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Republican Party leaders want nothing to do with the often-discredited “birther” movement and are scrambling to distance themselves from the fringe elements that continue to question the birthright of President Barack Obama.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer stood up to the birthers in her own state this week by vetoing a bill that would have demanded proof of citizenship for any Presidential candidate on the ballot in that state. She called the bill a “bridge too far.”
Karl Rove, the senior political adviser often called “Bush’s brain,” went even further on Fox News, calling dilettante billionaire Donald Trump a “joke candidate” and somone “off there in the nutty right” for his use of the birther issue to build support for a possible Presidential run.
“Now, I’m not one to question the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate,” Pawlenty says in his stump speeches. “But when you look at his policies, I do question what planet he’s from.”
Establishment Republicans worry that while the birther movement is only a small segment of the party, concentration on the issue doesn’t play well with voters they need.
Colorado Republican Chairman Ryan Call says the birther movement “does a great disservice to the real challenges our country faces.”
Democrats, on the other hand, hope the GOP continues get distracted by the birthers. They see it as a way to showcase Republicans as extremists who operate on the lunatic fringe.