What about Clinton's birth certificate? Bush's? Ford's? Kennedy's?
President Barack Obama released his birth certificate Wednesday to defuse claims he was born on foreign soil.
April 28th, 2011
01:46 PM ET

What about Clinton's birth certificate? Bush's? Ford's? Kennedy's?

The controversy over President Barack Obama’s citizenship sharply divided America before the White House decided to release his long-form birth certificate Wednesday.

Some remain unconvinced he's a U.S. citizen. To many, the issue had already been settled. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll last month indicated that three out of four Americans believe Obama was probably or definitely born in the USA. More than 40 percent of Republicans held opposite sentiments.

Often accompanied by accusations of racism, a common cry among those defending Obama is, “Did past presidents make their birth certificates public?”

An interesting question, for sure, so I decided to have a look back over the past 50 years. The short answer is yes, some indeed did. The long answer? Birth certificates for past presidents are squirrelly things and not the easiest to find.


Gotta Watch: 'Birthers' here to stay
Donald Trump disputes the existence of a CNN poll with John King.
April 28th, 2011
11:40 AM ET

Gotta Watch: 'Birthers' here to stay

Even as the president jokingly proclaimed he was carrying an ID to prove his citizenship, it seems the "birther" movement just won't let up. These are the latest fiery interviews that seem to be fueling the movement.

'Blowhard and a phony' – Those are some strong words for Donald Trump from New York Times journalist Christopher Byron. Last night,  Trump continued to question President Obama while sparring with CNN's John King . This is Byron's fierce analysis of the feud.

[cnn-video url="http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2011/04/28/exp.am.intv.byron.cnn"%5D


Widow 'overwhelmed' by news that husband delivered baby Obama
Ivaless Sinclair says husband David Sinclair, who died in 2003, never mentioned his connection to President Obama.
April 27th, 2011
07:29 PM ET

Widow 'overwhelmed' by news that husband delivered baby Obama

The widow of the doctor whose signature is on President Obama's birth certificate was honored to learn of her husband's role in bringing the future president into the world and hoped the document would end debate over his citizenship.

"It is a great thrill and a great honor and I had no idea," Ivalee Sinclair, an Obama supporter, said Wednesday in a phone interview from her home in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"I was just overwhelmed with the news."

David Sinclair's name appears as the attending physician on the live birth certificate that the White House released Wednesday in response to doubts over his citizenship. The "birther debate" has waxed and waned since Obama's presidential campaign, returning with renewed vigor last week due in large part to the efforts of billionaire entrepreneur Donald Trump.


Gotta Watch: Born in the USA
President Obama releases his long-form birth certificate to quiet rumors about his citizenship.
April 27th, 2011
11:48 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Born in the USA

After years of speculation and several major media outlets debunking claims, President Obama moved to put rumors about his birth certificate to bed by releasing the long-form document. While this may quiet some of the noise from some so-called "birther" conspiracy theorists, it may not be enough for others. In today's gotta watch we take a look at some of the most vocal "birthers" and their years-long quest to see Obama's birth certificate. And if you're still not sure what all the stink is all about, we've got a cheat sheet here.

The born conspiracy? – "Birther" movement leader Orly Taitz has been very vocal about her doubts concerning the president's birth place. She even took the issue to a California court. She said her goal was to find out if Obama was U.S. citizen and to hold a special presidential election if he wasn't.


April 27th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Obama releases original long-form birth certificate

The White House released copies of President Barack Obama's original long-form birth certificate Wednesday, seeking to put an end to persistent rumors that he was not born in the United States.

The certificate states, as Obama's advisers have repeatedly said, that the president was born at Honolulu's Kapiolani Hospital on August 4, 1961. Doubters insist Obama was born overseas - possibly in his father's home country of Kenya - and may be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president.

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

"Normally I would not comment on something like this," the president said. But the country has "some enormous challenges out there" and that it will not be able to effectively meet "if we're distracted."

See full certificate | How Obama got document | Your take?

On the Radar: Syria, Missouri flood threat, 'birther' probe, Arkansas storms
Syrians carry the casket of Lt. Fadi Ismail through the streets Monday of the western city of Jableh after days of unrest.
April 26th, 2011
09:42 AM ET

On the Radar: Syria, Missouri flood threat, 'birther' probe, Arkansas storms

U.N. panel may look into Syria allegations - The U.N. Security Council could take up the issue of alleged human rights abuses in Syria on Tuesday, a day after witnesses said thousands of troops invaded the heart of the country's recent protests and carried out a bloody crackdown.

