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Politico In 2011: 'Democrats Started The Birther Movement'

Politico In 2011: 'Democrats Started The Birther Movement'

BEN SMITH and BYRON TAU | Politico

Just when it appeared that public interest was fading, celebrity developer Donald Trump has revived the theory that President Barack Obama was born overseas and helped expose the depth to which the notion has taken root—a New York Times poll Thursday found that a plurality of Republicans believe it.

If you haven’t been trolling the fever swamps of online conspiracy sites or opening those emails from Uncle Larry, you may well wonder: Where did this idea come from? Who started it? And is there a grain of truth there?

The answer lies in Democratic, not Republican politics, and in the bitter, exhausting spring of 2008. At the time, the Democratic presidential primary was slipping away from Hillary Clinton and some of her most passionate supporters grasped for something, anything that would deal a final reversal to Barack Obama.

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