Governor Neil Abercrombie

What Gov­er­nor Aber­crom­bie Said and Did­n’t Say

Neil Aber­crom­bie, the cur­rent Gov­er­nor of the State of Hawai’i, fig­ures strong­ly in Birther Lore. World News Dai­ly (WND) and Birther Blogs have claimed that Gov­er­nor Aber­crom­bie promised to search for and release Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s long form birth cer­tifi­cate, that Aber­crom­bie said it could­n’t be found, and that the LFBC nev­er exist­ed.  WND has a well-known prac­tice of:

  1. tak­ing mate­r­i­al from oth­er sources,
  2. spin­ning the heck out of it until the poor mate­r­i­al is dizzy,
  3. post­ing innu­en­do using Cavu­to marks and weasel words like “pur­ports,” “claims,” “seems,” “peo­ple say,” “has been report­ed,” etc.
  4. then mak­ing up a head­line that is nev­er backed up by the mate­r­i­al in the arti­cle.

What fol­lows is a com­pendi­um of every scrap of direct quote we could find from Aber­crom­bie state­ments, inter­views, state­ments from Aber­crom­bie’s office, or sig­nif­i­cant para­phrased quotes by reporters dur­ing that peri­od on that sub­ject. EVERY QUOTE.

NYT Dec 24 2010

It’s an insult to his moth­er and to his father, and I knew his moth­er and father; they were my friends, and I have an emo­tion­al inter­est in that. It’s an emo­tion­al insult. It is dis­re­spect­ful to the pres­i­dent; it is dis­re­spect­ful to the office.”

He’s a big boy; he can take sticks and stones. But there’s no rea­son on earth to have the mem­o­ry of his par­ents insult­ed by peo­ple whose moti­va­tion is sole­ly polit­i­cal,” Mr. Aber­crom­bie said. “Let’s put this par­tic­u­lar canard to rest.”

But on the mat­ter of the birthers, Mr. Aber­crom­bie grew seri­ous. “I’m going to take care of that,” he said. He says the crit­ics who sug­gest that Mr. Obama’s moth­er slipped off to Kenya to give birth are engag­ing in a “demono­log­i­cal fan­ta­sy.”

My thought was, ‘Wait a minute, why didn’t you ask me, my friends in the nation­al Con­gress, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives?’ ” he said. “They know me, they know that I was here, but they didn’t even both­er to have the cour­tesy to do that, which is dis­ap­point­ing to me, because it is very dif­fi­cult for me not to con­clude that bills like that are meant as a cod­ed mes­sage that he is not real­ly Amer­i­can. My thought is, rather than get into some kind of argu­ment or play into that men­tal­i­ty, why not just sim­ply try to authen­ti­cate this and let the facts speak for them­selves?”


CNN Dec 27, 2010 (video, inter­view, and sto­ry)

We’ll do what we can as quick­ly as we can to make it inevitable that only those who wish the pres­i­dent ill, only the ones with a polit­i­cal agen­da, will be the ones doing this kind of thing,” Aber­crom­bie said. “The pres­i­dent is enti­tled to the respect of his office and he’s enti­tled to have his moth­er and father respect­ed.”

Aber­crom­bie, in his first on-cam­era com­ments on the mat­ter, said that he has his attor­ney gen­er­al and the state’s Health Depart­ment direc­tor look­ing at what legal avenues can they fol­low to release more doc­u­men­ta­tion of Oba­ma’s birth in 1961.

As quick as we can we will,” Aber­crom­bie said. “This is a trans­par­ent state in terms of our com­mu­ni­ca­tion with one anoth­er. This is the Alo­ha State.  We care for each oth­er, we look out for each oth­er, we’re fam­i­ly.”

But the gov­er­nor made clear in the CNN inter­view that he will push for­ward on this mat­ter regard­less of whether the White House is pri­vate­ly wor­ried that it may bring more atten­tion to the so-called “birthers” who con­tin­ue to deny that Oba­ma was born in Amer­i­ca — despite evi­dence show­ing that he was.

We haven’t had any of those dis­cus­sions,” Aber­crom­bie said of the White House. “It’s a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple with me. I knew his mom and dad. I was here when he was born. Any­body who wants to ask a ques­tion hon­est­ly could have had their answer already.”

