White House confirms receipt of Nathan Deal letter questioning birthplace of Barack Obama

The White House on Thursday confirmed receipt of a letter from U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal that formally asks Barack Obama to address questions about his place of birth – and thus, whether he is qualified to be president.

The letter arrived Dec. 10. Beyond that, no one is willing to say much.

According to my AJC colleague Bob Keefe in Washington, Todd Smith, Deal’s chief of staff, likewise confirmed that the letter had been sent. But neither Smith nor his boss would comment on its content.

“[Deal] just did what he said he was going to do,” Smith said. “It’s not news.”

Likewise, White House spokeswoman Gannet Tseggai – while acknowledging receipt of Deal’s letter, declined to release a copy or discuss its content, saying that the issue of Obama’s birth has been addressed repeatedly.

In June 2008, Obama’s campaign office released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate — a “certification of live birth” — that shows he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. Government officials in Hawaii have verified that the document is official, as have several news organizations.

Nonetheless, Deal – a Republican candidate for governor — said in November he would ask the president to prove he was an American-born citizen and therefore legally serving as president.

In an interview at the time, Deal said he has “no reason to think” that Obama is not a legal citizen – but added that questions raised by so-called “birthers” about Obama’s nationality warrant more proof.

“I have looked at the documentation that is publicly available and it leaves many things to be desired,” Deal said in November.

After declining to respond to numerous phone calls and e-mails seeking comment, Smith finally addressed the letter during a brief interview at Deal’s Washington office on Thursday.

He declined to provide a copy, saying it was out of deference to the president.

Late Thursday, Deal became one of the first Republican candidates for governor to release his final fund-raising figures for 2009, declaring that he raised over $1.8 million during the year.

Over 1,800 of the 2,150 contributions came from individuals, his campaign reported.

The largest part of Deal’s contributions, about $900,000, came in the first six months of 2009. He raised about $550,000 in the second half. The north Georgia congressman also tossed in a personal loan of $250,000.

Former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat, on Thursday announced that he had raised $2.7 million. Cash raised is one measure of a candidate’s viability, but one Democratic rival, House Minority Leader DuBose Porter, was out to play down any comparison with this assessment of Barnes’ achievement:

“No one has ever questioned his ability to raise money. While he has been dialing for dollars, I have been out working and listening to the voices of the people. I have been asking Georgians for their concerns while he has been asking for their cash. We have already seen what happened between a big money versus a grassroots campaign and I have chosen to run a grassroots campaign.”

Here’s an odd pairing: Every Republican with an e-mail account is now calling for final negotiations over health care reform to be public – televised on C-SPAN as promised by presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Such an important policy debate should be conducted in the open, they say. It is a convincing argument.

In an order signed this week, a federal judge declared that negotiations over water among the GOP governors of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama should be conducted in secret. “A settlement of such a complicated and inflammatory case such as this can occur only if some negotiations, whether among all parties or among only some of the parties, are conducted privately,” U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson wrote.

We await the storm of protest that’s certain to come.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

92 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

January 8th, 2010
9:48 am

“We await the storm of protest that’s certain to come.”

Good one Jim! How about the outrage that everyone under the capitol knew Richardson had an affair! And with a lobbyist who was getting his support for new legislation!

Uncle Jessie

January 8th, 2010
9:51 am

Why aint nobody asked Roy bout the issue that sunk his boat last time. Yall knows that when he gets out of big city them Duke boys and Daisys is still mad an gonna be giving him a fit. Roy come on down to East Dublin in Hazzard county and tell us what you aims to do bout that. yeehaw


January 8th, 2010
10:04 am

Nathan Deal’s political grandstanding is offensive and disrespectful of the office of the President.

Clearly he has some idea of how someone should prove their birthplace.

If you have to order a birth certificate, the county registrars office provides a certified copy. It appears that is the case here. The hospital has also verified the record. What specifically is Deal looking for other than to fire up the small minded birthers in this state than are using this as a veiled excuse for spewing venom towards a man they abhor. Its low-class politics and he should be ashamed.


January 8th, 2010
10:12 am

Roy forced a flag on us that looked like a Waffle House placemat. Let’s not give him a second chance to embarrass himself.

