Birtherism Is on the Ballot in Arizona

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Here's a bit of retro 2008 news: Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is warning that Barack Obama may not be on the state's ballot in November if Hawaii doesn't provide proof of the president's birth certificate. And he's using the very-tired "I'm not a birther, but my constituents are" excuse. 

"I believe the president was born in Hawaii,"  Bennett said in a written statement which was picked up by The Wall Street Journal's Tamara Audi, who adds that Bennett had been pursuing the birth certificate for two months on behalf of his constituents. "I am not a birther …We're merely asking them to officially confirm they have the president's birth certificate in their possession and are awaiting their response." 

Though Obama and Senator John McCain have slapped down this Bennett's actions in their own ways (McCain said that Obama would be on the ballot; Obama's Arizona campaign released a statement slamming the "conspiracy theory"), Bennett does say that he's doing this as a service for the thousands of emails he received in the wake of Sheriff Joe Arapaio's birther claims.  (Remember that gem?)  And Bennett's request does hit at a time when birther murmurs are swirling thanks to a Breitbart-sparked controversy over an author bio published in 1991 which erroneously described the president as "Kenyan-born".  

The thousands of "constituents" who e-mailed Bennett might want to check out Obama's long-form birth certificate, which was released last year. Of course, Bennett himself believes that president was born in Hawaii, so he can skip that link.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.