In this Politico Article dated 8/5/10 the results of a poll taken on President Obama are discussed:

The poll of 1,018 adults shows 27 percent of Americans believe the president was “probably” or “definitely” born in another country, compared with 71 percent who think he was born in the United States.

So 1 in 4 Americans do not believe that President Obama is really a natural born citizen.

Is there any evidence to back up the Birther claims that Obama is not a natural born citizen?


3 Answers 3


One piece of evidence is the long-form birth certificate showing that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu on Hawaii: (long-form on whitehouse.gov in PDF format)

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The reissued short-form birth certificate:

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You can find a detailed examination of the birth certificate on Factcheck.org. They conclude in their investigation

FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health, Chiyome Fukino, also confirmed that the certificate is genuine:

"I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai'i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai'i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai'i and is a natural-born American citizen," Fukino said in a statement. "I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008, over eight months ago." -- source

The Barack Obama birth announcement, published in The Honolulu Advertiser on Aug. 13, 1961:

newspaper clipping of Obama's birth

  • 31
    ...just as a comment (an anecdotal one): The format of Obama's Certificate is the same as the one I have for my niece, when I requested her "Birth Certificate" from Hawaii 5 years ago. That IS the certificate they give out.
    – Darwy
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 7:22
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    There are also the newspaper announcements from 1961 in Hawaii. Would take quite the conspiracy to put those in. Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 14:22
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    But it doesn't say whether he was natural born or by caesarean section.
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 17:48
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    @jwenting I don't see any signs of whiteout on the one posted above. Not to mention ample other evidence (such as the notice in the paper). It sounds like you're less 'wanting to be convinced' and more 'unwilling to concede the point despite the evidence'. Commented Apr 5, 2011 at 0:57
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    @jwenting You are seriously suggesting that the massive power of the US presidency wanted to forge a birth certificate, and the best they could do was Tip-Ex? Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 16:15

There is a simple (legal) answer to this question, but it won't satisfy the conspiracy theorists.

  1. Obama has released his birth certificate, and the State of Hawaii confirms that it is real. op cit - previous answers
  2. Article 4 of the US Constitution states, in part,

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. emphasis mine

What this means, is that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen solely for the reason that Hawaii says he is. No other argument is necessary or required. The only way to counter this argument is to have Hawaii repeal the certificate.

I realize that this doesn't answer the implied question "Where was Barack Obama really born?" But it does shoot a hole into any Arizona laws intending to keep Obama off the ballot. If Hawaii says he's eligible, then Arizona has to respect that.


While the constitution does state that to be president, one must be a "natural born citizen", it in NO WAY defines what that term means. So we are left with something of a legal void.

There is the Part of the U.S. Code that address this. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, being born in Kansas, was a natural born citizen (I don't believe there is any question on that point).

Section (e) of the code above stats:

(e) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;

So, regardless of where he was born (Hawaii or Kenya as some have claimed but provided little if any evidence), he is a citizen.

However, the U.S. Title only states that "The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth", and does not use the phrase "natural born".

There is no final, legal definition even today on what "Natural Born Citizen" means, according to legal professor Gabriel "Jack" Chin:

Unfortunately, the text of the Constitution does not define natural born citizenship, and neither the Supreme Court nor Congress has weighed in on the question.

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    Apparently, people don't like my answer. I'm curious as to why. There is no legal, accepted answer to what a "natural born citizen" is. I am not saying he shouldn't (or wasn't) eligible. What i was trying to say was that since there is no agreed upon definition of "natural born citizen", the question is meaningless.
    – fred
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 20:13
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    It seems reasonable to me to assume that the 1787 Constitutional Convention found the term natural born to be self-evident. If you ignore the term natural entirely, this would cover everyone who is simply born into citizenship via jus soli or jus sanguinis. I'm curious if you think a reasonable argument can be made that the term natural could modify natural born enough to disqualify Barack Obama. (FWIW, I did not mark down your answer.)
    – kojiro
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 22:03
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    I have never doubted he was eligible. I was just trying to point out that there is no official, legal definition that everyone agrees with, as that exact phrase is never used in the constitution or any court case of which I am aware. Since that is the case, different people will interpret it how they see fit. One other point - the mere existence of a birth certificate may not be proof. I have a birth certificate for my daughter issued by the state of MO, listing me an my wife as the birth parents, even though she was born in China 2 years before I ever saw her.
    – fred
    Commented Mar 27, 2011 at 16:20
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    @Mark Rogers, I would say the burden of proof is on you. Show me where it IS defined. I can't find any case law where a judge has defined the term. Again, I am not saying that I don't believe he is eligible, but am simply trying to explain the rational for those who do. With no legal def., they are free to interpret it how they see fit. And to some degree, they may be afraid to challenge it in the courts, since if there IS a ruling against them, then the legal precedent has been established.
    – fred
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 13:41
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    @Mark There is no possible way I can prove that the term is NOT defined. And just because my interpretation is 'unusual' or 'something that many people do not believe' doesn't mean it is wrong. My ONLY point here is that nobody has yet provided the DEFINITIVE, LEGAL definition of what "natural born citizen" means, discussing whether someone IS or ISN'T is pointless.
    – fred
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 15:47

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