Former west Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra is defending his idea to have a federal agency check the qualifications of presidential candidates. The candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination has been slammed for re-igniting the debate over President Obama’s citizenship at a Tea Party meeting last month.
Hoekstra says he was simply responding to a question about the president’s citizenship that he’s grown tired of answering. He says his idea is being misconstrued.
“This is an absolutely ludicrous discussion to be having four years after we’ve had a presidential discussion. It’s an absolute waste of time and energy,” says Hoekstra. Hoekstra says he believes President Obama is a native-born U.S. citizen.
“You would think that a country as great as ours could have a single person, maybe two, every four years would be assigned the responsibility of making sure that the people who run for office meet the qualifications for that office so we will never have this discussion again,” Hoekstra says.
He was at a Senate candidate forum on Mackinac Island.