Hours after the White House released Obama’s birth certificate on Wednesday, the president addressed the issue during a sit-down with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
“Why did you wait so long, though? When it first came up, were you thinking, I hope I was born here?” Oprah asked the president.
A smiling Obama answered: “Can I just say I was there, so I knew. I knew I had been born. I remember it.”
Sitting by her husband’s side, first lady Michelle Obama, said, her hands in the air: “He was born here!”
Obama said the decision to release the document in the hope that the controversy could be put aside.
“And so at that point I said to my team, look, even though this is not usually what the State of Hawaii does,” he explained. “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.”
The president called the critics of his birthplace “carnival barkers going around trying to get attention instead of solving problems.”
Obama’s birth certificate shows that he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.
The document has been recently made public, a gesture intended to end speculation bout the “birther” movement questioning his citizenship and eligibility for office.