Obama on Birthers: ‘I Can’t Spend All of My Time With My Birth Certificate Plastered on My Forehead’ (Video)
August 30, 2010
(ChattahBox)—President Obama sat down with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, during his weekend visit to New Orleans and answered questions about the Pew survey that found a growing number of Americans wrongly believe either Obama is a Muslim, or not Christian. The surprising results of the Pew poll, unleashed a media frenzy, allowing right-wing conservatives to come out once more, to attack the President’s faith. The President, in New Orleans to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, dismissed the tendency of some Americans to believe conspiracy theories, but he also blamed a “network of misinformation” that peddles falsehoods about his religion, as well as the place of his birth. Hmm, wonder where that “network” of smears comes from? Oh, possibly Fox News? The day after Beck’s bizarre 700 Club tea party rally, wherein in sought to “reclaim” the civil rights movement for white conservatives, he appeared on Fox News with Chris Wallace, attacking Obama’s faith as not properly Christian enough, from his Mormom right-wing perspective.
Williams asked Obama, our first black president, what he thought of the Pew survey results, showing an increasing number of Americans unsure if he followed the Christian faith, wondering if the poll results show a weakness in the communications arm of the White House.
The president noted that these same issues arose during the 2008 presidential election. And despite the thoroughly debunked birther conspiracies, and his many years as a Christian, a segment of the population still cling to the false belief that he is somehow illegitimate. Combined with the GOP propaganda media empire of Rupert Murdoch’s, led by Fox News, and the result is a toxic conspiratorial swamp.
“I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,” answered Obama.
“The facts are the facts. We went through some of this during the campaign — there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly. “I will always put my money on the American people. And I’m not going to be worrying too much about whatever rumors are floating on, out there.”
Of Glenn Beck’s tea party rally held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, on the same date and same spot, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech, Obama said he didn’t watch it, but noted the tea party has a right to gather to express their views.
And of Beck in particular? “It’s not surprising that someone like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of [the American people]. … That’s been true throughout our history,” said Obama.
When asked to weigh in again on the proposed Park51 Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, Obama reiterated his original statements supporting religious freedom, adding he never walked back his remarks about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.”
“If you can build a church on that site,” he said, “if you can build a synagogue on that site or a Hindu temple on that site, then we can’t treat people of the Islamic faith differently, who are Americans. Who are American citizens. That is central to who we are.”
Watch the NBC Brian Williams interview below, as well as video of CNN’s Howie Kurtz highlighting a Fox News montage on Sunday, of Fox News personalities questioning President Obama’s religion.