Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney began his stump speech in Michigan on Friday with a crack about birth certificates — specifically, that no one’s ever asked to see his.
“Now I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born,” Romney said. “Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital, I was born in Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate, they know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
Some skeptics, known as “birthers,” have repeatedly cast doubt on whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. The White House last year released Obama’s long-form birth certificate stating he was born in Hawaii.
CBS News reporter Jan Crawford tweeted there were two reactions to the joke: “reporters gasped–and a crowd of thousands laughed and cheered.”
In a statement after Romney’s remarks, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the decision for Romney to “directly enlist himself in the birther movement” should give rational voters “pause.”
“Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them,” LaBolt said, according to CNN. “It’s one thing to give the stage in Tampa to Donald Trump, Sheriff Arpaio, and Kris Kobach. But Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”
Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden said afterward: “The governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States. He was only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised.”
On the Blog: Media Foam at the Mouth Over Mitt’s ‘Birth Certificate’ Joke