U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, now a Republican candidate for governor, this morning declared himself in sympathy with those questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.
Do you believe that Barack Obama is a native-born American citizen who is eligible to serve as president? I am asking because your comments on this issue have been a little ambiguous. I would appreciate your clearing this up.
At 9:17 a.m., Deal tapped out this:
I am joining several of my colleagues in the House in writing a letter to the President asking that he release a copy of his birth certificate so we can have an answer to this question.
This is a new position for Deal. Back in August, my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin asked much the same question. This was the response he received from Deal campaign spokesman Harris Blackwood:
“He began receiving letters and e-mails about this long before the president took office. He has maintained in response to each one that he believes the president was born in the state of Hawaii two years after it became a state, is an American citizen and therefore is fully qualified to be president of the United States.”
“Awkward” will not describe the next meeting to discuss water negotiations between Deal and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
In a subsequent Twitter message, Deal declared his online chat to be a “huge success.” And attempting to sweep up the birthers may not hurt him in a Republican primary. But it doesn’t polish Deal’s credentials as a general election candidate.
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