Republican Congressman Ted Yoho came on Hardball Wednesday night to talk about Syria. Instead, the conservative tied himself in knots about President Obama’s birthplace.
The Florida lawmaker argued against U.S. military action in Syria, which President Obama is pushing, insisting diplomacy was the answer instead of “guns and bombs.”
Host Chris Matthews asked if Yoho would feel the same way if the president was a Republican, to which the Yoho said yes.
Matthews then asked if Yoho questioned Obama’s legitimacy. Yoho said “No. He’s been under enough scrutiny. We need to move on from that,” and even pointed to a recent town hall meeting in which the president’s birth certificate came up.
Yoho recounted asking his constituents if that was really the issue they wanted him to spend time on. Ninety-eight percent, he said, said “absolutely not.”
Matthews asked Yoho: “So you accept the fact that he’s a born American,” to which the Sunshine State pol said “no comment.”
“No comment?” Matthew said. “In other words, you question the president’s legitimacy.”
When pressed further, Yoho said “I haven’t studied it enough to spend the time on it to come back with an intelligent answer, so I will not respond.” He added when the U.S. gets Syria and the debt crisis are solved, “I’d be happy to talk to you.”
The Hardball host asked if Yoho was a birther.
“No comment,” said Yoho.
Earlier this month, the congressman told constituents he’d support a bill to investigate the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate but said bitherism was largely a “distraction.”
See the interview above: