Lawyers for the administrations of Barack Obama and Gov. Rick Scott asked a judge Monday to dismiss a ballot challenge that alleges the president is not a "natural born citizen."
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis listened skeptically to an hour's worth of arguments, but did not immediately rule. He gave lawyers on both sides a week to submit proposed orders.
The lawsuit by Fort Lauderdale automobile salesman Michael Voeltz asks that Obama be removed from the state's 2012 ballot.
"He was imprinted very early with anti-American attitudes, that were imprinted on him by, you know, a Communist mother, a Communist father, who was never a citizen of the United States," Voeltz said.
Attorneys for the Democratic president and the Florida Department of State under the Republican governor are on the same side in the case, arguing that can't be done because Obama hasn't yet been nominated.
Obama lawyer Mark Herron also told Lewis that federal law precludes state courts from determining the qualifications of presidential candidates.
Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, who is representing Voeltz, questioned Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate and contended that even if the president was born in the United States he still is not a natural citizen because his father was a foreign national.
Klayman later said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who is considered as a potential vice presidential nominee, also wouldn't qualify because his parents weren't U.S. citizens when he was born.
He contended Obama can be challenged because he was nominated in Florida in the state's Jan. 31 presidential preference primary although no Democrats appeared on the ballot. That's because Obama's name was the only one submitted by the Florida Democratic Party.
"Therefore, these been no election, no certificate of nomination and there can be no election contest," said Daniel Nordby, general counsel for the Department of State.
Klayman calls that argument a delaying tactic.
"What the defendants are doing is basically trying to push the issue down the road and create a fait accompli," Klayman said. "It's a shell game."
When asked who was paying the legal fees for the Obama ballot challenge, Voletz said: "I don't really think that's any of your business."