[...] Jim Galloway has the details, as do many, many right wing/birther/truther/nutjob sites. I’ll stick with Galloway here: The White House on Thursday confirmed receipt of a letter from U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal that formally asks Barack Obama to address questions about his place of birth – and thus, whether he is qualified to be president. [...]


January 8th, 2010
10:16 am

Deal and the rest of the birthers are doing this for the simple fact that the President is of a different hue than he is. Nothing more, nothing less.


January 8th, 2010
10:17 am


Road Scholar

January 8th, 2010
10:18 am

Hey Clem, Sonny said that he would change the state flag and let the flaggers vote on it. Oh, he changed his mind after he was elected. So why wasn’t he run out of office?


January 8th, 2010
10:23 am

Deal, Real, Birther, Steal. Deal brings his Washington ways to his governors race. Spends more than he takes in for the last 6 months. Only my man Ox understands how to control spending.

A True Patriot

January 8th, 2010
10:25 am

Obviously, there are very many people in this country, some in high positions in government, that have doubts about the birthplace of BO. If the White House has nothing to fear, a neutral panel should be appointed and an investigation begun to find out the truth. Frankly, with all the lies he told during his campaign, I have a hard time believing anything that comes out of BO’s mouth. And I know, all you BO fanatics who believe he is the second coming will find fault with this suggestion which will lead me to believe that you too are afraid of what might be found by the panel. Where there’s a smoking gun……..


January 8th, 2010
10:26 am

OK, so WHERE was Deal born? Prove it! Repeatedly. I think he’s from a different planet myself.

Coastal Cavalier

January 8th, 2010
10:28 am

“We await the storm of protest that’s certain to come.”

There’s no comparison. These are court ordered negotiations to settle litigation. Congressional actions, with the exception of national security, are to be conducted in open meetings. End of story.

It' s Simple Really

January 8th, 2010
10:34 am

A True Partiot, fly to Hawaii, go to the hospital where he was born, view their records, question doctors and nurses. If they are dead dig them up bring them back to life and demand that they answer your delusions. Happy now?

Kris in Loganville

January 8th, 2010
10:37 am

The last time I checked, Barack Obama was President. 70 million Americans voted for him. He was born in the U.S. State of Hawaii, unlike John McCain, who was born near Panama incidentally.

George Bush served 8 years in office although he did not win a majority, lost Florida in 2000 but was “elected” by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001, then according to many reports, lost Ohio and thus the 2004 election as well. Did Nathan Deal have a problem with Bush serving as President under those circumstances?

Nathan Deal is a racist. Yes, his brand of politics was a hallmark of a past Georgia, and though many Georgians still harbor such feelings, the vast majority of us do not. The man just torpedoed his chance of winning. Democrats and progessive minded people need to vote this year en masse and keep these idiots out of our statehouse.

Amy Lynn

January 8th, 2010
10:40 am

I have a gut feeling if Obama was not a man of color, Nathan Deal would not care where he was born.


January 8th, 2010
10:44 am

Talk about an odd pairing. Roy Barnes lost because the teacher’s union was mad that he tried to reform their profession and the Good ‘Ol Boys were mad that he changed the flag. I agreed with him on both issues and I am an ignorant, hick Republican.

Also, it is well know that Obama wasn’t born in the US…he came from heaven above!

Good Government

January 8th, 2010
10:44 am

I cannot think of a more disgraceful and embarracing thing for a Member of Congress to have done than to “officially” question the citizenship of the dually elected President of the United States.

This is an insult to our democracy. Given Mr. Deal’s comments about “Ghetto Grandmothers”, I think it’s safe to say that if Mr. Obama were a white man, Mr. Deal would likely not have any problem.

Additionally, given the ways in which he has abused his office to protect his private business, Mr. Deal should do the honorable thing and retire with dignity.

Got Stomach

January 8th, 2010
11:07 am

For all those who can’t stomach the current occupant in the White House, your team(Ms. You Betcha Wink Wink and Mr. McCain)lost back in November ‘08. Get over yourselves already. Three more years of your name calling (Obozo) and whatever childish phrases you come up with will not change a thing. Try again in three years.

