GOP Senate Candidate DeVore Seeks To Defuse Birtherism Story

November 16, 2009 9:45 a.m.

Chuck DeVore, a California state Assemblyman running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in California, is working to defuse comments that seemingly made him out to be a birther-sympathizer.

“The president is doing himself no favors by spending millions of dollars to block the release of documents surrounding his birth certificate,” DeVore said to Dave Weigel. “As long as the president keeps fighting tooth and nail to prevent the release of such things, people are going to remain skeptical.”

In an interview just now, DeVore’s communications director Josh Trevino told TPM that key statements the candidate made were omitted from the published report. “Assemblyman DeVore believes that Barack Obama is the rightful, legitimate and constitutional President of the United States,” said Trevino. “He said 10 years ago that the move to impeach Bill Clinton was a distraction from countering his liberal policies, and he believes that the movement now to question Barack Obama’s birth is a similar distraction.”

Weigel has responded to inquiries about this by posting a full transcription of DeVore’s answer to his question — and maintains that DeVore did not fully repudiate the birthers: “I was a little surprised that DeVore didn’t knock this down harder; it seems to be stinging him today.”Did DeVore help to further that distraction with his comments? “Well look, when he talked with Weigel on this, he actually said that exactly to Weigel, it just didn’t make it into the Weigel article,” said Trevino. “So in as much as it furthers that distraction, it’s an editorial choice on the Washington Independent side. You know, he is not running on anything to do with this. He didn’t bring it up, he’s not going to bring it up, he considers is irrelevant to the issues facing California. It’s a non-issue from our perspective.”

Does DeVore repudiate the birther movement? “How much more clear can I tell you?” Trevino responded.

Was the candidate taken out of context? “They didn’t take him out of context, they just didn’t run the whole quote. I don’t believe that Dave Weigel meant anything malicious by it, he has his own angle,” said Trevino, also adding: “It’s not a story if the candidate says, as Chuck DeVore did, that it’s a distraction, and it’s irrelevant. It is a story if the quote is run as it was run. I don’t hold that against Weigel.”

DeVore has also posted this on Twitter: “Don’t be misled by press quotes: Obama is the rightful President. I’m looking forward to ’10, not back to ’08.”

Late Update: DeVore has also put out this statement: “I said ten years ago that the move to impeach and convict President Clinton was a distraction from countering his liberal policies. So too is the effort now to question President Obama’s legitimacy. Make no mistake, the Constitution is clear: Barack Obama is the President. The more time Carly Fiorina’s campaign spends on this side issue, the less time we have to work against the far-left agenda and failed policies of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Boxer.”

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