President Barack Obama on Wednesday released a longer version of his birth certificate to answer Republican charges he was not born in America, and blasted "carnival barkers" who refuse to let the issue die.
Obama took the unusual step of making a statement in the White House press briefing room to comment on the controversy, which has been raised most recently by real estate tycoon Donald Trump, who is considering a 2012 run for the Republican presidential nomination.
"We do not have time for this silliness," Obama said in an easy-going appearance that turned serious when he addressed what he called a distraction from the real issues.
US television networks broke into their regular programing for Obama's statement, giving him valuable air time just as the 2012 campaign is beginning to stir.
"I can't get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions," the president said with a smile as he stepped onto the podium.
Obama in his two years in office has had to deal with charges that he does not meet the constitutional requirement that a president must be U.S. born, and separately, some have said he was a Muslim, when in fact he is a Christian.
The new document confirms what a shorter version released in 2008 has said, that Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961, the son of father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas.
Trump, speaking in New Hampshire, told reporters that he was "really happy" that Obama addressed the issue and is ready to debate other issues.
"I feel I've accomplished something really, really important and I'm honored by it," Trump said in remarks shown live on CNN.
Some conspiracy theorists have tried to make the case that the "Certificate of Live Birth" released in the 2008 campaign was insufficient and that Obama was in fact born in Kenya, even though the short form issued by the Hawaiian state government was all that was necessary for official business like obtaining a driver's license.
It was a rare moment: Barack Obama, caught off guard by a ten-year-old boy while in the public spotlight. The US president was taking questions at a town hall meeting in New Orlea
US President Barack Obama charmed his Tokyo audience on Saturday with references to green tea ice cream, Japanese traditional hospitality and, of course, the small town that bears