And the birther tune plays on. Lawmakers in two states are pushing bills that would make presidential candidates “prove” that they are natural-born American citizens.
In Connecticut, State Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury) has introduced a bill that would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to provide their birth certificates before getting on the ballot.
“You have to have a birth certificate to get a driver’s license,” McLachlan told The News-Times. “The same should be true to become president or vice president.”
McLachlan said he’s heard arguments from people who say President Barack Obama is not a natural-born American, but insists his bill makes no suggestions about the President, and is designed to end debate.
“Let’s stop talking about this,” he said.
They’re talking about this in Arizona, too. Lawmakers have re-introduced a modified version of a bill that passed the state House in 2010 before dying in the state Senate. The new bill has 41 Republicans co-sponsors, and bars the Arizona Secretary of State from putting a presidential candidate on the ballot unless he or she receives an “original long form birth certificate that includes the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and the attending physician and signatures of the witnesses in attendance.”
Arizona’s Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who expressed concerns with the 2010 version of the bill at the time, told the AP, “it seems to be obvious that they must not have a process sufficiently implemented at the federal level or we wouldn’t still be having questions about the president’s birth status.”
Similar bills have also been considered in Texas, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma.
So-called “birthers” have long rejected documentation and statements from officials that Obama was born in Hawaii, and insist that he is ineligible to serve as President.
(h/t Dave Weigel)
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com