Palin: Birthers have “fair question” about Obama

Of Obama birth, the ex-governor says, "the public is still, rightfully, making it an issue" (Updated)

Topics: Sarah Palin, War Room, Birthers,

Palin: Birthers have "fair question" about ObamaFormer Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signs a copy of "Going Rogue" during a book signing event at a Sam's Club on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)(Credit: AP)

During her year in the spotlight, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has jumped on her fair share of conspiracy bandwagons. She’s even kick-started one or two, like the infamous “death panels.” But, at least, she’d never joined up with the Birthers, the people who believe President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and is thus not eligible under the Constitution to hold his office.

Until now, that is.

Palin did an interview with conservative radio talker Rusty Humphries on Thursday. During their conversation, Humphries brought up a question apparently submitted by one of his readers: “Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?”

The meaning of “the birth certificate” was clear. Humphries was asking about Obama’s birth certificate, and the various myths about it: That he hasn’t released a copy, that the copy he did release is a forgery and on and on. (If you missed it a few months back, my full debunking of the Birthers’ theories is here.)

This is the exchange that ensued:

HUMPHRIES: Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?

PALIN: Um, I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think enough members of the electorate still want answers.

HUMPHRIES: Do you think it’s a fair question to be looking at?

PALIN: I think it’s a fair question, just like I think past associations, past voting records, all of that is fair game. You know, I gotta tell you, too, I think our campaign, the McCain-Palin campaign, didn’t do a good enough job in that area. We didn’t call out Obama and some of his associates on their records and what their beliefs were, and perhaps what their future plans were, and I don’t think that was fair to voters, to not have done our jobs as candidates and as a campaign to bring to light a lot of things that now we’re seeing made manifest in the administration.

HUMPHRIES: I mean, truly, if your past is fair game and your kids are fair game, certainly Obama’s past should be. I mean, we want to treat men and women equally, right?

PALIN: Hey, you know, that’s a great point. That weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn’t my real son, a lot of people say, “Well, you need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he’s your kid,” which we have done, but yeah, so maybe we should reverse that and use the same type of thinking on the other one.

You Might Also Like

(Video of the interview is at the bottom of this post, with a hat-tip to HotAir’s Allahpundit on Twitter; the relevant portion begins at roughly 7:45.)

Palin is, of course, wrong to say that the public is still “rightfully” bringing up the issue — it’s been answered again and again at this point, and there’s no doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii. But she is right about a couple of things: For one, whoever the Republican nominee is in 2012, they won’t “have to bother to make it an issue.” It already will be, if not one discussed explicitly by the campaign and its surrogates, because so many Republicans already have doubts about the president’s birthplace. The fact that Palin and other mainstream figures, like Lou Dobbs and Tom DeLay, have indulged the Birthers doesn’t help matters.

Palin’s also right to draw a parallel between the conspiracy theories that surround Obama’s birth and the one about her son. The two are equally nutty. You’d hope, however, that going through that experience would teach her that it’s an awful thing to happen to anyone, regardless of political party. Instead, her attitude seems to be that the two wrongs somehow make a right.

Update: Palin’s now taken to Facebook — where else? — to do a walkback of sorts of her comments. In a post titled “Stupid Conspiracies,” she writes:

Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I’ve pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask … which they have repeatedly. But at no point — not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews — have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.

Of course, Palin’s original remarks went further than this. And “conspiracy-minded reporters and voters” have asked about Obama’s birth certificate too. The questions have been answered. As Hot Air’s Ed Morrisey observed after Palin posted this, “It’s the same thing as Truthers saying that all they’re doing is ‘asking questions.’ The answers have already been provided; they just reject them because they’re married to their conspiracies.

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>