Samaritan's Purse president Franklin Graham addressed questions from ABC's Christiane Amanpour about President Obama's birthplace and religious beliefs. The White House fought back yesterday, calling his remarks "preposterous." This morning, Graham spoke with CT about the administration's response, Obama's birth, his faith and who he likes among the candidates considering a run in the 2012 presidential race.
How would you respond to the White House spokesperson who said, "I would just say I think it's unfortunate that a religious leader would choose Easter Sunday to make preposterous charges"?
First of all, they made a point that I would choose Easter to make these statements. I didn't make these statements on Easter. I taped that a week prior, on Monday that week. It was ABC that [broadcast] this on Easter. I responded to a question. I'm not going out making speeches about where the President was born. I could care less. But when asked, I told Christiane Amanpour that the President has a problem that he could probably address by answering that. How come he doesn't come out at a news conference and hold up his birth certificate? I don't know. I'm only responding to what she asked me. She asked me about Donald Trump. When I first heard about him entering, I thought it was a joke. The more I listen to him, the more I say, "Maybe he's right." She asked, "Could you vote for him?" Vote for him as compared to what? Depends on who else is running. Certainly, America needs somebody like a Donald Trump who's got business experience to get us out of the mess that Republicans and Democrats alike have gotten us into.
Several fact checkers have agreed that Obama was born in the U.S. What would it take to convince you?
I don't care. I'm not the person raising these issues. You need to ask Donald Trump those questions. I'm just saying, for me it looks like it's a headache for the President. If I were the President, I would try to find a way to get rid of this headache. That's all. I'm just giving some advice to the President. Do yourself a favor. It'll shut Donald Trump up. I really don't care where he was born. That's not an issue. I've never made this an issue, never have.
Richard Land says that the idea that Obama is a Muslim or is not born in the U.S. is "flat nuts"? How would you respond to his comments?
There are two issues. I do not believe for an instant that Obama is a Muslim. He has said he's not a Muslim. I take him at his word. People say he's not born in the United States. I take it on the word that they properly vetted him before they swore him into office. I'm sure somebody had to look at his credentials. I'm not saying the President is a Muslim, never said he's a Muslim. He says he's a Christian.
There is the issue of his birth. Under Shari'ah law, Islamic law, which is not legal in the United States, he was born a Muslim because his father is a Muslim. That's why [Muammar al-Gaddafi] calls him "my son." The President has renounced Islam. He says he believes in Jesus Christ. To the Muslim world that's under Shari'ah law, which we're not, they see him as a lost son. They see him as a wayward child. Shari'ah law is not legal in the United States. You cannot beat your wife. If you think your daughter has been immoral, you cannot kill her. Shari'ah law is the law of Islam and it is not recognized in this country.
You're saying he was born a Muslim because his father is a Muslim?
All throughout the Muslim world, every person whose father is a Muslim is recognized under Islamic law as a Muslim.