White House Calls Birthers' Rumors Worthy of Hollywood

Gibbs replies to surprising number of people who believe Obama not born in US

ByABC News
August 3, 2009, 6:44 PM

Aug. 6, 2007— -- The White House called the conspiracy theory that President Obama was born outside the U.S. a story worthy of Hollywood, but lingering doubts about the president's American origins has the White House angry and on the defensive.

"You couldn't sell this script in Hollywood," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in response to a question about a poll that found only 53 percent of Virginians believe the president was born in the United States.

In recent months a fringe group of conspiracy theorists called "birthers" have been intent on proving Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States and therefore ineligible for the post of president.

The White House has reluctantly responded to the din of rumors and lawsuits by providing documentary evidence of the president's birth in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961.

In a phone survey of Virginians, Public Policy Polling asked, "Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States?" Fifty-three percent of respondents pressed "1," indicating "Yes." Twenty-four percent pressed "2," indicating "No," while another 24 percent pressed "3," indicating they weren't sure.

Gibbs tried to ridicule the allegations that Obama wasn't born in the U.S.A.

"Tell me if you've heard one that's this totally crazy," Gibbs said. "A pregnant woman leaves her home to go overseas to have a child -- who there's not a passport for -- so is in cahoots with someone…to smuggle that child, that previously doesn't exist on a government roll somewhere, back into the country and has the amazing foresight to place birth announcements in the Hawaii newspapers? All while this is transpiring in cahoots with those in the border, all so some kid named Barack Obama could run for president 46 and a half years later. You couldn't sell that to the WB."

Birthers used the president's birthday this week to roll out what they claimed was an authentic copy of Barrack Obama's birth certificate, which indicated he was born in Kenya. The document has been widely viewed as a hoax.