A U.N. diplomat said a draft Security Council statement sponsored by France, Portugal and the United Kingdom condemned the violence and called for restraint. It also supported U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for an independent investigation on the matter.

A final statement could be agreed upon by Tuesday, the diplomat said.


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Filed under: 'Birther' movement • Arkansas • Barack Obama • Missouri • Politics • Syria
Gotta Watch: Donald Trump
Several polls have Donald Trump as a top condender for the GOP race to the White House.
April 21st, 2011
12:13 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Donald Trump

As MSNBC has said, Donald Trump is to politics what Charlie Sheen is to entertainment. You want to watch him just to see what he says next. He keeps questioning President Obama's birthplace, but he gets annoyed when anyone presses him on his "birther" theory. Trump has been a media magnet for years, and now he's dangling the prospect of a potential presidential run. In today's Gotta Watch, we take a look at some of Trump's greatest hits.

'Birther' controversy - Trump says his strengths as a potential candidate like in his stance on "jobs, the economy, and protecting our nation from OPEC, China and all these other countries that are ripping us off." And yet, he complains that, every time he's on TV, he's asked about the theory that President Obama wasn't born in the U.S. Check out this feisty exchange between Trump and CNN's Ali Velshi and Kyran Chetry.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/04/21/am.trump.birther.cnn"%5D

What's in a Trump name? - From "stupid" to "blatherside," so many in the media have their own way to describe Donald Trump. CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a look.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/offbeat/2011/04/20/moos.trumpathon.cnn"%5D

Donald Trump said what?? - Sometimes it seems as though Trump says anything that comes to his mind. And it's not always nice. As he eyes a possible presidential run, CNN.com dug up some of the more zany things the mogul has said over the years.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2011/04/14/vault.bts.donald.trump.sayings.cnn"%5D

Gloria Borger: Is Donald Trump bankrupting the GOP?

Tuesday's intriguing people
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says he would sign a bill requiring presidential candidates to prove they were born in the U.S.
April 19th, 2011
10:53 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Gov. Bobby Jindal

The same day that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced she'd veto that state's "birther bill," her counterpart in Louisiana said he would sign similar legislation into law. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Louisiana bill requires candidates to qualify for a federal election in that state by providing an original or certified copy of a birth certificate. "I don't purport to be a 'birther,'" said the bill's co-author, Rep. Alan Seabaugh of Shreveport. "This is from the standpoint of cleaning up an area of the law where there appears to be a gap."

Grete Waitz

On Monday, the running world marveled at the performance of 29-year-old Kenyan George Mutai  for his record-setting time of 2:03.02 at the Boston Marathon. Tuesday morning that same community, and much of the world, is remembering Grete Waitz. In 1978, Waitz ran her first New York City Marathon, and shattered the existing women's world record by two minutes (2:32.30). The Norwegian went on to win eight more New York City Marathons. Her image appears on the current New York Marathon medals and many consider her the greatest champion the event has ever had. Waitz died of cancer this morning in Oslo, Norway, the Washington Post reported. She was 57.

Dan Glick

The former Newsweek correspondent and veteran independent journalist used his blog Monday to defend "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson, whose truthfulness was called into question in an online article by Jon Krakauer and a "60 Minutes" segment Sunday night.

Glick said he witnessed Mortenson's hands-on work with his Central Asia Institute in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1998. On Monday, Glick called Krakauer's article, "Three Cups of Deceit", an online assassination of the controversial writer/humanitarian. Glick also charged that the "60 Minutes" segment lacked "basic elements of fairness, balance, perspective, insight and context."

Mortenson has likely blurred the lines of reality in his book, Glick acknowledged. Also, Mortenson is "probably ill-suited to run a $20 million-a-year nonprofit," Glick wrote. Yet Mortenson's "bridge building" to the Islamic world has been immeasurable, he wrote. Mortenson's travels to and investment in the isolated region, as well as his awareness campaigns, have done much more good than harm, Glick said. "The same cannot be said for a lot of NGOs doing development work around the world, " he added,  "much less our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Don Most, Anson Williams, Marion Ross and Erin Moran

The four supporting cast members of the TV program "Happy Days" charge that the show's owner, CBS, has failed to pay royalties on merchandising items bearing their likenesses since the show's 1974 debut. A CNN/CNNMoney.com investigation reveals that the cast members - along with the estate of the late actor Tom Bosley - have not received payment for such items, particularly casino slot machines developed in 2008. "Someone came up to me and said, 'You must be cleaning up on those casinos,'" Ross said, describing how she first learned of the games. "He said, 'If you get five Marions, you get the jackpot."'