A Republican lawmaker questioned President Obama’s birthplace on Tuesday, joining the ranks of conservative “birthers” who have raised doubts about the validity of the president’s birth certificate.
During an appearance on Michael Patrick Shiels’ radio show, Michigan state Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) was asked if he believed that the president was born in the United States.
“Don’t know,” Casperson replied, in a clip recorded by progressive watchdog group Progress Michigan.
Casperson said that he thought it was “strange” that the mainstream media has not explored the issue.
“Based on everything everybody’s saying, I don’t know because it seems like that issue was dropped immediately as far as major media went,” he said. “My gut tells me if had been a different president, like say George W. Bush, they’d have been digging into that like there was no tomorrow and trying to get to the bottom of it, which they really never did try to get to the bottom of, so it became a conspiracy theory and no big deal.”
He continued, “I think it’s strange, again, that it’s not being looked at by certain groups that normally would.”
Although the president was born in Hawaii, his birthplace has long been a topic of debate among some conservative conspiracy theorists. In 2011, the White House responded by releasing Obama’s long-form birth certificate, but the move did little to quiet the most fervent birthers.
Earlier this year, former Secretary of State Colin Powell blasted the movement and advised Republicans to reject birther arguments.
“Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president,” Powell said on ABC News. “I mean, why aren’t Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things? They should speak out.”