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Tribune editorial: Birther issue now clipped by Bachmann

Some political candidates -- currently Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann -- are still pandering to those who believe President Obama was not born in the United States and therefore ineligible to be president.

This birther theory will likely continue, as long as President Obama is president. Part of the reason some individuals continue to buy into the disproven birther complaint lies in racism.

One Republican Party official in Orange County, Calif., recently sent an email portraying Obama's face superimposed on a chimpanzee with the words "Now you know why -- No birth certificate!" The official is now apologizing for her email and some are calling for her resignation.

Bachmann has been one of the politicians pandering to the believers of the birther issue up to now.

On ABC's Good Morning America, Bachmann was presented a copy of Obama's certification of live birth. The certificate was certified, had a certification number, had the registrar of state signature and an official seal.

Bachmann then backtracked and said, "Well, that should settle it. ... End of story."

Gov. Tim Pawlenty put it best in March when he stated, "I, for one, do not believe we should be raising that (birther) issue."

Most credible Republican presidential candidates -- like Pawlenty -- have distanced or are distancing themselves from the birther issue. Others like Palin and Trump are feeding the birther issue.

Republican candidates can easily criticize Obama on a number of important issues during the upcoming 2012 election. If they want to win in 2012, Republicans must focus on those issues of importance.

America faces many critical issues that need to be addressed during the next 18 months. It is time to focus on those issues -- like jobs, the economy and federal budget deficit -- not some false birther claim.