People For the American Way

Why Did the GOP Choose a “Birther” to Deliver Health Care Address Rebuttal?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2009

Contact: Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Media reports today revealed that Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA), the GOP’s choice to deliver a rebuttal to President Obama’s address to Congress tonight, promoted misinformation about the President’s birthplace. When asked about the President’s citizenship, Rep. Boustany at one time claimed “I think there are questions. We’ll have to see.” He later distanced himself from those remarks.

People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:

“The GOP shouldn’t reward politicians who traffic in crackpot notions and conspiracies about President Obama’s place of birth. Instead of giving Congressman Boustany a choice speaking opportunity, Republican leaders should be distancing themselves from anyone who has pushed lies about the President’s citizenship. Congressman Boustany never should have dignified smears against the President, and the GOP shouldn’t promote those who can’t engage in civil debate without exploiting paranoid conspiracy theories about the commander in chief.

“Republicans always claim they want to be the party of Reagan, but they’re turning into the party of Orly Taitz.”