Sen. Richard Shelby may be a “birther”—one who questions whether Barack Obama is in fact a natural-born American and therefore eligible to be president, Salon reports. When asked about Obama citizenship rumors, the Alabama Republican replied: “His father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate. You have to be born in America to be president.”
Shelby’s office released a statement slamming the quote, published in Alabama’s Cullman Times, as a “distortion.” Shelby meant to say that “while he hasn’t personally seen the president’s birth certificate, he is confident that the matter has been thoroughly examined,” a spokesman said. The newspaper stands by its version, and posted an open request for video or audio of the event on its website.