FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The so-called "birther" movement has been back in the news ever since Donald Trump has started talking about running for president in 2012.
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Trump says he's not convinced President Obama was born in this country and, therefore, is constitutionally ineligible to serve as Commander-in-Chief. Last week Trump told NBC's Today Show that he's sent his own investigators to Hawaii to dig a little deeper on the Obama-birth issue. Trump wants more proof than what the Administration and State of Hawaii has already provided.
On ABC's "This Week," a chief adviser to President Obama mocked Trump's birther focus and possible run for president in 2012 saying, quote, "That's not leadership. That's kind of sideshow behavior."
But Trump fired back today saying that if he ran for president, he'd be the Obama campaign's worst nightmare.
Former Alaska governor and 2008 candidate for vice president Sarah Palin defended Trump for hiring investigators. She says she believes the president was born here but that, because his real birth certificate is not available, the president may be hiding something.
Trump's been climbing in the polls lately, second only to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. And the birther issue certainly makes Trump stand out in a field of possible Republican presidential candidates that include Romney, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Congresswoman and Tea Party leader Michele Bachmann.
And whether he ultimately decides to run or not, it's also a great way to get a lot of free publicity for his television show. Which may be what this has been about all along.
But that's not the question. This is: Is President Obama's birth certificate still a legitimate issue?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
It never was a legitimate issue. It's an issue brought up to pander to a specific crowd that wishes they could reverse the 2008 election by any means possible. But legitimate? Not a chance.
Sylvia in San Diego, California:
Absolutely. Obama can put this question to rest if he wanted to by simply showing his birth certificate. Why he has not complied yet makes no sense.
Donald in California:
Only to the media and the right-wing haters. Donald Trump got a lot of free air time by lowering himself to this non-debate. But the media couldn’t wait to jump on it.
Still? When was it ever a legitimate issue? The economy is terrible, we have no budget, wars raging in three nations, skyrocketing healthcare costs, crumbling schools and infrastructure, and an all around general malaise about the country. And yet a crackpot theory regarding the President's birth certificate from 1961 is all the 2012 candidates seem to talk about.
It is, only in so much as the president refuses to release his actual birth certificate. Many do feel that if you have nothing to hide, then you don't hide it. Obama must know this, so you have to wonder whether he wants the birther debate to continue or if he does truly have something to hide.
The only legitimate point to be made about the birther issue is that these people have a problem with a legitimately elected president because he is "other"; he is not "one of them." In short, it is racially coded language that is disgusting.
Paul in Parry Sound, Ontario:
If it was ever a legitimate issue, Hillary Clinton's researchers would have uncovered it in 2008. Donald Trump and others are flogging a horse that is so beyond dead, it's glue.