Joe Arpaio's "Birther" Friends Quiz Arizona Politicos on Obama Eligibility, Nobody Cares

It looks like sympathizers to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "birther" movement are still looking for politicians to support the Obama's-from-Africa conspiracy theory, and it's still not working.

That's really not all that surprising, but the way Arizona politicians are issuing their awkward responses to "birther" inquiries makes you wonder why anyone would want to let people know that these exchanges ever happened.

You're really not supposed to call constituents crackpots in response to their questions, so people like Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl are being tactful in their responses to whether unicorns are real the president was born in Africa and brought over to the United States in anticipation of his presidency a few decades down the road.

This series of awkward interviews and letters is brought to you by the "Western Journalism Center," the parent of World Net Daily -- the same World Net Daily that was soliciting donations to Arpaio's "birther" fund, and the same World Net Daily that Arpaio comrade Jerome Corsi calls home.*

First up was Senator Kyl, who responded to the "birther" inquiry in letter form.

Kyl notes how "Sheriff Arpaio stressed the preliminary nature" of the findings at his big announcement at the beginning of March.

Therefore, how could Kyl possibly draw a conclusion if the investigation's not over?

Well played, Senator.

Kyl also notes that the whole birth-certificate thing has already been taken on in failure a few times, and the issue's never gone anywhere in the courts.

"Western Journalism Center" writer Tom Ballantyne Jr. didn't like that rejection, and wrote a really pissy open letter to Kyl -- which can be found here.

How about Congressman/Senate candidate Jeff Flake?

Ballantyne decided to set up the "birther" question for Flake at a tea party meeting.

Flake, not too hip to far-right-wing nuttery, said he believes Obama's a citizen, and called the whole thing a "distraction."

The grumbling and mumbling tea party members did not like that one bit, as you can see in this video.

Then it was Congressman-turned-lobbyist-turned-Congressional candidate Matt Salmon's turn.

It looks like Ballantyne caught Salmon in a parking lot for this one, and as Ballantyne's rambling on to Salmon about fake birth certificates, a man who appears to be a Salmon campaign staffer asked if the camera was rolling -- presumably so Salmon didn't become a mockery for saying anything that could be perceived as remotely close to support for the "birther" issue.

Salmon hung around for 10 minutes for this one, as he put it as delicately as possible that he's not in on the conspiracy theory -- video here.

Lastly, there's Senator McCain.

McCain's response came in letter form, and he (or a staffer) didn't even pretend to give a shit about Obama's eligibility.

The letter just quoted the Constitution's section on presidential eligibility and said thanks for the input.

Again, Ballantyne got really upset that no one would listen to him and issued another angry open letter.

Of course, like the other players in Arpaio's "birther" brigade, Ballantyne has a book to sell you, which makes Arpaio look more like a book fair manager than a person who's overseeing an alleged "investigation."

*Joseph Farah disputes calling World Net Daily a subsidiary of the "Western Journalism Center." See his comment (and the comment after that) below, or by clicking here.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley