(CN) – President Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate Wednesday morning after lamenting in a press conference, “I’ve got better stuff to do.”
Next week the 9th Circuit will hear arguments in a case that uses right-wing skepticism about Obama’s citizenship to argue that he is not eligible to serve as president. The Central District of California dismissed the case in 2009.
In 2008, when the birther conspiracy was still in its infancy, Obama released his birth certificate, which showed he was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. In Hawaii, that document is called a Certificate of Live Birth. It is the same legal documentation provided to all Hawaiians as proof of their birth in the state, Obama said.
At a press conference Wednesday, Obama said he decided to release the long-form certificate to end the ongoing distraction that he says he has “watched with bemusement.”
White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the new documentation should put the conspiracy theories to rest.
“The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country,” Pfeiffer said on the White House Blog. “It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country. Therefore, the President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long form certificate and to request on that basis that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate. They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting.”
Obama said he expects “a segment of people” will continue to raise questions about his citizenship, but that the “vast majority of the American people” will move the debate to more important matters.
“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” Obama said. “We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve. And I’m confident we can solve them, but we’re going to have to focus on them – not on this.”