April 21, 2010
Here he speaks with AZ state Rep Cecil Ash who voted in favor of the birther bill because he wants the controversy cleared up and never have it be an issue again/ He personally believes barry is a citizen – but says he’s not investigated it. Also denies there’s anything racist about it.
Start at (2:20)
1-It’s not just a matter of him being born in Hawaii and it’s not a matter of whether he is American. It’s whether or not he meets the natural born citizen requirement.
COOPER: Joining us now is Arizona Republican State Representative Cecil Ash who voted for the measure. Thanks for being with us. Do you believe Barack Obama is an American, born in Hawaii?
CECIL ASH (R), ARIZONA STATE LEGISLATURE: All the evidence I’ve seen is that he was born Hawaii. I’ve seen a birth certificate on the Internet. Of course, you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet so. I’ve never personally investigated it or studied it.
COOPER: But — ok, it sounds like you’re saying you believe it but you don’t believe what you read on the Internet. So you do believe he’s an American, though?
ASH: Yes, I do.
2-Gets the name wrong. Incorrectly connects it to what Fukino vouched for and proclaims it a false rumor.
COOPER: I mean, as you said, the Certificate of Live Birth is available for anyone to see, it’s been released. And in Hawaii, there are only electronic records at this point; the Health Department there has verified it. They made public statements. So why vote for something which perpetuates these false Internet rumors?
2-How does voting for a bill that is not even law perpetuate rumors about barry who hasn’t declared he’s running in 2012?
ASH: Well Anderson, I think there’s been a lot of controversy over the issue. It’s created a division among a lot of people in the United States. And for better or worse many people don’t believe he is a U.S. citizen, they believe he has loyalties — a divided loyalties, I suppose you could say.
COOPER: Right, but those people are wrong, I mean, he is a U.S. citizen.
ASH: Well, you’re telling me that he’s wrong. I’ve never investigated that. If he is, then he has nothing to fear.
COOPER: But I mean the information is out there, I mean, it has been released, it has been shown. There are some people who don’t believe it but there are also some people who believe the moon is made out of cheese. And you can say you’ve never investigated it but I think you would probably say the moon is not made out of cheese.
ASH: Well, I certainly would. But the — the reason I spoke up on this bill is simply because there is a lot of division in the country and I believe this would put an end to any future controversy about a president’s qualifications.
3-Pot calling the kettle black.
COOPER: You told our producer you voted for this because you get a lot of calls from constituents with questions based on things they’ve read on the Internet. I mean, isn’t it your job as a leader to actually lead to not just throw up your hands and say well, who knows what’s real on the Internet? To actually say, well, actually Hawaii has released this information and it’s factually correct?
ASH: Well, as I said, I haven’t personally investigated that. But I think that if —
COOPER: But I mean, there’s plenty of things you believe that you have not personally investigated. Why this are you holding onto?
ASH: That’s true. Well, what we’re requiring here is for a presidential candidate to demonstrate that he’s qualified. And I don’t think having any presidential candidate show that he’s qualified by demonstrating the requirements — of the requirements, that there’s any problem with that.
Cooper tries unsuccessfully to rattle Rep Ash.
COOPER: You told my producer you thought the President spent a million dollars fighting the release of his birth certificate. Then that raised concerns for you.
ASH: That’s what I’ve heard. As I said.
COOPER: Right, but that’s not — you know that’s actually not true?
ASH: I don’t know that that’s not true. As I said, I haven’t studied it. You get a lot of information on the Internet. As you know, much of it is inaccurate. This has not been a focus of my attention for the last two years, but I know it is a matter of controversy for many people. And I looked at this as simply a means to end that controversy.
COOPER: You also said to our producer that the president identified himself as foreigner on his college application.
COOPER: You know that’s not true, right?
ASH: I didn’t know that that was not true.
COOPER: That was a story that was put out on April Fools’ Day; it’s a fake AP News story.
4-No one knows. And no one will know until his college records are released. If you don’t know what the truth is you can’t say what the truth is not.
ASH: Like I said, I’m reluctant to believe anything I read on the Internet, including the evidence about his Birth Certificate. This — this is not the responsibility —
COOPER: So the only way you will believe a Birth Certificate is if you see it for yourself at the State Office in Hawaii? I mean, to not believe anything that is put out by anyone, then how can you believe anything?
ASH: Well, it’s not — it’s not my responsibility to check the qualifications. When someone comes to be on the ballot in Arizona, it’s not my responsibility to check those qualifications. It’s the responsibility of the Secretary of State.
And so all we said is if it’s required that you be a natural-born citizen, he should determine that. Now, you — you argue this in terms of what’s happened to Barack Obama, I’m thinking in terms of the next nominees down the road.
5-It’s not about barry. A point barryfans don’t seem to grasp, which is odd considering Az is McCain’s home state and the Senate had to have a hearing to stipulate McCain was a NBC. Something they didn’t do when McCain ran for president before. Something they didn’t do for barry either.
COOPER: But this is all about Barack Obama. I mean, this is — this is completely partisan — no?
ASH: Well, that’s why I spoke up on the bill. They were — the other side, the Democrats were saying this is racist; it’s to embarrass Barack Obama. And I spoke up to say, this is not a matter of race, it’s not a racist issue. I’m merely voting for the — as you call it, the birther’s amendment.
6-Here comes the very lame where was Bush born argument.
COOPER: So where was George Bush born?
ASH: I have no idea where George Bush was born.
COOPER: But that wasn’t a concern for you when he was in office?
ASH: The issue never came up.
COOPER: What about Bill Clinton, where was he born?
ASH: I have no idea.
7-The questions are: would Bush or Clinton have been able to get where barry is without producing his birth certificate when asked and would they have refused to produce it when asked?
COOPER: So — so all of a sudden, you’re concerned about where the President of the United States is born, based on calls you’re getting from constituents who are misinformed?
ASH: Actually, I did not get any calls from constituents until after this bill was passed. But I don’t think there’s any harm in requiring someone to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for the position. Now, nobody can deny — regardless of what you believe about President Obama — nobody can deny that there’s been a controversy.
8-Cooper mentions “facts” when everything he presented to be “facts” are not.
COOPER: Yes, but there’s controversy about everything and there are — but there are things called facts and you know the facts. You are a leader, you know the facts. Isn’t it your job, when a constituent calls and says, gosh, I’m reading all this stuff on the Internet that President Obama was a foreign exchange student, to say, actually, no, he wasn’t. I mean, isn’t that you’re — part of your job?
ASH: No, President Obama is president now. For the future, this kind of controversy should not come up again, because they’ll have to establish that up front. And that will avoid this kind of controversy in the future.
COOPER: Your critics will say that you and the other Republicans only Republicans voted for this, are simply pandering to a misinformed electorate. That rather than setting the record straight yourselves, you’re just pandering, you’re just kind throwing up your hands and say, gosh, I don’t know, there’s a lot of stuff on the Internet and a lot of it seems controversial. We need this bill, rather than saying actually this information is false.
9-Who are the people who keep making the bill about barry? It’s not retroactive. If barry runs in 2012, then he would have to provide a copy of his original BC to prove what he has already sworn to. So what’s the problem?
ASH: Well, I think our purpose was to avoid this kind of controversy in the future. And I think that’s appropriate, that’s our jobs as leaders, is to eliminate the possibility of this kind of controversy in the future.
COOPER: State Representative Cecil Ash, I appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.
ASH: Thank you very much, bye.
Next up Roland Martin and John Avlon.