US election 2012: Republicans revive Barack Obama ‘birth place’ conspiracy theory
THE conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born in Africa and is therefore ineligible to be US president has been revived by Republicans seeking to defeat him in crucial battleground states in November’s election.
Mr Obama is facing the prospect of not appearing on ballots in Arizona because officials there continue to question whether he was born in the American state of Hawaii in August 1961, as his birth certificate states.
Letters to voters released under freedom of information laws show that Mr Bennett believes that there may be reason to suspect that the certificate published by the White House could be a forgery.
“If the State of Hawaii does not confirm that he was born in Hawaii, his name will not appear on Arizona ballots,” Mr Bennett told another voter who wrote to him about the subject.
Exasperated Hawaiian officials, who have been inundated with requests to verify Mr Obama’s birthplace over the past four years, have retaliated by demanding that Mr Bennett prove he has the authority to investigate it.
Mr Bennett’s intervention, which will not be welcomed by Mr Romney’s campaign, gave voice to a residual hard core of so-called “birthers” who refuse to believe Mr Obama is entitled to lead the US.
A persistent campaign of misinformation on the subject, led at one stage by the celebrity property tycoon Donald Trump, last year forced Mr Obama to take the humiliating step of releasing a longer version of his birth certificate in a press conference days before the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
A shorter version of the certificate was released during Mr Obama’s first campaign for the White House, and his birth was reported at the time by two local newspapers in Hawaii.
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