- Associated Press - Sunday, February 13, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John A. Boehner on Sunday said Americans have a right to think what they want to think, even when they are wrong about President Obama’s citizenship and his religion.

Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he believes that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and that the president is a Christian — and that those are facts.

Some people believe that Mr. Obama was born outside the United States or in some other way is not a natural-born citizen eligible to be president. There is also a persistent belief among some that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.

Mr. Boehner denied that he is willing to let those misperceptions remain because they weaken and delegitimize Mr. Obama.

Asked why he doesn’t speak out against such perceptions, Mr. Boehner said it’s not his job to tell Americans what to think.

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