FAMiLY LEADER President Bob Vander Plaats repeatedly suggested that President Obama was born in Kenya during a May 2010 event in Glenwood, Iowa. In video obtained by ThinkProgess, Vander Plaats is seen praising Donald Trump for launching an investigation into the origins of his birth certificate. “What kind of leader wouldn’t just show the birth certificate?” Vander Plaats asked just days before Obama released the long-form of the document. “[Trump] is more and more convinced that this guy is born in Kenya,” he said.
VANDER PLAATS: If I’m Obama, which I’m not. I’ve got a birth certificate — which means I’m more prepared to be President than he is, for a lot of reasons.
Watch the video:
Vander Plaats — who was also captured bursting into laughter over a derogatory gay joke — hasn’t been shy about his birther leanings. In a fundraising email from April 13 celebrating Vander Plaats’ birthday, the FAMiLY LEADER included a post-script playing up the issue and ironically asked conservatives to donate money to help Vander Plaats stand “for Truth”:
Throughout the early primary process, Vander Plaats — a three-time unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate who helped propel Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) to victory in the state in 2008 and ran a successful campaign to recall three justices who overturned Iowa’s anti same-sex marriage law — has sought to position himself as a gatekeeper to the conservative voters who participate in the Iowa caucuses. He has hosted a presidential forum with almost all of the GOP’s 2012 contenders and traveled to Washington, DC to present himself as a national Tea Party leader. Since releasing a highly controversial 14-point marriage fidelity pledge that only two candidates signed, however, Vander Plaats’ influence seems to be waning.