Michele Bachmann Toes the Birther Line, Again

By

Birthers seem to be confused about which prospective GOP presidential candidates are on their side, but perhaps Michele Bachmann, who continues to deliberate on a run, would be a suitable target of their affection/money/votes. Master strategist Karl Rove was, just last night, imploring Republicans to be "very careful" about allowing birthers within the party "to get too high a profile," but this morning on Good Morning America, Bachmann was doing a birther dance that has become all too familiar. Asked by George Stephanopoulos whether she was willing to "state very clearly" that Obama was born in America and is a Christian, Bachmann responded, "That isn’t for me to state; that’s for the president to state,” which we think means that no, she is not. Watch it, starting at 4:35:

With enough prodding, Bachmann, echoing Mitch McConnell, eventually summons the courage to say that she we should "take the president at his word," as if there was no actual evidence which with she could form her own opinion on the matter. This is not the first time Bachmann has had trouble with the birther question. Here's how it went with Larry King in 2009:

Just as in her interview with Stephanopoulos, Bachmann initially tries to avoid taking a stand on the issue one way or the other, but after being pressed multiple times by King and James Carville, is finally forced into coughing up a less-than-definitive admission that Obama is a natural-born citizen.

She may not give the birthers the answer they really want to hear — that the president was born on the Kenyan/Indonesian border to Malcolm X and Bernardine Dohrn, or something — but the birthers know that's asking for too much, anyway, from someone who may run for president. With her struggle to evade the question, though, Bachmann demonstrates her reluctance to accede to the media's demand that she affirm Obama's natural-born citizenry, and thus, her lack of conviction on the subject. That's an effort that probably doesn't go unnoticed.

Update: Here's how it's done. When Arizona congressman Jeff Flake was asked about the birther conspiracy on CNN today, he said, "I think that most people understand and accept the reality. The reality is that, yes, he was born in the United States."