Asked if one option is to ask Oba­ma to waive his pri­va­cy rights so that a copy of his actu­al birth cer­tifi­cate can be released pub­licly, Aber­crom­bie cut off a reporter’s ques­tion.

No, no, no — it’s not up to the pres­i­dent,” he said.  “It has noth­ing to do with the pres­i­dent.  It has to do with the peo­ple of Hawaii who love him, peo­ple who love his mom and dad. It has to do with respect the office of the pres­i­dent is enti­tled to. And it has to do with respect that every sin­gle per­son­’s moth­er and father are enti­tled to.”

Pressed on whether he might uni­lat­er­al­ly release a copy of Oba­ma’s actu­al birth cer­tifi­cate, Aber­crom­bie made clear that he is wait­ing for his cab­i­net offi­cials to give him a report on what he can legal­ly do before pro­ceed­ing.

Obvi­ous­ly, I’m going to do what is legal­ly pos­si­ble,” the gov­er­nor said.

Through­out the inter­view, Aber­crom­bie was drip­ping with dis­gust for the birthers, say­ing his goal is to have an open process so that he can “put those who want to dis­re­spect the pres­i­dent and his par­ents in the prop­er light, which is to say they have a polit­i­cal agen­da not wor­thy of any good Amer­i­can.”

Aber­crom­bie seemed resigned to the pos­si­bil­i­ty that offer­ing more evi­dence still might not sat­is­fy some crit­ics.

You’re not going to con­vince those peo­ple because they have a polit­i­cal agen­da or they have minds that go in that kind of direc­tion,” he said. “Con­spir­a­to­r­i­al the­o­rists are nev­er going to be sat­is­fied. This has gone into anoth­er area of polit­i­cal attack.”

But the gov­er­nor still seemed deter­mined to try and end the con­tro­ver­sy once and for all.

Any­body in this coun­try who has a mom and dad and wants to have that mom and dad respect­ed under­stands exact­ly what I’m doing,” said Aber­crom­bie. “This has noth­ing to do with a polit­i­cal agen­da of mine or any­body else’s. What it has to do with is the Alo­ha spir­it and it has to do with the sense of fam­i­ly that we have for one anoth­er here in Hawaii. That’s why the pres­i­dent comes here to Hawaii. He’s home with fam­i­ly.”


Hawaii Star Adver­tis­er, Jan 18, 2011

Q: You stirred up quite a con­tro­ver­sy with your com­ments regard­ing birthers and your plans to release more infor­ma­tion regard­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma’s birth cer­tifi­cate. How is that com­ing?

A: I got a let­ter from some­one the oth­er day who was gen­uine­ly con­cerned about it; it is not all just polit­i­cal agen­da. They were talk­ing on Ole­lo last night about this; it has a polit­i­cal impli­ca­tion for 2012 that we sim­ply can­not have.

(Aber­crom­bie said there is a record­ing of the birth in the State Archives and he wants to use that.)

It was actu­al­ly writ­ten I am told, this is what our inves­ti­ga­tion is show­ing, it actu­al­ly exists in the archives, writ­ten down …

…What I can do, and all I have ever said, is that I am going to see to it as gov­er­nor that I can ver­i­fy to any­one who is hon­est about it that this is the case.

If there is a polit­i­cal agen­da then there is noth­ing I can do about that, nor can the pres­i­dent.


AP Report: Jan 22, 2011 (as appeared on and oth­er sites)
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Gov. Neil Aber­crom­bie will end his quest to prove Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma was born in Hawaii because it’s against state law to release pri­vate doc­u­ments, his office said Fri­day.
State Attor­ney Gen­er­al David Louie told the gov­er­nor he can’t dis­close an indi­vid­u­al’s birth doc­u­men­ta­tion with­out a per­son­’s con­sent, Aber­crom­bie spokes­woman Don­a­lyn Dela Cruz said. “There is noth­ing more that Gov. Aber­crom­bie can do with­in the law to pro­duce a doc­u­ment,” said Dela Cruz.

But Aber­crom­bie’s inves­ti­ga­tion reached a dead end when Louie told him the law restrict­ed his options.

Hawai­i’s pri­va­cy laws have long barred the release of a cer­ti­fied birth cer­tifi­cate to any­one who does­n’t have a tan­gi­ble inter­est.

