President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign quickly hit back at rival Mitt Romney’s birth certificate joke, declaring that America “doesn’t need a birther-in-chief.”
A 16-second web video released hours after Romney made the crack during a campaign stop in Michigan on Friday accuses the former Massachusetts governor of “embracing unfounded conspiracy theories” that the president was not born in the U.S.
“Holding out hope Romney had a vision for the middle class?” the narrator asks. “Think again.”
The video then cuts to Romney’s comment: “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
“Embracing unfounded conspiracy theories, distracting from real issues,” the narrator says. “America doesn’t need a birther-in-chief.”
Obama campaign officials had seized on Romney’s remark before releasing the video, with campaign manager Jim Messina emailing Obama supporters that it was a “new low for Mitt Romney.”
“Take a moment or two to think about that, what he’s actually saying, and what it says about Mitt Romney,” Messina wrote in the fundraising pitch.
Romney later told CBS News his remark was “not a swipe” at Obama.
“I’ve said throughout the campaign and before, there’s no question about where he was born,” Romney said. “He was born in the U.S. This was fun about us, and coming home. And humor, you know — we’ve got to have a little humor in a campaign.”