On MSNBC’s Hardball tonight, host Chris Matthews faced off with GOP Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) that would require future presidential candidates to submit a birth certificate. Matthews asked Campbell “Was he born in this country?” Campbell answered, “Yes, I believe so.” Even a birther believes that Obama is really a citizen.
Here is the video:
Matthews called Campbell’s proposal crazy. Campbell tried to say that this controversy has come up before with Barry Goldwater, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. “Congressman, nice try,” Matthews replied. “What you’re doing is appeasing the nutcases.”Matthews held up a copy of Obama’s birth certificate and continued, “That’s the way to deal with this, mail this birth certificate to the whacko wing of your party, so they say I agree with this it’s over. What you are doing is doing what Roosevelt got elected to a third and fourth term. They said you can’t do it again. You are verifying the paranoia”
The Hardball host pounced, after Campbell dodged the question about Obama’s citizenship, “It’s on the screen now, take a close look. It says “Barack Hussein Obama.” He was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, is that a state? Yes it was. His mother was caucasian, his father was African. What more do you want? He’s male. He was born, by the way at 7:20 P.M. in the island of Oahu. What more do you want? I mean, I’m serious, you say “as far as you know?” You are playing to the crazies.”
Matthews asked Campbell seven times if he believes that Obama is a citizen, and after a relentless hammering, Matthews asked Campbell again if he thought that Obama was born in this country. Campbell replied, “Yes, I believe so.”
As soft as Chris Matthews was on Michael Steele yesterday, was as tough as he was on Campbell today. Of course the reason for this is that Chris Matthews plays favorites. He likes Michael Steele as a person, but he has no taste for this wacky birther nonsense. Matthews was correct in saying that passing any legislation about birth certificates will only add fuel to the fire.
The best way for this to go away is if Republicans stop playing to the birther crowd, and do what John McCain did during the 2008 campaign. They need to make it clear that they believe that Obama is a citizen.