Within Hours, Rep. Bachmann Sees And Forgets Obama's Birth Certificate

April 20, 2011 3:29 pm ET — Julia Krieger

In her numerous media appearances, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) usually walks a fine line on birtherism, claiming that she takes President Obama at his word but suggesting that he ought to release his birth certificate.

This morning, when Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos showed her a copy of the president's short-form birth certificate — readily available on the internet — the surprised Tea Party darling said "that should settle it," stating, "I guess it's over."

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, and I have the president's certificate right here. It's certified, it's got a certification number, it's got the registrar of the state signed, it's got a seal on it and it says that this copy serves as prima fascia evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.

BACHMANN: Well, then that should settle it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Then it's over.

BACHMANN: That — that's what should settle it. I take the president at his word and I think for any ca — again, I would have no problem and apparently the president wouldn't either, introduce that, we're done, end of story.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So this case — this story's over.

BACHMANN: Well, as long as someone introduces it, I guess it's over.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's right there.

BACHMANN: Yup, there you go.


BACHMANN: Because that is not the main issue facing the United States right now. The main issue facing the United States is dealing with our debt and our deficit.

But an hour later on Fox & Friends, Bachmann seemed to have forgotten the evidence she'd just seen, telling co-host Gretchen Carlson the president needs to "solve it, be forthcoming and get it over with."

BACHMANN: What I have said is stop asking Republicans to vouch and verify for Barack Obama's birth certificate. That's not my job to do or anyone else's. The only person who can do that is the clerk of court in the county where he was born. I take the president at his word if he said he was born there, he was born there. But again, this is a very solvable problem and the president is the only one who can solve it, be forthcoming and get it over with. We have bigger fish to fry.

When Carlson asked whether Bachmann believes Donald Trump is making a mistake by delving into birtherism, Bachmann hedged again, pointing to a GOP primary poll showing that only 26 percent believe the president on this issue. "The president really has a credibility problem and I would think it would be up to his advisors to urge him to solve it," she said.


Perhaps Bachmann should be more concerned with her own credibility problem. While she may personally accept evidence that the president is a United States citizen, taking him "at his word," what is most disturbing about this early-morning double-speak is her sustained refusal to disavow a story she knows to be false. Instead, she continues to propagate a lie she characterizes as distraction from major issues in order to score political points with her far-right base.