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Self-Proclaimed 'King of the Birthers' Announces Bid for President

The man who many news outlets credit for rumors surrounding President Barack Obama's place of birth and religious identity is reportedly planning a run for the White House in 2012.

Andy Martin, the perennial candidate who ran for President Obama's former Senate seat in 2010 and sued the state of Hawaii for access to Obama's birth records announced his candidacy Wednesday in New Hampshire, opting to run for the nation's highest office on a "birther" platform. The LA Times reports:

Speaking on WTPL radio, Martin cited the stated intention of Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to settle questions about whether Obama was born in the state as one motivating factor.

As one of the first candidates to announce his candidacy for the White House, Martin said he will force a broader discussion of the issue.

"I'm going to have a tremendous impact on the presidential election, not because I'm the frontrunner. Clearly I'm not," he said. "But I'll be driving the agenda in the Republican Party."

The so-called "birther" movement already had a serious impact in the political landscape in the 2010 elections, Martin said, because "when you doubt the legitimacy of the leader, it undermines the Democratic Party."

Martin, who calls himself the "king of the birthers," said he actually believes Obama was born in Hawaii, as has been verified by the state with a Certificate of Live Birth. But he believes the White House is blocking the release of the president's full birth certificate because it could contain embarrassing information.

"My campaign doesn't say he was born here or he was born there, it says produce the facts," he said. "Tell the truth to the American people. If you want our confidence, if you want our sons and daughters … to die for your policies, we have to trust you."

New Hampshire holds the earliest presidential primary every four years and also boasts some of the simplest filing requirements for mounting a campaign.  Martin's formal announcement took place at the Legislative Office Building near the state Capitol in Concord.

Martin's news comes on the heels of an announcement from Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie that he would press for the release of President Obama's birth records to put the "birther" debate to rest.  Martin says that he believes Obama was born in Hawaii, but believes the Obama family refuses to release the records because they may contain controversial information.

"He's opened up a can of worms," Martin said of the governor.

Martin has run for a number of offices in the past in Illinois, Connecticut and Florida on the Republican, Democratic and Independent tickets.  He's also been sanctioned in federal court for filing hundreds of lawsuits and was found unfit to practice law by the Illinois Supreme Court.  Still, he insists he'll put up a tough fight in 2012.

"I've got a stronger resume … than any of these blow-dried candidates that are out there," he said. "We're going to give them hell, as Harry Truman said."

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