"So what, I am running for Illinois Senator, not the presidency"?

in October of 2004, during the ABC Chicago Affiliate's broadcast of the Obama-Keyes debates, Obama openly admitted that he was not a natural born citizen. (C-Span aired the uncut version of the debates, which contained this exchange, in the second half of April, 2005) In this debate, between Obama and Keyes, Keyes faulted Obama for not being a "natural born citizen", Obama replied, "So what, I am running for Illinois Senator, not the presidency", admitting that he was not eligible to be president.

Have you heard of this debate?

Do you believe it is true?

Do you know where to find the video containing this exchange today?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I found this:

    What most people know is that the Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest, internationally recognized, syndicated news services. What most people don’t know that is in 2004, the AP was a birther news organization.

    How so? Because in a syndicated report, published Sunday, June 27, 2004, by the Kenyan Standard Times, and which was, as of this report, available at


    The AP reporter stated the following:

    Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.

    This report explains the context of the oft cited debate, between Obama and Keyes in the following Fall, in which Keyes faulted Obama for not being a natural born citizen, and in which Obama, by his quick retort, So what? I am running for Illinois Senator, not the presidency, self-admitted that he was not eligible for the office. Seeing that an AP reporter is too professional to submit a story which was not based on confirmed sources (ostensibly the Obama campaign in this case), the inference seems inescapable: Obama himself was putting out in 2004 that he was born in Kenya.

    The difficulty in finding this gem of a story is hampered by Google, which is running flak for Obama: because if you search for Kenyan-born US Senate you won’t find it, but if you search for the phrase without quotes you will find links which talk about it.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Once Obama took the reigns of power it didn't matter what people would bring up accusatorily. Obama had and has a well paid staff to eliminate the evidence or build a NEW TRUTH to suit Obama's purpose. Obama's past is sealed AIR TIGHT. His grades at Occidental cannot even be accessed. Obama spent TWENTY YEARS in the front seat at Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Church of the Black God Jehovah [okay, that's not funny at all] We do know that Obama has since renounced even having known the man. Obama even out does Billy Clinton for distorting the truth. "How one can smile and smile and be a villain"

  • 1 decade ago

    Alan Keyes says the exchange never took place. (You'd think if it DID happen, Keyes would be the first to jump on it since he DID sue Obama over eligibility in the now-dismissed case Keyes v Obama.) The claim is that Keyes said that Obama wasn't a natural born citizen, and Obama replied: “I am not running for President of the United States, I am running for United States Senator”.

    There is, however, the following quote from the actual C-Span debate: “I am not running to be the minister of Illinois, I am running to be its United States Senator” http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/184058-1 at 45:30. Close enough to be the source of the rumor.

    Also the transcript: http://www.keyesarchives.com/transcript.php?id=370

    OBAMA: I don't need Mr. Keyes lecturing me about Christianity. That's why I have a pastor. That's why I have my Bible. That's why I have my own prayer. And I don't think that any of you are particularly interested in having Mr. Keyes lecture you about your faith.

    What you're interested in is solving problems like jobs, and health care, and education. I'm not running to be the minister of Illinois. I'm running to be its United States Senator.

  • 5 years ago

    Yes we can say Barack Obamas' name and the world will call him president of the united states. The Governor from Texas who stole two elections is too despicable to mention by name we shouldn't allow such filth to be in our mouth!

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't believe this is true. Common sense tells me this. If you think the Clinton and Edwards campaigns wouldn't have jumped on this in a New York minute, then you would have to be naive. Clinton, especially, would have LOVED it if she could prove Obama was not a natural born citizen. Truth is, her campaign explored this possibility every seriously and found there was nothing to the charge.

  • 1 decade ago

    there's so many people that were and still are against obama, if he wasn't a natural citizen, it would have done been exposed, some people are not intelligent enough for thought provoking debate, so they make stuff up.

  • 1 decade ago

    I can't believe the obama-bots on here, suddenly, if he did or did not say it is irrelevent! There is no end to the ignorance of his supporters.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If said event happened, Obama was probably saying the question was irrelevant, because he's not required to be natural-born for Senator. He didn't actually say he wasn't, merely that it didn't matter.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Where is the clip? Freedom of information should get it for you. No excuse.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That statement does not imply that Obama isn ot a natural born citizen.

    That statement implies: Being a natural born citizen is not a requirement in order to run for U.S. Senator.

    Obama said "So what?" because it's a non-issue.

    Obama neither confirmed nor denied his natural born citizenship status in that statement you are referring to.

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