WASHINGTON--Oprah Winfrey interviewed President Obama and First Lady Michelle in Chicago on Wednesday a few hours after he released the "long form" of his birth certificate in an attempt to quash questions about his U.S. birth. Joked Obama to Winfrey, "I was there, so I knew-- that --I knew I had been born. I remembered it."
The show will be broadcast on May 2.
OPRAH: And before you came today you had a press conference.
PRES. OBAMA: I did. OPRAH: By the time this airs, it will be all over the world that you outed the birth certificate. You let us see the birth certificate. (Laughter.) MRS. OBAMA: He was born here.OPRAH: Yes. And it's confirmed again that you are born -- PRES. OBAMA: Once again. OPRAH: -- once again in the United States. Why did -- why did you wait so long, though? PRES. OBAMA: You know, keep in mind what had happened. This came up about two -- OPRAH: Two and a half years ago. PRES. OBAMA: Two and a half years ago. And so we called up the folks in Hawaii and the Department of Health. OPRAH: When it first came up were you thinking, I hope I was born here. PRES. OBAMA: Can I just say? I was there, so I knew -- (laughter) -- that -- I knew I had been born. I remembered it. (Laughter.) OPRAH: Of course you did.
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PRES. OBAMA: The bottom line is this, though. Two weeks ago a huge debate was initiated around where our budget needs to go. We've got some serious decisions to make about how do we bring our deficit down and our debt down but do it in a way that preserves what makes America great: Our investments in education. Our investments in infrastructure. Our investments in basic research. Making sure that we've got a strong safety net for our seniors and during the course of this major debate where I gave a big speech and the Republicans voted on their proposal, the biggest news was this birth certificate thing.
OPRAH: The birth certificate.
PRES. OBAMA: And so at that point I said to my team, look, even though this is not usually what the State of Hawaii does. Even though the Republican Governor of Hawaii, the Democratic Governors of Hawaii, all the various officials had confirmed that I was born here, let's ask them for a special dispensation where they will go ahead and provide us with the original to see if we can put this to rest. And my general point is this. We are living in a very serious time. And America has huge potential and opportunity to seize the 21st century. We're only gonna get there, though, if we have a serious conversation about the things that matter to people.
PRES. OBAMA: Jobs and gas prices and how do we bring down the deficit? And how do we deal with all the changes going on around the world? And we can't be distracted by sideshows and, as I said at my press conference, carnival barkers who are going around trying to get attention instead of actually solving the problems -- (applause).