Dans ce court extrait de quelque secondes qui a suscité un joli buzz sur You Tube, le maire de la ville de Champaign (dans l'Etat dont Obama avait été élu sénateur), interrogé par ce qui semble être un étudiant, n'hésite pas à affirmer qu'à ses yeux le président Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) n'est pas un citoyen américain.
L'argumentaire du maire, même s'il contient une erreur flagrante, BHO est bien un citoyen américain, contient un argument irréfutable : « s'il ne veut pas rendre public l'original de son certificat c'est qu'il a quelque chose à cacher ».
Le journaliste David Mercer, de l'AP, qui rend compte de cet événement, se garde bien de poser la question clef de ce débat : « pourquoi donc BHO n'a-t-il pas rendu public une copie de l'original de son acte de naissance » ?
Champaign mayor doubts Obama is an American
Video of comments about citizenship posted on YouTube
— When a man with a video camera at a tea party protest asked Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart what he thought of President Barack Obama, the three-term Republican didn’t hesitate.
“I don’t think he’s American, personally,” the mayor said Thursday in a video that’s been posted on YouTube. “You know, if you’re not willing to produce an original certificate like a birth certificate, then you’ve got something to hide.”
The 71-year-old Schweighart told The Associated Press on Friday that he stands by the statement.
“Oh, sure,” he said. “My stand, and I don’t understand why everybody is so upset, is he’s never shown the original birth certificate.”
Schweighart was echoing complaints made by some tea party activists and so-called birthers who doubt Obama is qualified to hold his office. Though state officials in Hawaii say records confirm Obama was born there, birthers say the president has never proven his citizenship.
A spokesman for the Illinois Democratic Party said he was surprised to still be responding to questions about Obama’s legitimacy as president.
“Most rational people have discarded that question years ago,” Steve Brown said.
The mayor’s statement led to discussion on local talk radio Friday. A half-dozen or more callers sounded off on WDWS radio’s “Penny for Your Thoughts” program, some backing the mayor, some saying he embarrassed the city.
Schweighart said the man who videotaped him appeared to be part of a student group from the University of Illinois who attended the rally in opposition to the tea party. The YouTube video was posted by someone whose online ID is illinoisgrads, but the person didn’t respond to a request for comment that The Associated Press sent through the Web site.
The mayor said he doesn’t know Obama, though years ago he shared a table with him at a Champaign event where Obama spoke. Schweighart said he had no particular awareness of Obama as a politician — much less concern about him — before the former senator from Illinois became president.
But Schweighart, who was a Champaign police officer for 32 years, said he shares many tea party concerns about the president’s health care plan and other issues.
“It’s just worrisome that the government is going to be running everything,” he said.