Mitt Romney seemed to fuel the controversial birther accusations that have been flung at President Obama when he said during a campaign event in Michigan: ”No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this was the place [points to ground] that we were born and raised.”
“I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born,” he told the crowd, before going on to list out the hospitals each were born in.
BuzzFeed has posted the video clip.
The birther movement has questioned whether or not President Obama was born in this country and continue to do so even after he released a long-form birth certificate showing his birth occurred in Hawaii. Those not born in the United States are barred from being president.
Both political campaigns were quick to issue statements on the incident.
Romney spokesman Kevin Madden downplayed the idea that the candidate’s remark was related to the president at all.
“The governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States,” he said. “He was only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised. “
Republican National Committee’s communications director Sean Spicer called it a “lighthearted moment,” on Andrea Mitchell Reports Friday. “He was stating a fact,” Spicer said. “Anything more than that is taking it too far.”
Obama campaign national press secretary Ben LaBolt argued the former governor made a “decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement.”
“Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them,” he said. “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.”
Businessman Trump, a Romney campaign surrogate, has repeatedly questioned where President Obama was born. Kansas Sec. of State Kobach, who has been associated with the Romney campaign, also questioned the validity of the president’s birth certificate at one point, and Arizona Sheriff Arpaio has called it a forgery job.