Jul 12, 2010 7:54 PM by Chris Welty
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana says
he supports conservative organizations challenging President Barack
Obama's citizenship in court.
Vitter, who is running for re-election, made the comments at a
town hall-style event in Metairie, La., on Sunday when a
constituent asked what he would do about what the questioner said
was Obama's "refusal to produce a valid birth certificate."
With the crowd applauding the question, Vitter responded that he
doesn't personally have standing to bring litigation. "But I
support conservative legal organizations and others who would bring
that to court," he said, according to a video of the event. "I
think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do
He later cautioned that the matter could distract from policy
"I think if we focus on that issue and let our eye off the ball
... I think that's a big mistake," he said. "I'm not dismissing
any of this. I think first and foremost, we need to fight the Obama
agenda at the ballot box starting this fall."
So-called birthers have challenged Obama's standing as president
by arguing that he was not born in the United States.
Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed the president's
citizenship, and his Hawaiian birth certificate has been made
public, along with newspaper birth notices published when he was
born in 1961.
Vitter said the only direct information he has about the issue
is what he's learned through the news media "filter." His
spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about whether
the senator doubts Obama's citizenship.