Nathan Deal: Man of his word.
Last November, the Georgia congressman and 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate said he planned to ask President Barack Obama for a copy of his birth certificate so all this birther nonsense could be resolved once and for all. Deal told the AJC's Bob Keefe: "I have looked at the documentation that is publicly available and it leaves many things to be desired."
Well, after several unreturned phone calls to Deal's campaign HQ and congressional office before the holidays, we can now report that the lawmaker kept his word. Kind of.
In December, Deal Chief of Staff Todd Smith says, the congressman did indeed send Obama a letter that addresses constituents' concerns about the president's birth certificate, which Smith says the White House then acknowledged. However, Smith says, Deal didn't request Obama's birth certificate the letter was about the hubbub surrounding the document's authenticity.
(Smith, who was hesitant to discuss the letter's specifics, provided little information about its contents and declined to furnish CL with a copy. He said a blog post that reported Smith as confirming the request for Obama's birth certificate was "inaccurate." The White House did not respond to CL's request for the letter.)
"In deference to the president, we should certainly let him have the opportunity to respond to any letter that he gets before we release it," Smith said.
Smith said Deal's office has received numerous inquiries about Obama's proof of citizenship and birth certificate. Smith stressed that the congressman's not "trying to make a political issue about it," which he says is why the congressman didn't issue a press release trumpeting the letter. "He just wants it off the plate so that we can get on to health care, the economy and homeland security."
The Post and Email breathlessly "broke" the news about Deal's letter, saying it "forever changes the public discourse." If you're bored and seeking some enlightenment, you should read the article's comments. Freepers are eating up the news. The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel also posted about the letter. The comments there are more our speed.
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