After weeks of demanding President Obama "produce the birth certificate" so it can be "over [and] done with," right-wing media figures have begun attacking Obama for releasing his long-form birth certificate, claiming it was done as a "distraction" and complaining it was done to "personally put down his detractors."
Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Releasing Long-Form Birth Certificate
Johnson: "I Think The President's Premise For Coming Out Is Wrong, And I Think It Was Done ... As A Distraction." On the April 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. agreed co-host Brian Kilmeade's suggestion that the "president is trying to play the victim card," claiming he was trying "to build sympathy and empathy from the base and from some independents and say, 'Well, listen, I've really been the subject of a vile campaign against me.' " Johnson later claimed, "I think the president's premise for coming out is wrong, and I think it was done ... as a distraction." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/28/11]
RedState: Obama Released Birth Certificate Because "It Served His Purposes." In an April 27 RedState post titled, "President Obama's Birth Certificate: Why Now?" Melissa Clouthier wrote: "President Obama coughed up his birth certificate today. So, the question is: How is this good for Obama?" Clouthier claimed Obama released the certificate to "stomp on" news of changes in Defense Department personnel and concluded: "What did President Obama talk about to the press today? His birth certificate. He could have stopped the nonsense at any time. He didn't because it served his purposes. He put his birth certificate out there today. Why? It served his purposes. The birth certificate rumors no longer help President Obama." [RedState, 4/27/11]
Limbaugh: "I've Got The Answer" For Why He Released Birth Certificate: "It's All About Polling Data." On the April 27 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Obama released his birth certificate because of declining "polling data." From The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: [E]verybody's asking, "Why now? Why now?" I think I've got the answer. I think it's all about polling data. I think up 'til now the polling data showed that it was a winning issue for Obama. The birthers were considered crackpots and the polling data showed as long as it continued that way, that there was hay to be made by Obama by not releasing the birth certificate and stoking these people. But then Trump comes along, and I really believe that the polling data, the internal polling data, the White House shows that the issue was starting to take place. You saw that poll yesterday, USA Today, 38%, 40%, whatever it was of the American people don't think he's born in this country. I think the polling data shifted, and it wasn't all Republicans in that poll that showed that shockingly high number. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/27/11]
Tantaros: Obama Released Birth Certificate "To Personally Put Down His Detractors." In an April 27 op-ed on FoxNews.com titled, "4 Ways the White House Screwed Up The Obama Birth Certificate Announcement," Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros claimed, "[W]e should be asking why, at a time when gas prices are soaring, we're in three wars and unemployment is still high, the commander in chief would take the time to personally put down his detractors." [FoxNews.com, 4/27/11]
NRO: "Is Barack Obama Rushing The Vote?" In an April 27 post on National Review Online's blog The Corner, John Pitney suggested Obama released his birth certificate to "enhance" Trump's popularity by referencing Operation Chaos, an effort by Limbaugh to promote Hillary Clinton's candidacy in the 2008 Democratic primary in an effort to damage then-Senator Obama. From National Review Online:
President Obama released his long-form birth certificate as Donald Trump was beginning a proto-campaign swing through New Hampshire. Trump is claiming credit for the release, which will enhance his popularity in certain quarters.
Whether by design or accident, the president may be starting his own version of Operation Chaos. [National Review Online, 4/27/11]
Beck: Obama Released Birth Certificate To Distract From Bernanke Press Conference. On the April 27 edition of his radio show, Glenn Beck asked, "Why is the president of the United States choosing today to release the birth certificate?" and suggested Obama was releasing the birth certificate "because [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke is speaking today." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/27/11]
But Right-Wing Media Spent Weeks Demanding Obama Release The Long-Form Certificate
Hannity: "Produce The Birth Certificate, It's Over, Done With." On the March 24 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity asked: "What's the deal? Produce the birth certificate, it's over, done with." He later again demanded that Obama "[s]how the birth certificate" and asked, "Why won't they release the birth certificate?" From the March 24 edition of Hannity:
HANNITY: First of all. What's the deal? Produce the birth certificate, it's over, done with. Chris Matthews wants it.
BERNARD McGUIRK (Imus in the Morning executive producer): Show the birth certificate --
HANNITY: Show the birth certificate.
McGUIRK: Get it over with.
HANNITY: Get it over with.
CAROLINE HELDMAN (Occidental College assistant professor): Wait, what does Indonesia have to do with being born in the United States? How is that material to whether or not he was born in the United States? What is the logic?
HANNITY: Why won't they release the birth certificate?
HELDMAN: What is the logic? What's the connection?
HANNITY: Why don't they just release it and get it over with? And, we don't have to talk about it -
HELDMAN: Because it's insulting.
ROBERT EHRLICH (former Maryland governor): In fact, I'm tired of talking about it now.
HANNITY: So the only reason they don't release it is because it insults him. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/24/11]
Hannity On Obama's Birth Certificate: "Can't They Just Produce It, And We Move On?" On the March 23 edition of his show, Hannity asked, "What do you think about this birth certificate issue? I mean, it has not been my main issue, but it kind of does get a little odd here after a while. Can't they just produce it and we move on?" [Fox News, Hannity, 3/23/11]
Hannity Asked, "Why Can't They Just Release The Birth Certificate?" On the March 25 edition of his show, Hannity stated, "Donald Trump brought up the issue of the birth certificate, and it's getting huge buzz around the country," and later asked, "Why can't they just release the birth certificate, you know, and just move on?" [Fox News, Hannity, 3/25/11]
Hannity Said It's "Not True" That Obama Has Shown His Birth Certificate. Later on the March 25 edition of his show, Hannity stated: "Do I think he was [born in America]? Yes. Do I think this is odd that they won't produce the birth certificate? It's beginning to get odd to me." Hannity later stated that it's "not true" that Obama has shown his birth certificate. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/25/11]
Hannity Says Obama Was Born In The U.S. But Demands That He "Show The Stupid Birth Certificate." On the April 5 edition of his show, Hannity said that Obama was born in the United States but demanded that he "show the stupid birth certificate and move on." [Fox News, Hannity, 4/5/11]
Doocy: "He Could End It Simply, Just Show [The Birth Certificate] To Us." During an interview with Trump on the April 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy responded to Trump's claim that Obama "has not given a birth certificate" by saying, "He could end it simply, just show it to us, and it'd be over." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/18/11]
"Bor[ed]" Of Birth Certificate Issue, O'Reilly Calls For Obama To "Put This Whole Thing To Bed." On the April 8 edition of his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly said that the birth certificate issue is "getting boring" and that Obama should "put this whole thing to bed." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/8/11]
Pirro: Obama "Is Refusing To Show His Birth Certificate." On the April 9 edition of Justice with Judge Jeanine, host Jeanine Pirro said to Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, "What do you think of the fact that the president is refusing to show his birth certificate?" From Justice with Judge Jeanine:
PIRRO: What do you think of the fact that the president is refusing to show his birth certificate. And I've heard that number before -- $2 million that he's spending to not have to show the birth certificate. There's a difference between a birth certificate, apparently, and a certificate of live birth. But what do you think? Is that relevant? [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 4/9/11]