Republican mastermind Karl Rove believes President Barack Obama was born in the United States, is a citizen, and is a Christian. He said so when he was in Las Cruces several weeks ago.
“Do you believe Barack Obama is a born U.S. citizen?” ABC newsman Sam Donaldson asked Rove during a session at the NMSU Domenici conference.
“Absolutely. I also believe he’s a Christian,” Rove said. You can watch it beginning at 28:45 in this video.
Donaldson was asking because of a poll released in August that found that 27 percent of Americans and 41 percent of Republicans believe Obama was “probably” or “definitely” born in another country. Another poll showed that 18 percent believe Obama is a Muslim.
Donaldson asked Rove why so many believe Obama was born in another country when that claim has been demonstrated to be false.
“Don’t ask me to explain that,” Rove said.
Rove probably doesn’t want to explain recent words from Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Steve Pearce either.
At a Sept. 30 event in Los Lunas, a woman asked Pearce whether he is willing to support the subpoenaing of Obama’s birth certificate. She also asked whether Pearce believes Obama “is in fact a Kenyan-born, Indonesian Muslim.”
Pearce said Obama “raised the most significant questions himself” when he said he had traveled to Pakistan – at a time when, Pearce claimed, it was not legal to go there with a U.S. passport.
“Those questions need to be asked,” Pearce said. He said Congress has other priorities, like repairing the economy, and he’s “content to let the courts handle” the question of Obama’s citizenship – which he claimed the Supreme Court is doing.
But if the Senate gets involved, Pearce said, “I don’t mind being in the fight.”
“Yes, and I don’t have a problem expressing my opinions or expressing a vote, either one,” Pearce said.
You can watch it here, courtesy of the Huffington Post:
The facts on Obama’s citizenship and faith
The factual problems with Pearce’s words, from the Huffington Post:
“Pearce appears to be off on a few counts in his claims. In 2008, Obama mentioned a trip to Pakistan he took when he was 20 years old, which he hadn’t written about his books. Skeptics of Obama’s citizenship speculated that he went there with an Indonesian passport while his mother was married to an Indonesian man because Americans weren’t allowed to travel to Pakistan at the time. As FactCheck.org reported, however, ‘(T)hat claim is quite false. There was no such ban. Americans traveled there without incident, as shown by a travel piece that appeared in the New York Times in 1981, dated June 14. Barbara Crossette, an assistant news editor of the Times, told her mostly American readers they could travel to Lahore, Pakistan, by air, rail or road, adding: ‘Tourists can obtain a free, 30-day visa (necessary for Americans) at border crossings and airports.’’
“…Additionally, the Supreme Court is not considering a birther case. Birthers Orly Taitz and Phil Berg have tried to bring high-profile lawsuits questioning Obama’s citizenship, but they have been rejected each time.”
More importantly, Obama is a citizen. This is a question that has been asked and answered. Politifact.com is among the news organizations that looked into the situation. It obtained a copy of Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate and verified with the Hawaii Department of Health that the birth certificate is valid.
“I’m a Christian by choice. My family didn’t — frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church. So I came to my Christian faith later in life. And it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead: being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me.
“And I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings – that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God. But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.”
Does Pearce actually believe what he said?
Just like George W. Bush won the 2000 election, Barack Obama won the 2008 election. He meets the constitutional requirements to be president, and he is president. End of story.
It’s one thing to disagree with and fight against Obama’s policies. But perpetuating false claims about Obama’s citizenship, while perhaps politically beneficial for conservative politicians, helps empower those on the extreme, fringe right who may be willing to resort to violence.
That statement is not an attack by me on the tea party or the far right. I, like others, have expressed concern about the out-of-control spending in this nation. In my experience, most people in the tea party movement aren’t crazy. But every movement has a few crazies.
The words of political leaders like Pearce have the potential to set off those crazies. Politicians must be aware of that reality and approach it cautiously, or they risk playing a role in the incitement of violence.
Pearce is intelligent. I’m assuming, or at least hoping, that he knows Obama is a citizen. So I have to wonder if he was pandering to people whose votes he was trying to win with his statement in Los Lunas. If so, he’s irresponsibly playing with fire.
If, on the other hand, Pearce actually believes what he said in Los Lunas, well, that’s an entirely different reason to be concerned about his candidacy for Congress.