Texas State Representative Leo Berman (R) furthered his campaign against President Obama Tuesday, a man that he has before characterized as "God's punishment on us," by introducing a bill that would require future presidential and vice-presidential candidates to produce "the original birth certificate indicating that the person is a natural-born United States citizen" to the Texas secretary of state.
Berman told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the bill, House Bill 295, is a compulsory step to take in order to correct an alleged gap in the law that allowed Barack Obama, who he believes could be foreign-born, to run for president.
"This bill is necessary because we have a president whom the American people don't know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place," Berman told the Avalanche-Journal. "If you are running for president or vice president, you've got to show here in Texas that you were born in the United States and the birth certificate is your proof."
Legislators in Arizona added an amendment with similar intent to a bill earlier this year, a measure that ended up being passed by the state House. Florida, Missouri, and Oklahoma also tackled kindred legislation, though all of them failed due to insufficient support. With the recent wave elections rippling through state legislatures, however, this is a pursuit that could meet a different fate in future sessions.
A poll released over the summer shed some light on just how prevalent a concern the Obama birth certificate issue was. In that survey, more than a quarter of respondents said that the president was either "definitely" or "probably not" born in the United States.
The "birther" bill was just part of a busy legislative day for Berman. According to a local report, he also "pre-filed seven anti-illegal immigration bills on Tuesday morning," ranging from making English the official language of Texas, to a harsh, Arizona-style immigration enforcement bill.