WATCH: Arizona Candidate Struggles To Explain Vote For ‘Birther’ Bill

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A Republican who could soon be in charge of Arizona’s elections struggled on air Sunday to explain why she supported a “birther” bill demanding presidential candidates prove their American citizenship.

The 2011 bill, which was eventually vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R), required presidential candidates to provide their birth certificate and other documents, including a sworn affidavit declaring their citizenship.

During an appearance Sunday on Phoenix television station KPNX, state Sen. Michele Reagan, the GOP nominee for Arizona secretary of state, was challenged to explain her vote for the bill. The secretary of state oversees Arizona’s elections, and the current officeholder came under fire and eventually apologized in 2012 for launching an investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate.

When asked if she would seek to introduce those kinds of measures, Reagan said the current state laws are “clear” and “should be followed.”

“Did you believe President Obama needed to show his birth certificate to the secretary of state?” asked host Brahm Resnik.

“I believe that what is in state law is sufficient,” Reagan repeated.

Resnik said the bill caused “embarrassment” for the state. “Do you recognize that?” he asked.

“I recognize that what is in state law right now is –“

“Do you regret that vote?” Resnik interjected.

Reagan threw her up hands and repeated: “The state law is sufficient, and we don’t need to revisit –“

“You don’t want to talk about that vote anymore,” Resnik concluded, before thanking his guest and cutting to break.

Watch the clip below. The question comes at about the 4:10 mark:

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: