Sarah Palin says she isn’t a birther. But she swallows hook, line and sinker the ludicrous claims birthers have made about how much money President Barack Obama spent “hiding” his birth certificate.
In an interview on Fox News, Palin backed Donald Trump’s purported investigation into Obama’s birth certificate, but claimed she wasn’t herself a birther. Nonetheless, she cited the discredited claim that Obama spent $2 million to keep his birth certificate from the public.
“I think that he was born in Hawaii because there was the birth announcement put in the newspaper,” Palin said. “But obviously there is something there that the President doesn’t want people to see on that birth certificate, that he sees going to great lengths to make sure it isn’t shown. And that’s perplexing for a lot of people.”
Palin said that Trump was digging into “why President Obama would have spent $2 million not to show his birth certificate.” The Fox News host interviewing Palin said she’d “heard that number before.”
That $2 million figure is essentially an uninformed guess by those in the online birther community which seems to have been based on the whole of the legal fees of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. As of this year, the Obama campaign has spent at least $2.8 million on legal fees — for the entire campaign post election.
This theme emerged after Obama’s election on conspiracy websites like WND, which even couched their speculation in April 2009 by writing that Obama “may be using campaign funds to stomp out eligibility lawsuits brought by Americans, as his campaign has paid more than $1 million to his top lawyer since the election.”
But even some birthers haven’t claimed the number is as high as Palin claimed it was.
“[Obama] is spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to keep this information from getting out,” said Gary Kreep, a lawyer representing Alan Keyes.
I’ve emailed SarahPAC to ask where Palin got the $2 million figure and will update if we hear back.
Late update: Justin Elliott speaks to birthers — including “Birther Queen” Orly Taitz — who credit WorldNetDaily as the source of the discredited $2 million figure.
Late, late update: Here is the email I got back from SarahPAC:
Dear Ryan, Thank you very much for your interest. At the current time your request is under consideration. Should the appropriate person be available for an interview, someone from the Office of Sarah Palin or SarahPAC will contact you directly. Meanwhile, we kindly direct you to Governor Palin’s Facebook page where she most frequently comments. Thank you for your inquiry.