Romney: Birther Joke Wasn't Dig at President
It's just a little humor, he says, but White House isn't laughing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2012 6:06 PM CDT
Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Commerce, Mich.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney's joke at a rally today that "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate" is living on. (It was "off the cuff," an aide tells BuzzFeed.) Some reaction:

  • Obama campaign: Romney has long "embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them." His "decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America."
  • Romney himself: "No, no, (it's) not a swipe" at Obama, he tells CBS. "I've said throughout the campaign and before, there's no question about where he was born. He was born in the US. This was fun about us, and coming home. And humor, you know—we've got to have a little humor in a campaign."

  • Greg Sargent, Washington Post: "Maybe this will get chalked up to Romney’s awkwardness and get dismissed, but it looks to me like a major mistake. Coming just after days spent debating Todd Akin’s 'legitimate rape' remark, this is again a reminder of the extreme voices in the GOP, which Romney has at times been slow to denounce."
  • Allahpundit, Hot Air: "In case you’re wondering what it takes to offend a campaign whose allies have accused Romney of tax evasion based on anonymous 'sources' and blamed him for leaving a steelworker’s wife to die from cancer uninsured, here you go." Still, he thinks it was silly of Romney to have handed the media such easy pickings.