Cuccinelli: ‘We gotta have proof’ that Obama is U.S. citizen
Story by Chris Graham
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, fresh off the controversy that he generated with his letter to Virginia public colleges and universities earlier this month advising them against going too far in policies protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination on campus, is back in the hot seat again, this time over comments from late last year questioning President Obama’s citizenship.
The comments came to light in a posting on the left-wing political blog Not Larry Sabato on Monday that included audio from an interview conducted by an unnamed man of Cuccinelli in the post-election transition period.
In the interview, the man asks Cuccinelli what can be done “about Obama and the birth-certificate thing.” Cuccinelli responds that he thinks the question of Obama’s citizenship that has been a cause celebre for the far, far right dating back to the 2008 presidential election “will get tested, in my view, when someone – when he signs a law, and someone is convicted of violating it, and one of their defenses will be, ‘It’s not a law because someone qualified to be president didn’t sign it.'”
The interviewer then interjects that the issue would be that “we are talking about the possibility that he was not born in America,” referring to Obama. “Right,” answers Cuccinelli. “But at the same time under Rule 11, Federal Rule 11, we gotta have proof of it.”
Later in the exchange, Cuccinelli says it is not “beyond the realm of possibility” that Obama was born in Kenya, as has been suggested consistently by far-right partisans.
Cuccinelli told the Washingfton Post in a statement on the matter released on Monday that he “absolutely believe(s)” that Obama was born in America.
“I don’t buy into the claims that he wasn’t,” Cuccinelli said.
Democratic Party of Virginia executive director David Mills used the new controversy involving Cuccinelli to blast the attorney general and the Republican Party.
“Attorney General Cuccinelli owes Virginians an explanation for his out-of-whack priorities. While our Commonwealth struggles with a $4.2 billion dollar deficit, the Attorney General has shown that he’s willing to use the resources of his taxpayer-funded office to push his own radical agenda. Virginians shouldn’t be asked to foot the bill for Ken Cuccinelli’s irresponsible behavior and missplaced priorities,” Mills said. “The Attorney General should pledge today not to spend a dime of our tax dollars pursuing ridiculous conspiracy theories about President Obama. We hope Governor McDonnell is making plans to rein in his 2009 ticketmate and protect Virginians’ money from being spent on Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme political agenda.”