Mitt Romney celebrated his return to Michigan on Friday by making a Birth Certificate joke. While we can't be sure if the presumptive Republican candidate for president had a momentary lapse into birther humor, or if he was striking back at the Obama Campaign for political low blows that have infuriated Mr.Romney, the joke certainly raised some eyebrows.
As Romney began his speech, he went right for the punchline, saying, "I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born at Henry Ford hospital, I was born at Harper hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
The Obama machine didn't even wait for the dust to settle before Obama Campaign Press Secretary Ben LaBolt shot off a scathing response, saying, ""Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them. 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."
The LaBolt remark was quickly followed by a snarky Twitter feed from Obama staffer, Lis Smith, who tweeted, "
@MittRomney, keeping it substantive classy a la @realDonaldTrump, says that no one has "ever asked to see [his] birth certificate.""
Thus began the a battle of dueling spokespersons, with Romney senior adviser, Kevin Madden, firing back his comment, stating, "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."
Certainly, Romney was discussing his own birth certificate, and not President Obama's, but that didn't seem to make any difference to those who heard the speech. Most comments on the Romney joke took a rather hostile tone, referring to the fact that Romney's father was born in Mexico, demanding Romney's tax returns, and accusing Romney of hiding money offshore. If the content of the comments are any indication, Romney is losing this argument by a landslide, and he may be in real trouble for November. Perhaps the voters should be asking if someone who is so apparently clueless is capable of being President of the United States.