The Obama birther conspiracy was treated as a joke by the president when he appeared on Wednesday’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Speaking to the chat show host, Obama joked that the tension between himself and Donald Trump, the self-declared leader of the birther movement, began when the two “grew up together in Kenya.” Obama’s birther joke got a raucous response from Leno’s studio audience.
And the president was at it again on Saturday while speaking to voters in New Hampshire. Criticizing presidential rival Mitt Romney for upping taxes and fees in neighboring Massachusetts, Obama quipped:
“He raised fees to get a birth certificate, which would have been expensive for me.”
Obama’s birther jokes to Leno and New Hampshire voters were not the first time the president has made light of the conspiracy theory that he was born outside the US. Back in September, Obama jokingly asked a young Hawaiian boy he met on the campaign trail whether he had a birth certificate; like 7-year-old Andre Wupperman, Obama was born in Hawaii.
Obama’s birther joke referred to the now widely defunct “birther” controversy, a series of conspiracy theories that alleged Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen of the United States. If that were true, the president would be ineligible for the presidency under Article 2 of the US Constitution. While even Mitt Romney has stated he believes Obama was born in the US, some fringe commentators continue to insist the birth certificates released by the White House were forgeries. Such extremists are referred to as “birthers.”
You can watch Obama’s birther joke with Jay Leno below: