LANSING (AP) – U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra wants to set up a national office to check presidential candidates’ birth certificates, even though a campaign spokesman says Hoekstra believes President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

The debunked conspiracy theory among conservative activists dubbed “birthers” charges that Obama is not constitutionally qualified to serve in the White House because he wasn’t born in the United States.

Answering a question in early May from a Lapeer County tea party activist, Hoekstra said Republicans lost the debate over Obama’s citizenship when 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain said he wouldn’t talk about it.

Hoekstra says CIA and FBI agents should staff the federal office that would conduct the checks.

Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer on Wednesday denounced Hoekstra’s “radical plan to appoint a birther czar.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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