8:40 PM EDT, Friday May 18, 2012
Barack Obama’s campaign vowed late Friday that he would be on Arizona’s ballot in November despite threats from the state’s top election official that the president might be blocked over a conspiracy theory about where he was born.
The campaign was responding to comments made by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who said on Thursday he was not convinced that a copy of the president’s birth certificate was sufficiently authentic to prove Obama was born in the United States and therefore eligible for office. Bennett is planning to run for governor in 2014 and is also the co-chair of Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona.
In a statement, Mahen Gunaratna, the Arizona spokesperson for Obama’s campaign said this:
From day one, Mitt Romney has pandered to the far-right of his party, and today Arizona Tea Party Republicans are following suit by questioning where the President was born. The President will be on the ballot this November in Arizona alongside Mitt Romney. And Arizonans will have a choice between a President who brought us back from the brink of another Depression so job loss has been reversed to create 4.2 million private sector jobs, manufacturing is resurgent, and GM is the #1 automaker in the world — and a Governor with a familiar and troubling economic scheme: more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy; fewer rules for Wall Street — the same formula that benefitted a few, but crashed our economy and punished the middle class.
Gunaratna said the incident gave Romney the opportunity to “denounce the extreme voices in his party.”