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Obama shows birth certificate amid row
Thu, 28 Apr 2011 01:49:26 GMT
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US President Barack Obama's original long-form birth certificate
The White House has released copies of US President Barack Obama's original long-form birth certificate in an attempt to dampen down speculation that he was born overseas.

The document shows that "Barack Hussein Obama II" was born on August 4, 1961 at 7.24 p.m. in a hospital in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, contradicting rumors that he was born abroad-- possibly in his father's home country of Kenya, AFP reported on Wednesday.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement that the president believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn't good for the country."

"It may have been good politics and good (television), but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country." Pfeiffer noted.

Meanwhile, Obama himself sought to allay misgivings about the birth debate, which was initially broached by potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the early stages of the 2012 presidential election campaigns.

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," said Obama at the White House, adding that "I've been puzzled at the degree to which this (story) just kept on going."

The US administration had to make a special request from the state of Hawaii to get the long-form certificate released, said White House legal counsel Bob Bauer.

The US Constitution says that presidents and vice presidents must be "natural born" citizens of the United States, while conservative experts have raised a rumpus about Obama's political legitimacy by seizing on his background.

According to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, a quarter of Americans thought Obama was not US-born.

HA/MGH
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