Michigan Republican Tom Casperson opened his mouth and removed all doubt about his status as a tea party fool this week when he answered “don’t know” when asked by radio show host Michael Patrick Shiels if President Obama was born in the USA. Casperson joins the ranks of the 37% of Michigan Republican Party delegates that believe President Obama was not born a US citizen, an astonishing figure given that he has released both the long-form and the short-form versions of his birth certificate. There’s also the fact that a birth announcement appeared in a Hawaiian newspaper the day he was born.
When Shiels asked him if he was surprised so many Republicans still believe President Obama isn’t a natural born citizen, Casperson replied, “Not really, based on everything everybody’s saying. I don’t know because it seems that issue was dropped immediately as far as major media went. And my gut tells me that if it had been a different president, like, say, George W. Bush, they’d have been diggin’ into that like there’s no tomorrow, trying to get to the bottom of that, which they never really did try to get to the bottom of. So it became a conspiracy theory — no big deal.”
Shiels then asked if he thought is was strange that President Obama was re-elected but might not be eligible to be president. Casperson told him, “I think it’s strange again that it’s not being looked at by certain groups that normally would. I think what the media did with George W. Bush was OK — it kept his feet to the fire, but I think they equally should be doing that with this president.”
Here’s the audio, courtesy of our good friends over at Progress Michigan:
It’s truly incredible that this man thinks there wasn’t a huge media circus around this topic for weeks and months. Perhaps they don’t have television, radio or any of the internets up there in the Upper Peninsula where Casperson is from.
MIRS News reports that Casperson doubled down on his stupidity when they spoke with him. He told them he “feels the mainstream media is partly responsible” for these odd beliefs and that they “ginned a lot of this up.”
People who are conspiracy theorists, they’re saying they’re hiding it, because they don’t dig into it and bring it up or they find something real quick and say, ‘Well, this dismisses it.’ All I’m saying is that I just compare how they treated George W. Bush and they’re so soft-balling this president that it’s unbelievable — which generates conspiracies.
What I was told is that he produced a copy — he didn’t produce the actual document. [I]f he produced the actual documents, that issue should be put to rest. But, the last I heard, he produced copies of the documents, so again, conspiracies can run with that. I would just simply say, if he submitted a copy of the actual documents, if George W. Bush would have submitted that, would the media gladly took it and said, ‘That’s legitimate. Just let it go’?
Right. President Obama hasn’t had as much scrutiny as George W. Bush.
Are you freaking kidding me?
Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan nailed it:
Questioning the President’s birthplace is like believing in Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. Sen. Casperson should immediately apologize and acknowledge that Obama was born in the United States. We need elected leaders who are focused on creating jobs and improving education – not wild Tea Party conspiracy theories.
In a separate statement, Pohl said, “It’s clear the Michigan Senate has a bona fide birther among its ranks.”
Even Casperson’s hometown newspaper The Daily News in Iron Mountain is shaking their editorial head at this, calling his comments “disappointing”.
What’s strange, actually, is Casperson’s reluctance to accept Obama’s birth certificate as Obama’s birth certificate. The president has offered up the certificate not once, but twice. Each time a new birther conspiracy twist fizzles, it recycles again, only to be debunked once more.
Earlier this year, former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised fellow Republicans to loudly reject “birther nonsense.”
Apparently, Sen. Casperson is choosing “don’t know” as an alternative.
And that’s disappointing.
Just when you think Michigan Republicans couldn’t do anything to make our state a bigger laughing stop, by Goddess they go right out and prove you wrong. Sheesh.
Disappointing ain’t the half of it.