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Posted at 4:34 PM ET, 02/17/2011

Palin gets it right on birthers and Obama's faith

By Jonathan Capehart

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the Tea Party Princess, played a noxious game of dodge ball with George Stephanopoulos this morning when he asked her whether she believed that President Obama was born in the United States and is not a Muslim. Leave it to the Tea Party Queen -- Sarah Palin -- to show Bachmann and others in the Republican Party the right way to answer the question.

"Do you question his faith and citizenship?" Palin was asked today during an onstage interview hosted by the Long Island Association. Her answer was brief and to the point.

"I don't, and those are distractions," she said to some applause. "What we're concerned about is the economy. And we're concerned about the policies coming out of his administration and what he believes in terms of big government or private sector. So, no, the faith, the birth certificate, others can engage in that kind of conversation. It's distracting. It gets annoying and let's just stick with what really matters."

For once, Palin said something I can agree with. Actually, it's the second time.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 17, 2011; 4:34 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Next: Tyranny in Wisconsin, part 2


Some intellectual maturity and political courage (given that her statement will probably annoy many of her supporters) from Sarah Palin. Good for her. And about time.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | February 17, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

WOW! She finally got one right! And she almost sounded like she actually graduated from highschool... I'm impressed!

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet our next Governor from the great state of Denial!

Posted by: poatesjr | February 17, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Yet, the SCOTUS is going to review his eligiblity again:

Would be nice if the POTUS would just put it to rest so everyone could stop adding this to conversations when dealing with an economy and other issues as Mrs. Palin stated, by producing the documents. As well as his college documents, original passports, etc...

Posted by: GregBoo | February 17, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

The birthers are crazy. That anyone elected believes that drivel has got to be one of the most stupid things to rear it's head in modern politics to date.

Posted by: Nymous | February 17, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

correct,the birthers are just as stupid as the bush is stupid crowd.

Posted by: alamodefender | February 17, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama ain't proved nothin, and ain't no reason he should. When has anyone else ever been pestered to prove he is a citizen, prove he ain't Muslin, prove he ain't a communist? It's just insultin.

Tell you what, you make it a law that every candidate for office gotta provide an original birth certificate, sign an oath that he's a Christian, the good kind, not a Catholic or a Mormon, and take a quiz to prove he ain't a communist or a socialist, then you got somethin to talk about.

Posted by: TaterGumfries | February 17, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

These people are politicians. Their political goal is to win elections, not defend the U.S. Constitution.

Obama has not proven he is a natural born U.S. citizen by producing his long-form birth certificate, nor has he produced his baptismal record. These are simple documents to produce and authendicate. The fault here lies with Obama, not the birthers.

ex animo

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | February 17, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

What is the Left's perverse obsession with accepting Obama's history?

Look there are any number of reasons why Obama has refused to release his transcripts from high school, Occidental, Princeton, birth certificate, attorney files, and virtually every other document of his life.

But this is a problem of Obama's and his serventile MSM media lackeys own making. Obama, like most Democrats, has told so many lies about his past and history, is it any wonder that people started wonder if he lied so often and repeatedly what was he hiding? And his MSM droolers were too busy crying to the "Hope and Change".

And we all know that Obama is very, very lucky that he is a Democrat because otherwise his MSM lackeys would have hounded him to death by now. I mean it wasn't long ago these same "journalists" were trolling Kinko parking lots in Texas to meet "Lucy Rameriz" to get 1969 Microsoft Word documents.

But now they have been too busy drooling over their bronze messiah posters and leading a jihad against Republicans to get Obama out of a mess of his own making to ask Obama if he NOW thinks it was a mistake to hide away all his history??? Once again the MSM are busy trying to protect their idol.

Does not matter now, he soon will be a thankfully quickly forgotten mistake, hopefully he will take a large horde of his drooling lackeys down when he goes.

Posted by: LogicalSC | February 17, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart:

You have used many snarky adjectives in you piece, but precious few facts. You also are in error when framing the issue.

The issue is not whether Obama is a “citizen”, or even whether he was born in the US. The issue is whether he is a “natural born citizen” (Constitutional standard) which is not the same as being a “citizen” (not the Constitutional standard for President). It is that simple.

Here is the real issue, put in the form of a simple question, and completely accurate (true) with respect to the facts given. You will not be able to challenge any objective, easily verifyable, fact:

“Is a person, born in the United States, of an American citizen mother (who is a minor) and a father who is a citizen only of another country (Kenya or Great Britain, take your choice) a “natural born citizen”, qualified by the Constitution to be President?”