Rafe Hollister

January 8th, 2010
11:07 am

Kris in Loganville, every recount done whether by the NY Times or the NAACP showed Bush with a small lead in FL. No one ever contested OH in 2004. So keep believing whatever you want, don’t let the truth confuse you. Bush was a terrible liberal president, but he was legally elected. Algore tried to corrupt the process by recounting counties he knew he would win by big margins. Why not recount the whole state and let the Reps include the military ballots that Al got thrown out because of minor technicalities.

Regarding Birth records on Obama, yes we have a record of Live Birth from Hawaii which confirms he was born there and newspaper accounts, so his birth there is not contested in my mind. He has never produced a “Official Birth Certificate” which exists but is being withheld by Obama. Why is he refusing to release this document. We can all make hypotheses, but until he releases the document there will be controversy. That is just the facts, live with them or make up your own facts.


January 8th, 2010
11:09 am

So much for Obama’s promise of “transparency.” What a freaking liar and con artist we have for president.


January 8th, 2010
11:11 am

Thank goodness for patriots like Nathan Deal.


January 8th, 2010
11:14 am

“Only my man Ox understands how to control spending.”

The thing about Oxendine isn’t his policies, its his ethics. The man openly takes money for favors. Anyone in the insurance business will tell you this. You want your new rates approved? You should make a donation to Oxendine. He is pretty blatant with it.

I don’t know why David Poythress isn’t making a bigger impact in this race. Perhaps its because he is a Democrat and running against the name recognition of Barnes. But Barnes had his chance and nothing really improved under his leadership. Granted, he was better than Sonny.

I don’t really care about political parties in this thing. I like Poythress’ resume’ and would like to see him have a chance.


January 8th, 2010
11:20 am

deal is a douche

Art Vandelay

January 8th, 2010
11:34 am

Rafe, why should Obama be held to a different standard than every other President in history? Did you demand to see Bush’s “Official Birth Certificate?” What about Clinton’s? Maybe Reagan’s? You know as well as anyone here that the only reason you’d even dare question Obama’s citizenship is because you’re mad that a black man won the election. Join the rest of us in the 21st century whenever you’re ready.

Intown Lib

January 8th, 2010
11:37 am

Deal = politcal opportunist who will stoop to stroking the birther idiots to gain votes no matter how irresponsible. Gawd, why can’t the Republicans put up a no nonsense candidate who can actually govern instead of just being an ideologue.

Congressional secrecy = just another Repub PR gimmick.

Water Wars secrecy = stupidity. Anyone who trusts our numbskull Governor to go it alone in negotiations and then deliver a compromise that those who are actually responsible for providing water and sewer service have never seen is smoking something.


January 8th, 2010
11:54 am

Can we send someone other than sonny to represent Georgia?

He will be like a lamb to the lions. How about someone with some actual negotiation experience. I bet Thomas Dimitroff would hammer out a good deal for us.

Mike "Hussein" Smith

January 8th, 2010
11:56 am

Anybody who knows anything about politics should realize that the President cannot ORDER the Congress to hold open negotiations. So get off his back on that one.


January 8th, 2010
12:08 pm

Good I hope they finally get the proof they need to get that stuipd F@#ker out of the White House. He is a bigger crook and ememy to America than anybody else on this planet right now.


January 8th, 2010
12:29 pm

You know I heard Nathan Dean was really born in Cuba, doubt its true, but its what I heard, maybe we should ask Dean to send us a copy of HIS birth certificate and prove HE is an American, and then check with the Health Department to see if its genuine. And if they tell us its genuine, don’t believe them and demand further proof.

Mary Beth

January 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

For someone who ran his campaign on transparancy, Obama has been anything BUT transparent. If he has nothing to hide, he has gone to great lengths and a great deal of expense to conceal his past.


January 8th, 2010
12:41 pm

Jim must love Republicans — he never writes about anything else.


January 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

It’s disgusting how you bunch of slobbering idiots/traitors want to call this a racist issue! If you don’t want to ensure your President is a legal citizen of the US then you’re truly an idiot! My question, why wouldn’t you want to know? This should be something required of each and every individual who runs for any elected office. If he’s a legal citizen then what do you have to worry about? Let facts speak. This man has lied so much about everything…why should we believe him on this issue? Call us traitors, crybabies, whatever because the name calling will be turned back on you come November! Want some whine to go with your cheese?

