(CHICAGO) — The Obama campaign pounced on comments made by presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Commerce, Mich., Friday, in which he seemed to joke about the suggestion that President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.
At a rally in which he talked about having been born in Michigan, Romney said, “No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
The reaction from the Obama team was swift. Obama campaign officials circulated video of the remarks before Romney even finished his full speech.
“Throughout this campaign, Gov. Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them,” said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt. “It’s one thing to give the stage in Tampa to Donald Trump, Sheriff Arpaio and Kris Kobach. But Gov. Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”
“Video of a campaign unraveling: @MittRomney goes full birther … ,” tweeted Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.
Tweeted “Barack Obama,” the official campaign Twitter handle: “Our take: Gov. Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”
“[H]as he outsourced his brain today, or offshored it?” tweeted Teddy Goff, digital director for the campaign.
“Romney gets more unhinged ahead of RNC. Goes full birther in MI,” wrote Obama campaign regional spokesman Michael Czin.
By Friday afternoon, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, calling the joke a “new low,” emailed a fundraising appeal to supporters, saying, “Take a moment or two to think about that, what he’s actually saying, and what it says about Mitt Romney. Then make a donation of $3 or more to re-elect Barack Obama today.”
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Dylan Byers, CNN
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Ariane de Vogue and Laura Jarrett, CNN