Not "citizen", but "natural born citizen". Stop asking the wrong question. It is obviously dishonest.

The proper question presumes all the facts you claim, or would claim, are true, established by Obama’s rather sketchy, and contradictory, biography. Good luck!

There seems to be a recent uniform drumbeat in the leftist press to ask the same question of all possible Republican Presidential candidates: "Obama, US citizen, or not"? Almost seems to coordinated with the White House! Who would have thought........

Posted by: brucehodge9 | February 17, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe how quickly the "'Birthers' is the White House's own story" meme has spread. It makes me want to wear a tin foil hat.

Posted by: Raydot | February 17, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The American lamestream media fanaticism to defend Obama against the Birthers is reminiscent of the German lamestream medai fanacticism to defend Hitler against the German Birthers who dared to question Hitler's birth origin.

Both country's lamestream media are using the Birthers issue to distract the public opinion on the main question, that is whether Obama and Hitler are qualified to be leaders and not where they crawled out of their mothers' wombs.

Posted by: skponggol | February 17, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Its amazing that you all express yourselves to be Christians,but you all are full of hatred. President Obama has proven his faith and his citzenship and I totally agree with him and his administration in regards of not constantly showing his birth cert,passport, degree and etc. There is only one reason and one reason only that you all question his administration and it isn't the economy. The economy is better shape now then when he was VOTED in by the people. But the hate in your hearts won't allow you to see the truth and the light. Make GOD have mercy on your souls

Posted by: 1nique | February 17, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"For once" You snide creep.

Posted by: jy151310 | February 17, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Please tell us more about the Long Island Association (is it bipartisan or non-partisan?) and its interview process. Did Sarah Palin know the questions she was going to be asked before she was interviewed? Sounded like a softball question with an answer prepared by Sarah Palin's handlers. Was this a pseudo-campaign stop for Sarah Palin? Was she paid for her appearance?

While it sounds nice that she says she doesn't question President Obama's faith and citizenship, she goes on to condone others in doing so: "others can engage in that kind of conversation."

Also, did she have notes written on her hand or was she reading from a teleprompter?

Posted by: mcc10 | February 18, 2011 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Good for Palin. She separated herself from the crazies on this question.

Posted by: withersb | February 18, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

In the early stages of this Obama's citizenship/religion drama, when asked about it Mike Huckabee made an intelligent remark. He said --if there is any question about it don't you think Hillary Clinton & John McCain would have taken care of it during the primaries & the general elections respectively?
Some Republicans are a notch better than the creters like Michele Bachmann, our esteemed speaker Boehner & Mitch McConnel who danced around the question.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | February 18, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

In the early stages of this Obama's citizenship/religion drama, when asked about it Mike Huckabee made an intelligent remark. He said --if there is any question about it don't you think Hillary Clinton & John McCain would have taken care of it during the primaries & the general elections respectively?
Some Republicans are a notch better than the creters like Michele Bachmann, our esteemed speaker Boehner & Mitch McConnel who danced around the question.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | February 18, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it just pathetic that these same "questioners," the "birther's," defended Bush's release of his military records saying he had no responsibility to do so! And now they change the rules.....My Gawd.....He's "not one of us".........

Posted by: ginger470132 | February 18, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Except that the policies being proposed by the current administration are the right ones and for the right reasons. Questioning things because of politics may work for Gov. Palin, but they do not stand up to reason. The private sector, which should be hiring and employing people and revving the economy, is instead sitting on profits and biding its time for political reasons (to get a friendlier governmental environment). Who is that helping? Not the "people" that Palin and the TEA-Party purport to stand for.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | February 18, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it just pathetic that these same "questioners," the "birther's," defended Bush's release of his military records saying he had no responsibility to do so! And now they change the rules.....My Gawd.....He's "not one of us".........

Posted by: ginger470132 | February 18, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it just pathetic that these same "questioners," the "birther's," defended Bush's release of his military records saying he had no responsibility to do so! And now they change the rules.....My Gawd.....He's "not one of us".........

Posted by: ginger470132 | February 18, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

The new Governor of Hawaii promised to solve the birth certificate issue once and for all. He couldn't because he either could not find or Obama continues to refuse to do what every other Presidential Candidate has done which is release the long form version of their birth certificate. Remember when the Dems demanded that John McCain do so because he was born in the Canal Zone? No one complained about that because McCain complied and put the story to rest. Obama's refusal to release the documents has even "tingle in my leg" loyalists like Chris Matthews scratching their heads.

