Can the Birthers Actually Help Obama?

The president himself has suggested that constant questioning about his birth certificate could hurt the GOP in 2012.

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Written by Perry Bacon Jr.

Can the so-called birthers help President Obama win re-election?

In an interview with ABC News last week, Obama, who has generally avoided talking about the 2012 election, suggested that continued questions about his background from Republicans such as Donald Trump would hurt Republicans in next year's elections. Some conservatives have repeatedly questioned the president's birth in Hawaii, despite ample evidence showing he was born there.

It "creates, I think, a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the president was born where he says he was, in Hawaii," Obama said. "He doesn't have horns. We may disagree with him on some issues and we may wish that, you know, the unemployment rate was coming down faster and we want to know his plan on gas prices.

"But we're not really worrying about conspiracy theories or or birth certificates," Obama said, "and so I think it presents a problem for them."

Obama seems eager to highlight the more extreme views of Republicans. In recent speeches, he has several times made jokes that referenced the birthers.

"I was talking to a group earlier and I said, you know, I grew up here in Chicago. I wasn't born here. Just want to be clear. I was born in Hawaii," he said, as the audience laughed at a fundraising event in Chicago last week. "But I became a man here in Chicago."

Read the rest of this article at the Washington Post.

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