Texas State Rep. Leo Berman (R) — a man best known for declaring that “Barack Obama is God’s punishment on us” — is putting his anti-Obama rhetoric into action. Donning his tin foil hat, Berman introduced House Bill 295 yesterday, which would “require any candidate for president or vice president of the United States to show his or her birth certificate to the Texas secretary of state.”
Asked about his motivation for introducing the bill, Berman told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that he believes Obama may have been born in Kenya:
“This bill is necessary because we have a president whom the American people don’t know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place.” Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, said in reference to President Barack Obama and of House Bill 295. “If you are running for president or vice president, you’ve got to show here in Texas that you were born in the United States and the birth certificate is your proof.”
So-called birther bills like Berman’s, which peddle the conspiracy theory that President Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii, have become a staple of the far right. In March 2009, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced a birther bill in the House that garnered a dozen Republican co-sponsors. The birther paranoia also seeped down to the state level, where right-wingers from Missouri to Arizona to Oklahoma took up the issue. Though none of the bills have passed, Texas Republicans currently hold the governorship and strong majorities in the both houses of the legislature.
President Obama released his birth certificate over two years ago.