Posted by: jkk1943 | February 18, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The birthers' latest tactic seems to be one of making the claim that Obama supporters are obsessed with defending Obama against birther claims. I guess birthers think that it is their right claim that Obama is not American enough to be president without anyone speaking back to them.

I ask them, what is wrong with continuing to point out the lack of facts and logic in the birthers' claim when the birthers keep making the claim? Or don't facts and truth mean anything anymore?

When facts and truth no longer matter, and I fear we're dangerously close to that these days, we're all in very big trouble.

Posted by: tunkefer | February 18, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I still cannot believe that this woman has a public stage. I think HER religion is distracting and I think she was born underneath an ice flow. I challenge her to sit in the same room and say the things she does to President Obama and Michelle to their faces....the exact same things she has said about them without changing a word and not doing slimy political speak. This woman is the poorest female examples to the youth of our country. She, along with Beck and Limbaugh need to be banished to an isolated island where they can stroke each others egos..although I doubt they would last one hour before they started ripping each other apart...or more probably cry and sob because they are not used to having to be accountable for what they say.

Posted by: inutah | February 18, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

While it is heartening that Sarah Palin finally spoke some of her own called for "common sense," alas, it is too little too late for her.
She has demonstrated unequivocally her lack of qualification(s) to be POTUS. Funny, the only folks who keep her anticipated run for the office alive are those of the left.
Republicans have moved on, as they should.

As for whether or not Obama is or is not a "natural born citizen," the constitutional standard is clear; what is not clear is his status. Just because some question this lack of clarity does not make them stupid or idiotic.
Asking "birthers" to cease and desist as so many who call them this derisive, perjorative term is problematic for two reasons: 1) it is condescending and deflects away from the only one who can lay the issue to rest: Obama. 2) Trying to muzzle those who question his status is a calculated attempt to silence the inherent right of free speech. Dissent, even if you it ridiculous, is vital for a democracy - not only when you agree with it, and not only if you consider it ridiculous.
Me? I think it is much ado about nothing, to nod to the Bard; however, as Voltaire said, I may not agree with you, but I will fight to the death for your right to believe it.
You want this trifling issue to go away? Obama needs to be forthright, once and for all.

Posted by: jay_thompson | February 18, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice to see our media attack the lies told about gov. Palin. Trig is Palin's baby. No she did not ban books.

Posted by: bassinapple | February 18, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

From one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, on the subject of religion:

"Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse, 1803.

"Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone. I inquire after no man's, and trouble none with mine." --Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814.

Posted by: dstreet208 | February 18, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I think this sudden convulse of logic is suspect. It's not something Palin is known for.

My spider sense is that someone with common sense has finally gotten through to her that if she ever wants to run for office she has to do better than her Curly Howard routine. It is otherwise not in keeping with her (lack of) character.

Posted by: madmonq | February 18, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Even a stopped clock has the right time twice a day.

Posted by: mikesba | February 18, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin always tells it as it is. Straight forward - no holds barred, no beating around the bush. That, of course, irritates the liberals to no end. They give her credit for nothing, and yet she speaks knowledgably of the economy, the deficit, the long arm of the government reaching into our lives, etc. Kudos to Sarah. I am certain she won't run for president, but her voice will be heard nevertheless. And that is a good thing!

Posted by: Tommypie | February 18, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Palin Bachman both make Jerry Springer proud. Both are big hair air heads.

Posted by: bm66535 | February 18, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Palin Bachman both make Jerry Springer proud. Both are big hair air heads.

Posted by: bm66535 | February 18, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

To get a conviction of organized crime figures the easiest method is to show they broke the tax laws. Even though they could be tried for murder, loan sharking, drug dealing etc. The easiest way to bring down Obama's criminal enterprise is requiring his Birth Certificate long form. If he were a good President no one would care that he is ineligible. But to save the Nation any way to get rid of him is justified. When he uses force, lies and intimidation at polling places to win elections, we can't trust the intelligence of the electorate to bring him down.

Posted by: rayco1 | February 18, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll let you in on a little secret Mr. Capehart: Everyone knows that Sarah Palin is not a viable candidate for the 2012 GOP nomination.

Everyone knows that the MSM also knows this, and that the only reason they continue to quote and insessantly talk about her is because it sells papers.

I wonder, now that you know that we are on to you, will you finally start ignoring Sarah Palin? Somehow, I doubt it.

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 18, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow - who knew Sarah Palin could say something worth repeating? How about that. Good for her. Too bad a lot of her supported won't listen.