All of the above was report­ed on sites like WND with head­lines like “Hawaii Gov­er­nor to Release Birth Cer­tifi­cate”, even though he’d nev­er said that. So loy­al WND dis­in­for­ma­tion con­sumers eas­i­ly latched onto that idea. 
But THEN came the Mike Evans radio sto­ry, the stuff that birther dreams are made from.…
Jan 24, 2011 Celebri­ty Jour­nal­ist Mike Evans inter­view with KQRS in Min­neso­ta
Mike Evans: “Well Neil promised me that when he became Gov­er­nor he was going to cut through all the red tape. He was going to get Oba­ma’s Birth Cer­tifi­cate once and for all, and end this stu­pid con­tro­ver­sy that he was not born in the Unit­ed States

Mike Evans: Yes­ter­day, talk­ing to Neils office, Neil says that he searched every­where using his pow­er as Gov­er­nor, at the Kapi­olani Wom­en’s and Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and Queens Hos­pi­tal, the only places kids were born in Hawaii back when Barack was born.

There is no Barack Oba­ma birth cer­tifi­cate in Hawaii

Host: Real­ly?

Mike Evans: Absolute­ly no proof, at all, that he was born in Hawaii.

Of course this was BANNER NEWS in WND!

Not so the sto­ry that fol­lowed two days lat­er:

Mike Evans Back­tracks on Birth Cer­tifi­cate Sto­ry in an inter­view Peter Boyles and Mike Evans on KHOW (Audio)


Celebri­ty Jour­nal­ist: I Nev­er Spoke to Hawaii Gov About Oba­ma Birth Cer­tifi­cate
A celebri­ty jour­nal­ist now claims he mis­spoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s gov­er­nor told him he was unable to find Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s orig­i­nal birth cer­tifi­cate after a search of state and hos­pi­tal archives.
Mike Evans told on Wednes­day he was remorse­ful and embar­rassed that he appeared to have giv­en the impres­sion that he had dis­cussed the search for Obama’s birth cer­tifi­cate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Aber­crom­bie. 
Evans, who says he has been a close friend of Aber­crom­bie since the 1980s, appeared on Minnesota’s KQRS radio last week and said he’d been told by the gov­er­nor him­self that Obama’s birth cer­tifi­cate was nowhere to be found.  Evans told KQRS on Jan. 20:
“Yes­ter­day, talk­ing to Neil’s office, Neil says that he searched every­where using his pow­ers as gov­er­nor .…. there is no Barack Oba­ma birth cer­tifi­cate in Hawaii. Absolute­ly no proof at all that he was born in Hawaii.”
But that’s no longer Evans’ sto­ry.

Only this I can you tell you is 100 per­cent fact: that Neil nev­er told me there was no birth cer­tifi­cate,” Evans told Fox News. “I nev­er talked to him.”

Last week’s radio inter­view was part of Evans’ syn­di­cat­ed five-minute fea­ture, “On the Road with Mike Evans,” which is broad­cast on 34 sta­tions across the coun­try each morn­ing.
On the morn­ing of Jan. 20, Evans says he acci­den­tal­ly told one of those radio sta­tions — KQRS — that he’d spo­ken direct­ly with Gov. Aber­crom­bie about the Oba­ma birth cer­tifi­cate.
“I was on 34 radio sta­tion that morn­ing. That was the only sta­tion where I said, instead of say­ing ‘the hos­pi­tal said there’s no birth cer­tifi­cate’ I mis­spoke and said Neil said that,” Evans said. “I mis­spoke and I apol­o­gize for that. I apol­o­gize to Neil.”
“I called Neil, but Neil nev­er called me back,” Evans told Fox News. “I haven’t talked to Neil since he’s been gov­er­nor.

There you have it. EVERY SINGLE known pub­lic word of Aber­crom­bie’s on the mat­ter between Dec 24 2010 and Jan 22 2011. No promis­es, no denials, no claim that a LFBC nev­er exist­ed. Plus a reporter mak­ing some­thing up and get­ting caught. Then every blog and news site picks it up and repeats the process. Just the usu­al mis­quotes, innu­en­do, lies, and spin. 


For more dis­cus­sion, click here: NYT: Hawaii’s Gov­er­nor Takes On ‘Birthers’

Falsehoods Unchallenged Only Fester and Grow