Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General, Clarifies Obama Birther Statements
UPDATE: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has clarified statements he made in which he appeared to question President Obama's citizenship.
"I absolutely believe that President Obama was born in the United States. I don't buy into the claims that he wasn't. On the recording, I was asked a hypothetical legal question, and I gave a hypothetical legal answer in response," Cuccinelli said in a statement on Monday. "As I said previously, this issue was not a part of my campaign, and it is not part of what I am doing now as attorney general."
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has also since come out to distance himself from Cuccinelli's earlier statements. On Monday afternoon, Cuccinelli's conservative colleague clarified that he did not believe Obama was born outside the United States.
Earlier, the newly-minted Virginia attorney general appeared to endorse the idea that President Obama may not have been born in the United States during an interview posted by blogger "Not Larry Sabato".
Not only did Cuccinelli appear to stand up for birther claims, but the Virginia Attorney General went on to lay the groundwork for a potential court case challenging President Obama's birth certificate.
Watch the video, transcript below:
Here's an excerpt from the interview:
Q: What can we do about Obama and the birth certificate thing?
Cuccinelli: It will get tested in my view when someone -- when he signs a law, and someone is convicted of violating it and one of their defenses will be it's not a law because someone qualified to be President didn't sign it.
Q: Is that something you can do as Attorney General? Can you do that or something?
Cuccinelli: Well only if there is a conflict where we're suing the federal government for a law they've passed. So it's possible.
Q: Because we are talking about the possibility that he was not born in America.
Cuccinelli: Right. But at the same time under Rule 11, Federal Rule 11, we gotta have proof of it.
Q: How can we get proof?
Cuccinelli: Well... that's a good question. Not one I've thought a lot about because it hasn't been part of my campaign. I mean, someone is going to have to come forward with nailed down testimony that he was born in place B, wherever that is. You know, the speculation is Kenya. And that doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility.