(CHICAGO) — After appearing in the White House briefing room where documentation of his birth in Hawaii was shown, President Obama joked with Oprah Winfrey about the “birther” controversy that he hopes Wednesday’s release will finally “put to rest.”
“Can I just say — I was there, so I knew that — I knew I had been born. I remembered it,” Obama joked about his birth to Oprah Winfrey in a taping of her show Wednesday from the Harpo studios in Chicago, Ill.
“He was born here,” first lady Michelle Obama interjected, sitting by her husband’s side for the interview.
As he said earlier in the day at the White House when the official certification of his live birth was released, the president said that critics who claim that he was not born in the United States and thus not eligible for the presidency were a distraction to the bigger issues that the country faces.
“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.”
The president said that the nation cannot be distracted “by sideshows” and instead he should be attending to solving the nation’s problems.
“We are living in a very serious time.” Obama said, “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.”
The Obamas’ full appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show will air Monday, May 2.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio