Toward the end of my lengthy interview with California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore — my second interview to date with the conservative GOP candidate for U.S. Senate — I asked him to respond to a Huffington Post story that made much out of his friendship with part-time Obama birth conspiracy theorist Floyd Brown. I’ve gotten some media questions about the excerpt I posted, so here is his whole answer to that question.
Yeah, my only comment on that is that the president is doing himself no favors by spending millions of dollars to block the release of documents surrounding his birth certificate. And as long as the president keeps fighting tooth and nail to prevent the release of such things, I think people are going to remain skeptical. Now, that having been said, the Natural Born Citizen requirement of the Constitution was never put into statutory, enabling language, so there is no statutory requirement for secretaries of state around the country to verify one’s citizenship eligibity when one files to run for president of the United States. And so clearly, from a political standpoint, it was probably incumbent on Sen. [Hillary Rodham] Clinton’s campaign to push the issue back when they raised it. And having been unsuccessful, it seems to me it’s kind of hard to undo.
Just like the impeachment, with [President Bill] Clinton, my concern over issues like this is that, just as with Clinton, there are policy matters that I profoundly disagree with the current president on. And to the degree that we get distracted into these secondary questions, it begins to allow the president and his allies to shift the debate on an issue that is going to be very hard for us to win, while at the same time allowing them to escape the sort of scrutiny on the policies that we need to engage in to win. To win on our issues.
I was a little surprised that DeVore didn’t knock this down harder; it seems to be stinging him today.
UPDATE: A statement from the candidate:
I said ten years ago that the move to impeach and convict President Clinton was a distraction from countering his liberal policies. So too is the effort now to question President Obama’s legitimacy. Make no mistake, the Constitution is clear: Barack Obama is the President. The more time Carly Fiorina’s campaign spends on this side issue, the less time we have to work against the far-left agenda and failed policies of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Boxer.