28 Apr 2011

Yes, I was born in the US, Obama confirms

11:58 am on 28 April 2011

United States President Barack Obama has made an extraordinary live television appearance reaffirming that he was born in the US.

Mr Obama says the persistent suggestions by opponents that he is not a natural-born US citizen, and therefore ineligible to be president, are a distraction when there are more pressing issues to be dealt with.

The ABC reports that television networks broke into regular programming to cover the statement live.

"I'm speaking to the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press," the President said.

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We've got better stuff to do. I've got better stuff to do."

The White House has released a copy of Mr Obama's original long-form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. It states that Barack Hussein Obama was born at 7.24pm on 4 August, 1961, at the Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

Will conspiracy theorists be silenced?

The ABC's North America correspondent says it's unclear whether the certificate will satisfy the most hardcore conspiracy theorists, who claim Mr Obama might have been born in Kenya or Indonesia.

Previously, the 2008 Obama presidential campaign had released a short-form computerised abstract of the kind issued to any Hawaiian when they ask for a copy of their birth certificate.

The new document was obtained by Mr Obama's personal lawyer, who travelled to Hawaii to retrieve a copy and returned with it on Tuesday.