A full year after Obama released his birth certificate, a significant number of Republican officials across the country still are unable to disavow themselves of the notion that the president was not born in this country.
This week, a leading Republican candidate in one of the most competitive congressional districts in the country revealed himself as the newest member of the birther club. Richard Hudson, a former congressional chief of staff, told a Tea Party in Salisbury on Tuesday that “there’s no question President Obama’s hiding something on his citizenship.” Hudson, “the frontrunner for the GOP nomination” in North Carolina’s 8th congressional district according to Roll Call, also pledged that if elected he would introduce legislation “that requires any candidate for president or vice president to be certified by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as being a citizen.”
HUDSON: There’s no question President Obama’s hiding something on his citizenship. If you elect me to Congress to represent you, I’ll introduce legislation that requires any candidate for president or vice president to be certified by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as being a citizen. Whether that’s a birth certificate or whatever it means, I’m going to make real simple from now on if you want to run for president, you’re need to know you’re going to have to prove you’re a citizen.
Hudson still faces four challengers in the May 8 GOP primary, but he has been endorsed by establishment figures in the state like Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and the wife of former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC). Whoever emerges will enjoy a significant leg up against Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) after North Carolina Republicans gerrymanded congressional districts in their favor last year. Roll Call currently rates the race as Likely Republican.
Birtherism has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the past month as GOPers cater to the fringe of their base. Two members of Congress found themselves in hot water recently — Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) — after both pitched their tent in the birther camp during recent town hall meetings. In addition, embattled Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has led a quixotic birther investigation where he concluded that Obama’s birth certificate is a “forgery and fraud.”