It is about the economy, it's always been about the economy. Sarah Palin can yammer all she wants about it, but all I hear from her is that it's Obama's fault. I don't happen to believe that, but what I would like to hear from her - and from any politician - is a PLAN to DO something. Not to undo something, not to not do something, but to DO something. Obama, so far, is the only one who seems to think about that. We the people KNOW the economy is bad, we KNOW there aren't enough jobs, we KNOW the price of milk is rising.

We also KNOW that reducing taxes on the richest Americans and on big businesses and big corporations won't change those things because if it were true, we would have seen those effects under previous administrations. Repealing the new Health Care Reform Act won't change those things - it'll just take away people's health care and force them to decide to pay for food, fuel or medicine.

So what's the plan? No isn't a plan.

Posted by: ktvanw | February 18, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

LogicalSC and Brucehodge9. Thomas Jefferson's mother was born in England and never accepted US Citizinship. Garfield's father was born in Scotland. Andrew Johson's father was born in England without any records. Buchanan's parents were born in Ireland. The natural born citizen means born on US soil. This was a backlash against Europes where nobility determined citinship not birthplace. In the US you had a child and that child was not given the full franchise and thus his loyalty.

Posted by: detemad | February 18, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart; DIMocRAT extermists; leftist-fringe lunatics; Palin-HATERS & other FOOLS; ALL:

fwiw, i'm getting really tired of having to remind each of you of the following FACTS:
(FACTS are FACTS, which are not subject to your opinion, wishful thinking and/or DUMB-bunny, fact-FREE, prejudiced, comments.)

1. BHO brought all this nonsense about his religion/birth/citizenship upon HIMSELF. = he has NOBODY but himself to blame for failing to reveal his birth/medical/tax/academic/other records to the main-stream press for public scrutiny.
(fyi, every other candidate for POTUS since 1976 HAS opened their personal records to the press, including the current VPOTUS.)
2. Sarah Palin is NOT a TEA PARTY and/or GOP candidate for POTUS in 2012.
(or likely any other year)
3. Sarah Palin WILL be "fully supported" by the TEA PARTY for the next US Senate seat from AK. - get used to saying: Madame Senator.
4. "the birthers" are exactly just as "NUTS" as the "Bush-HATEING DIMocRAT extremists" are. = neither group has the brains of a gnat.
5. Sarah Palin has at least twice the intelligence of 99% of her "critics" (in this context, "critics" is a perfect synonym for "villiage idiots".) in "the washington COMpost" & other "news outlets".
(to Mr Capehart: this means, YOU!)

to ALL: IF you are angry & disgusted with the mess that BHO & his "DIMocRAT leaders" have made of the USA over the last two years, join THE TEA PARTY in your city/county/parish/state & help us take our nation back to being the FREE republic that the founders intended it to be/remain.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | February 18, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Being born on a piece of land does not make a natural born citizen. A natural born citizen is born to citizen parents..on that piece of land.

The Supreme Court has never told us a natural born citizen is born to an alien or alien parents. This includes WKA.

The Supreme Court has told us in Minor a natural born citizen is born to citizen parents.

Peregrine Obama can never be a natural born citizen no matter how much his putative administration and the Washington Post spins the issue.

Peregrine Obama violates the Law of Nations.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 19, 2011 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin never said peregrine obama was a natural born citizen. There is a difference..

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 19, 2011 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Natural born citizens are the descendants of the original citizens created after the ratification of the Constitution.

Natural is a Kind. This was the genius of the Founders. Any citizen was is born out of this Kind cannot be President.

The Supreme Court needs to determine if the 14th Amendment permitted the citizens created are a part of this Kind.

Since our peregrine Obama's father was a transient is presumed he is a citizen.

Everyone avoids the "subject of jurisdiction" in the 14th Amendment. it means the child cannot be born to parents of a foreign power.

Justice Gray who was appointed by Arthur, needed to spin WKA to make him (Arthur) seem eligible. WKA is a fraud.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 19, 2011 3:56 AM | Report abuse

There is a significant number of voters who believe peregrine Obama is not Constitutional qualified to be President and it is growing.

This includes birth in the United States, his natural born citizen status e.g. two citizen parents, and the 14th Amendment.

This is a complaint that must be addressed.

Even if eligibility is not a concern of the Washington Post it's uncertainty weakens the White House.

That is a danger to the Republic.

Writing what Sarah Palin says on the subject is merely a diversion.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 19, 2011 4:16 AM | Report abuse

Capehart is gay. Enough said about his integrity.

Posted by: stanlippmann | February 19, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: gormanjohn11 | February 20, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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