Sen. Shelby Questioned Obama Citizenship: Paper

Senator slams quote as 'distortion'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 4:14 PM CST
President Barack Obama delivers remarks to open the Fiscal Responsibility Summit today in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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.