Rep. Bill Posey’s (R-FL) bill aimed at casting doubt over the citizenship status of President Obama appears to be gaining momentum within the Republican Party. The bill would require candidates for President to supply their birth certificates to the Federal Elections Commission to be eligible to run. Placating fringe elements of the right-wing movement who refuse to believe that President Obama was born in America, Posey himself has refused to say if he believes that the President was born in Hawaii.
Though initially it appeared he had little support, Posey eventually gained Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), and Rep. John Carter (R-TX) as cosponsors. Last week, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) also signed on as a sponsor of the bill, while Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said that he would support the bill if it reaches the Senate.
Speaking to the Texas-based Chad Hasty radio show yesterday, Neugebauer explained his support for the “birther” movement:
Q: So you believe the President is a US citizen?
NEUGEBAUER: You know I don’t know. I’ve never seen him produce documents that would say one way or another.
Of course, Obama was born in America and his birth certificate is widely available on the Internet. In response to an avalanche of conspiracy theories fabricated largely by Fox News and various right-wing media outlets, FactCheck.org has extensively researched the issue and provided Obama’s birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser, a copy of the certificate with a raised seal, and the stamp of Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka.
But the truth has not deterred radicals like Posey and Neugebauer from attempting to cast Obama as some sort of illegitimate foreigner. World Net Daily, a conservative site highly supportive of Posey’s efforts, has begun fund raising to place billboards around the country questioning Obama’s citizenship.
Posey claims other congressmen have wished him “good luck” with his legislation, but have yet to sign on.