Chris Dunn

January 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

You democrats are such a piece of work. You say you’re tolerant but you flame everyone who doesn’t agree with you. Your President says he’ll have the most transparent presidency ever and C-SPAN has to beg to show healthcare talks. You say you needed stimulus to prevent unemployment yet employment continues to climb. Your senators are up for sale.

You democrats are losers – period

True Independent

January 8th, 2010
12:50 pm

At first, the “birthers” claims seemed rather outrageous to me. I felt much like Art V…..what other Presidents have had to offer up official birth certificates, etc.

But upon further review (and I’m not much for conspiracy theories) there seems to be at least a little something to this. For starters, unlike most other US Presidents, his father was from another country and his parents traveled extensively during the pregnancy with Barrack. I also understand that there was an interview (complete hearsay, as I’ve never seen this in text) from a grandmother claiming to have been present at Barack’s birth in Africa.

Add into that that there is evidence that Barack traveled abroad before he was every issued a US Passport. How did that happen? Was he traveling under the passport of another country?

I also understand that Barack and his team have fought really hard to keep many of his records sealed (college transcripts, applications, etc.)

Certainly enough to make most objective people go…hmmmmm. Why not release things like college applications, original birth certificates, passport records, etc. to settle the matter once and for all??

Chris Dunn

January 8th, 2010
12:50 pm

Hussein – why doesn’t POTUS have his talks in the WH made public? A transparent WH would let the public see all discussions which do not adversely impact National Security.

Let me help you with this one – this is a ONE Party rule country and the attempts to silence the opposition (”Fairness Doctrine”) are just waiting to be enacted.


January 8th, 2010
12:55 pm

Whether Hussein Obama is black or white, pink or green, he is presumed not to be an American citizen, therefore he took the oath under false intentions and is not the President of the United States. He continues to refuse to provide proof that he is not a native Kenyan.

Got Stomach

January 8th, 2010
12:57 pm

Mr. Obama isn’t really bi-racial. He is black/white and bleached/deeply tanned his skin to appear to the middle.

The proof that has been provided...

January 8th, 2010
12:58 pm

appears to be more than sufficient. I voted for McCain. And I am not an avid BO supporter, but let’s be realistic here.

George Bush ran the CIA during his career. Don’t you think the CIA would’ve done a little bit of background checking during the election? Rove, Cheney? McCain? I think that the previous administration and RNC could easily have the connections and pull to find out if BO met the qualifications to be president during the campaign.

So the continued waste of time, money, and ink on this issue makes the GOP appear to be petty, racist, and frankly stupid.

The proof that has been provided...

January 8th, 2010
1:04 pm

whatever happened to the GOP that was a leader in ideas, in intelligence, fiscal responsibility, Buckley, Will, Buchanan and Reagan? I miss those days.

it’s now hijacked by a huge group of whining zealots who think that policy is made by those who yell the loudest and are the most incendiary. Race, class warfare, flags, and tea parties are not the solution. We will not solve this country’s problems with the support of only 40% of the population.

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

January 8th, 2010
1:24 pm

I used to consider myself an independent until the Republican Party turned itself over to minority thinkers who want to control the world (not just the US), force their rules onto the rest of us, and, instead of trying to accomplish anything positive or help the citizens of this county, lie, cheat, steal, and subject this president to disrespect that no other president has had to endure. Criticism and watchdogging are fine and necessary. That’s what balance of power is all about. But this garbage? Where is Deal and the birthers “real” birth certificates? They demand a higher standard than the states and institutions, but only for certain people. Barack Obama got through school and voted, had a passport, and was elected to state office, paid taxes, married, had children. Somewhere along the line if there had been any issue or real question of his birth and/or citizenship it would have been raised. For 30 something years he lived and worked like the rest of us with no thought or chance of becoming president. When is enough enough? Regarding this president, it will never be enough. He’s biracial. That makes him different. It doesn’t make him illegal. We need economic and security issues fixed. We need jobs and healthcare. Let’s the Democrats, Lieberman, AND the Republicans do what they are being paid to do. Then, if and when there’s time, reinvent the wheel and act crazy.


