In an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday evening, former House Majority Leader and future "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Tom DeLay joined the ranks of those who are not sure the president was born in the United States.
While other prominent Republicans have said that people have a right to question the president or that he should release his birth certificate to put the rumors to rest, few have gone as far as DeLay did in supporting the birther movement.
On "Hardball," Chris Matthews tried repeatedly to get DeLay to comment on the conspiracy, an issue that often makes Republicans uneasy on television. Finally he said, "You keep skipping over this birther thing. A half dozen members of what was your delegation, you built that delegation, you built that republican stronghold down there ... people like that are birthers and raise the questions of the president's legitimacy. The implication is this guy ought to be picked up because he was never naturalized and therefore, in the country illegally. Where are you on that one?" Matthews was referring to the six Texas Republican lawmakers who have co-sponsored Rep. Bill Posey's (R-Fla.) "birther bill."
This time, DeLay did not avoid the question. On the contrary, he seemed to place himself firmly in the birther camp. "I would like the president to produce his birth certificate," he said. "I can. I can, most illegal aliens here in America can. Why can't the president of the United States produce a birth certificate?"
DeLay even went so far as to ask for Matthews' help in securing the document. "Chris, will you do me a favor?" he asked. "Will you ask the president to show me... his birth certificate." Matthews declined, and pointed out that there was a newspaper announcement of the president's birth in 1961. DeLay questioned that as well: "Is a newspaper article an official document?" At that point, Matthews appeared to give up. "It's common sense we're talking about here," he said. "Common sense ... They gave us the document that was made available to anybody in Hawaii who asked for a birth certificate. That document they give you. That's all I know." He then changed the subject.