It is obviously a slow news day, because there has been quite a bit of attention paid to comments I made to Ben Smith at Politico about Donald Trump and the birth certificate issue. First off, any position I have on this issue is mine and mine alone. I made it clear to Ben repeatedly that GOProud has no position on this issue – this issue has absolutely no relationship to any part of GOProud’s legislative and policy agenda. In the same way GOProud doesn’t opine on state issues because we don’t work on state issues, GOProud isn’t going to opine on an issue like this that is so far afield from our area of work.
I serve as GOProud’s Board Chairman, I am not GOProud. I do not unilaterally set GOProud policy. Everytime I opine on something, it doesn’t mean my position is that of GOProud. As anyone who reads my opeds or this blog or follows me on twitter can tell you, I have lots of strong opinions on lots of issues. Often I have strong opinions on issues (the divinity of Kasteel beer, 3rd generation Firebirds, whether Hal Jordan is the best Green Lantern, etc) that are not the policy or position of GOProud.
As for my personal position, let me be 100% clear – I am not a birther. I have never said I don’t believe Barack Obama was born in this country. Quite honestly, I haven’t spent much time worrying about or thinking about this issue, because I just don’t care about it. But there are a lot of issues that I don’t particularly care about that lots of other people do (take soccer for instance, for whatever reasons billions of people around the globe love it, I couldn’t give a rats ass about it).
On the question of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, while its not an issue I care about, clearly there are large segments of the population – and the Republican primary electorate in particular – that do care about this issue. Just because I don’t care about the issue or just because the press has decided that the issue is ‘off limits’ doesn’t mean that a potential Presidential candidate can’t legitimately raise questions about the issue.
I do believe that Mr. Trump’s approach to this issue, like his approach to almost every issue he has spoken on, has been a “common sense” approach. If there are those who question President Obama’s birthplace, then why not just produce the birth certificate (not the certificate of live birth – there is a difference) and be done with it? To me, that sounds pretty common sense.
By the way, here is a picture of me holding my pocket sized birth certificate issued by the State of Maine. Hope that answers any questions about whether I was born in this country (or this planet).