Tea Party "Birther" Explains the Constitution -- And Why Joe Arpaio Must Come to the Rescue
"Birthers," for some reason (probably because they know the "birther" movement is little more than a baseless conspiracy theory) will never admit to being "birthers."
Take local Tea Party coordinator Jim Wise, for example, whom we caught up with following our post this morning. We asked this guy four times whether he thought President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
"It doesn't matter what I think," Wise tells New Times over, and over (and over) again.
Well, yeah it does -- considering Wise and the rest of his Arizona Tea Party compadres now claim that the birth certificate Obama released earlier this year is a fake. And they've now enlisted Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to help investigate.
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. San Antonio Spurs
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 7:00pm
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. Utah Jazz
TicketsWed., Oct. 5, 7:00pm
Arizona Coyotes vs. San Jose Sharks
TicketsFri., Oct. 7, 7:00pm
TicketsSat., Oct. 8, 7:00pm
"We're doing it because there's a question as to whether that document has been altered or not," Wise says.
Again, Wise refuses to admit that he thinks Obama isn't a United States citizen. The most Wise will admit to is that he thinks Obama's natural-born citizenship is questionable because "at least 20 experts" claim the birth certificate has been altered.
"The two issues that you have heard from most folks, and it gets turned around, is the validity of [Obama's birth certificate] and whether he is a natural-born citizen, meaning both of his parents were United States citizens at the time he was born."
He concedes he's "not a Constitutional expert," but says he interprets natural-born citizen to mean that both of a person's parents have to be citizens of the United States at the time of their birth in order for them to be natural-born citizens qualified to be president.
While the U.S. Constitution does use the phrase "natural-born citizen," it gives no definition of what that term means. Most scholars and politicians, however, agree that a person born on U.S. soil is a "natural-born" citizen. Wise disagrees -- and he thinks the truth lies in Obama's "fake" birth certificate.
"If the document has been altered, there has been an altered official government document presented to the people in Maricopa County. And that's against the law," he says. "Our folks said 'hey, who do you trust? We trust Sheriff Arpaio. Let's ask him to look at this.'"
Wise and WorldNetDaily whackjob Jerome Corsi -- as well as several other Tea Partiers -- met with the sheriff yesterday morning and asked for his help
"He listened and he had some of his people in the room, they all gave their opinion. We were there about an hour," he says. "It ended with [Arpaio saying] 'bring me the documentation back with a letter asking me to do it and i'll look into it.'
"He saw the binder [of "evidence"]. He didn't go through it. But he saw the size of it, and volume of it. That's the evidence."
Well in that case...
When asked if he thought the resources of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office should be used to investigate what is widely believed to be a crackpot conspiracy theory, Wise says "doesn't he investigate people who falsify identites? What's the difference -- whether it's a guy working down the street or the guy running the country?"
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.