January 8th, 2010
1:26 pm

True Independent,

You hit the nail on the head.

I don’t care if Obama was born in the light fixture in my dining room; his father was never a U.S. citizen and was governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948; he was a Kenyan citizen, and so is his son. Doesn’t much matter where the child was born.

Obama was born with dual citizenship and although he *may* be a U.S. citizen, he is not a Natural Born Citizen as specified by Article II of the Constitution. Being a NBC is a *specific* requirement to be POTUS. This is a birthright; it cannot be legislated.

Vattel’s Law of Nations defines an NBC as a child who is born in the country to citizen parentS (emphasis on the plural).

So clearly, Obama fails the NBC test because his father was a British (Kenyan) citizen. He is a usurper in Our House!

Thus far, Obama has paid upwards of 2 million dollars to keep his Senate, college, and birth records hidden.


Didn’t he promise a ‘transparent’ administration? Where is it? If he won’t produce his records for the American people who have a right to know who this man is, there is something very wrong here.


January 8th, 2010
1:31 pm

There is nothing he could do to stop these idiots from asking for more “proof”. He released his birth certificate. What else can he do?

I’ve written it before, but if I could produce a picture of Obama coming from his mother’s womb on top of the memorial to the SS Arizona, with Greg Brady surfind in the background and Don Ho singing “Tiny Bubbles” you guys STILL would not believe it.

Cynthia Tucker McKinney

January 8th, 2010
1:42 pm

hows that hope and change workin’ out for ya?

Voters Could Change the Way Think

January 8th, 2010
1:57 pm

Big money raised by candidates make people pay attention to them. Voters could decide to educate themselves instead of watching lame political commercials and campaign literature sent to their homes. All of it is marketing, advertising and branding a candidate. There is no substance to 30 or 60 second commercials telling you how wonderful the person is and how they will change all the bad things and make them good. So, Barnes will win because we have uneducated voters and we will lose people like Poythress that has integrity, experience and deserves a chance to lead Georgia. Barnes had his chance and blew it. Why, bring this old relic back to do what? People, I know David Poythress personally and I would give him money if i had it to give. However, the only thing I do have is a pen and my mouth. I will talk him up to whoever will listen. And, David Poythress needs to staff up his campaign with folks that can bring him a victory with sheer creativity and good campaign strategies.

ms. helga

January 8th, 2010
2:02 pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgRfB47atlg&feature=player_embedded – Here is Obama admitting his FATHER is KENYAN making him MAYBE ONLY a NATURALIZED Citizen NOT a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN(NBC). END OF STORY FOR THE USURPER.


January 8th, 2010
2:41 pm

For all you folks yelling about transparency, how’d that compassionate conservatism work out for you? Politicians say one thing on the campaign trail, and do the other once in office. No surprise, and I never expected Obama to broadcast anything on C-SPAN. As an earlier poster said, do you really think McCain and the RNC would’ve allowed Obama to come anywhere near the nominee for the democrats if they had any proof at all he wasn’t a citizen.

This is a non-issue. Nothing more the wacko ‘patriots’ finding another way to oppose a black president. The issue of citizenship never arose in recent memory for a presidential election. Heck, McCain wasn’t even born in the states but got a free pass. And for those of you republicans accusing blacks of only voting for democrats, this is a prime example why.


January 8th, 2010
2:46 pm

The dude’s mom is an American citizen. End of story.

This is Crazy

January 8th, 2010
2:55 pm

Deal is Crazy,Crazy, Crazy.


January 8th, 2010
3:09 pm

True Independent, you are full of it. You claim to have been neutral on the topic and then had some inkling there may be something to lies about Obama. The rest of your post is full blown birfer nonsense. Barrack Obama was born in Hawaii, USA. There is NO requirement that both of his parents had to be citizens, Vattel was not a founding father. All of this is a bunch of crap invented by sore losers. Don’t like the President? Vote him out of office. Until then, y’all should go back to school and learn how to think


January 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

At least Bush was an American Natural Born Citizen.