Late Update: The bill was defeated in committee Wednesday.
Don’t pop the champagne yet, birthers. Yes, New Hampshire Republicans have proposed legislation that would require presidential candidates competing in the New Hampshire primary to provide their long-form birth certificates. But because you’ve comported yourselves so poorly over the last two years, it won’t impact President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
Thanks to public scrutiny and criticism of the birther movement — including from within the Republican Party — the plan has been rewritten and would not go into effect until 2013, to avoid the impression that it’s designed to ensnare President Obama.
As originally written, the bill “had the effective date 60 days after passage,” Rep. David Bates (R) told the Union Leader. “But we recognize the potential problems. It created the appearance that it was all centered on a putting barriers in the way of President Obama,” Bates said.
Bates said he changed the wording “to diffuse any perception that this was directed at President Obama.”
So where do Republican state leaders stand on this question?
The Majority Leader of the House, D.J. Bettencourt has loudly opposed the measure, calling it unnecessary and a distraction from important issues. “Moreover, this potential amendment could represent a threat to our first in the nation primary as it gives other states reason and desire to try to jump us in line, ” he wrote.
But House Speaker Bill O’Brien is withholding comment until the Election Law Committee considers the legislation on Wednesday.
New Hampshire’s just the latest state to push birther laws since Obama took office. Give their plan a read here. Republicans in Connecticut, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma have authored similar bills.