Huffpost Politics

Sarah Palin Endorses Candidate With Birther 'Questions'

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Sarah Palin threw her weight behind Steve Pearce Wednesday in a momentous endorsement that is sure to shake up the former Congressman's quest to win back the New Mexico seat he lost in 2008.

If the name Steve Pearce sounds familiar, that's probably because HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reported Wednesday that the GOP candidate recently gave credence, if not outright support, to a questioner who asked him to explain his position on President Obama being a "Kenyan-born, Indonesian Muslim."

In Pearce's response, he explained his belief that there were "significant questions" that still needed answer with regards to the Obama birther conspiracy:

PEARCE: You bet. Let's take it backwards first. My position is that Barack Obama raised the most significant questions himself. He said, after he came to the U.S., that he traveled to Pakistan. Now at the point that he traveled to Pakistan it was not legal to go there with a U.S. passport. And so he, himself, raised the greatest questions. I think that those questions need to be asked.

Now, then, my question would be to you all at what importance, what importance? You can typically fight two or three major battles in a year, major, and for me, if we don't get our economy going, nothing else works. ... I'm content to let the courts handle that and it's my understanding the Supreme Court is actually looking at this question because I think it's an important question. But I absolutely believe that Barack Obama raises the most significant questions himself.

Pearce then said he wouldn't "have a problem expressing my opinions or expressing a vote" on the matter.

Political Correction notes the timing of the endorsement and wonders if there's a connection:

Palin's endorsement of Pearce last night raises some "significant questions" as well. She endorsed Pearce as a "principled conservative" who "understands what makes this country great." Does Palin's definition of a "principled conservative" include those who push blatant falsehoods? Does Palin think that questioning the citizenship of our president is one of the things that "makes this country great?" These are the real questions that need answering.

Last year Palin gave a somewhat Pearce-like characterization of the calls for Obama's birthplace to be more carefully examined:

"I think the public rightfully is still making it an issue," Palin told conservative radio host Rusty Humphries. "I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think that members of the electorate still want answers."

She later clarified that she had personally never "asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States."

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