORIGINAL and vouching.

    HERE IS THE REAL POINT, which, as of yet, and I certainly have not perused every inch of audio and visual on your report, the REAL POINT that is not even being ADDRESSED is the FATHER!!! That is why they want the ORIGINAL, its re: the father as a BRITISH SUBJECT < ie. not an AMERICAN Citizen, and the issue of interpretation under the Constitution re: the requirement of two native parents of a U.S. president.

    Now, this is my understanding, limited as it may be, but as a direct descendant of more than one U.S. President, Anderson, unless you research and report on this, I will never listen to you again.

    Good Luck Keeping Them Honest

    April 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  5. Bob W

    I'm glad to see Anderson Cooper expose The Donald for what he is, an egomaniac sensationalist in a cheap suit taking cheap shots without any facts to support them! Bravo anderson!

    April 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  6. Anand Selvaraj

    About the birther issue, why not ask Trump or others, Whats their hypothesis. I mean do they suggest that Obama is providing fake certificate. If thats their claim they should say it. Lets see whether they have the guts to say that

    April 26, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  7. Nicki

    Enough Trump already! In words Trump often uses, "Frankly, it's hard to believe...." you or anyone else would give this man any more air time, much less air time with no editing and in which you do not cut him off when he refuses to answer straight forward questions. Engaging him is a gross waste of good broadcast time. He can't "fire" you, for heaven's sake! He does not deserve treatment any different from other "wanna be's". He's only up in the polls because he keeps getting air time and no one holds his feet to the fire to answer questions rather than pick and choose the craziness he wants to encourage. Please get back to the outstanding and important reporting you do every night. The only place Trump should appear on your show is on the "Ridiculist"!

    April 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  8. jim

    as a democrat i thought for sure the pres was holding back on his birth certificate until they made a huge issue out of it, then he could pull it out and say "see, i told you so". that, i thought would put the whole thing to bed and show why they shouldn't have doubted him all along. but the more this thing goes on i am starting to think there is something to it. everyone they interview says they have seen it but they never show it. even anderson's reporter in honolulu said he has seen another guys birth cert and its says nothing about religion, well why didn't he or anyone else see the presidents. there is something someone is hiding, they keep bringing person after person to say they have seen it but they never show it. one more thing about the certificate of live birth, i went to get my son his driver permit and i took the certificate of live birth (i actually thought i had the birth certificate) and they wouldn't accept it, it had to be the actual, not a copy, of the birth certificate.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  9. Maureen E. Marcus

    BTW this Dr. is the "Former" Hawaii Health Director. Can we ask why and what she is doing now?

    April 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  10. Yolanda Perea

    What is wrong with you Trump? Do you want a video showing President Barack Obama being born? Please stop this stupidity and start helping people in need. Don't waste your money on these matters that have already been resolved! So many people need help to be sheltered, fed, improve living conditions, get out of debt, etc. etc. Show your human side and stop the stupid bureaucracy and show feelings for those in desperate need. Use your wealth wisely!

    April 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  11. Maureen E. Marcus

    When asked why does Obama not just provide the REAL and ORIGINAL certificate...the response that "it takes several weeks of processing time and it is difficult to obtain" is insulting to me. We have ALL had to go through the steps in order to function in America. Why is our President held to a different standard?

    April 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  12. Maureen E. Marcus

    On the news piece: Former Hawaii Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino examined President Obama's original birth certificate twice: So basically the testimony of this ONE person should be accepted over the concerns of 25% of our population? Obama's (or the Press) statements that a reason for not posting it would be either "the people will not believe it anyway" or that "he could be investigated/sued by other political members of office because what the birth certificate may or may not say" are quite frankly very discerning to me and sounds like fear behind a false wall.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  13. John

    If the proofer claims have no merit why hasn't 0bama vouched for the online birth document in any way? Why couldn't Hawai'i Governor Abercrombie find it? What kind of proof is there that he was born American?
    If we go by what 0bama has said the online document does not exist. Why won't any "journalist" ask him about it?

    April 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  14. Dorina Wilson

    I agree completely President Obama is American. His critiques need to come up with a much better lies and line of political deception. Shame, Shame, Shame; may God help us all! Shalom

    April 26, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  15. Bill

    I watched the show last night about Obama's birth certificate and I think that Trump is right. And I certainly do not like being called crazy or implied that if Obama shows the long birth certificate, I will not let it go. WHY WILL OBAMA NOT RELEASE THE LONE CERTIFICATE? If he does the controversy goes away or at the very lease slowly die? Why not release all the records that everyone is asking for from legal records to school records? Do you want mine? Fine I will release them. AND THEN END OF SUBJECT! GO TRUMP GO! KEEP HAMMERING AS I THINK OBAMA TOO IS HIDING SOMETHING!
    And these commentators who keep harping on the short form being legal are missing the point on purpose. It is misdirection on a massive scale to hide the fact that Obama is not releasing the documents.

    April 26, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  16. willard

    I think that obma will not clear of his birther certificate in hawaii

    April 26, 2011 at 4:05 am |
  17. Ed Gauthier

    "Has no merit" my Aunt Fanny! Then where are the COPIES of said long form BC that several people have already claimed they "saw"? There's no law against copying it, and it's the most sought-after piece of paper in the world. It's bigger than finding BIGFOOT! And yet – not even one xerox – or one lousy little photo of it? C'mon! That's why the nation is calling BALONEY on this!

    April 26, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  18. ralph

    We will not vote for trump. Tell him to stop .. He sounds races ... Thanks ... usa

    April 26, 2011 at 2:47 am |
  19. ralph

    Trump is trying to get over. All of the sudden we have a black person repersenting the usa and he wont to make it problem . Tell him to stop it please . We wiill not vote for him!!!!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  20. Deborah Soares

    Trump needs to know the laws of Hawaii, before shooting off his mouth. Our document is a certification of live birth, used for marriage, driver's license, and passports, is this one and only document. This document is certified by the state, as a copy of the original certificate. Its sad that someone like Trump, would drop so low, to gain whatever he intends to gain (presdiency, thats a joke). As for his concerns about China and the oil, ask him where his biggest investments are? How much is he making on Wall Street in the oil market. He allowed the chinese to take business and employment from the USA, but buying his products through China. Yes he made billions, and thousands of US citizens lost billions in employment, cost of living increases. Did he care then? So why care now? Mr. Trump is a blow hard, thinking his money can get him what ever he wants. President Obama should not and does not have to prove his birth, especially after the fact. If Trump feels, the president is in the this position illegally, then why hasn't anyone tried to impeach him? As for the republicans and the teaparty, I still believe its racists and politically driven to put Obama down for every thing good he has tried to do. You would think they would be willing to work with him and not against him. Thanks from Hawaii.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:33 am |
  21. Becky Whitman

    AC360... CNN has now just admitted that a birther has gotten his own vault certification using the Freedom of Information Act and forcing Hawaii to give him a copy of the the vault LONG FORM. Come on, Obama don't be afraid, show it to us nowwwwwwwwww.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  22. lin

    Enough already with this birth certificate issue !!!! Why are you guys giving Donald so much air time on this? He is being completely ridiculous! Is this what he is going to be running on ? Please!!!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  23. shirley arnold

    why are we still talking about this,please? He's the first black president,get over it. vote him out the next election year.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:26 am |