New video of a February town hall shows Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) pandering to birthers and raising questions about the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate.
When Stearns met with constituents on February 25 in Belleview, one of the first questions came from an elderly gentleman who insisted that Obama was not born in the United States and ought to be impeached. Rather than correcting the man and informing him that the president is indeed a natural-born American citizen, Stearns coddled the conspiracy theory by implying that Obama’s birth certificate may be a forgery — “is it legitimate?” Stearns wondered aloud.
The Florida congressman noted that there is a “general consensus” that Obama “produced a birth certificate,” but gave no indication that he agreed with this sentiment. He also advanced an phony conservative meme, debunked by Dave Weigel and others, that Hawaii’s governor was incapable of locating the birth certificate:
STEARNS: All I can tell you is that the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. The question is, is it legitimate? That’s where we stand now. I’ve seen a copy of it on television. But you know the Governor of Hawaii couldn’t get what he felt was an original of the birth certificate. He tried to do it and gave up on it. So I think what Obama’s showing is a facsimile, but I think that debate probably is not enough, shall we say, just to impeach him. We’re going to have an election in five or six months so we can change the course of history by electing someone other than Obama. That’s what elections are all about. If we started impeachment this time of year, very difficult in terms of time and strength.
Watch it, via Youtube user FlaPolActCoop.:
The next questioner asked if there was a grand jury looking into the veracity of Obama’s birth certificate.
While Obama’s full birth certificate has been online for nearly a year, questioning Obama’s citizenship may be a politically expedient move for Stearns, unfortunately. A recent PPP poll in nearby Tennessee found that a plurality of GOP voters (45 percent) do not believe Obama was born in the United States.
Stearns isn’t the only prominent conservative figure coddling birthers. Earlier this month, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who has become somewhat of a national GOP kingmaker — announced the finding of his investigation into Obama’s birth certificate, concluding it was a “forgery and fraud.”
Stearns’ name has been in the news lately after a Republican primary challenger accused the Congressman of offering a bribe to withdraw from the race. He is also the Congressman spearheading the GOP’s efforts against Planned Parenthood, opening the investigation into the women’s health organization that led the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to temporarily drop cut funding.