Romney Birther Joke: People Have No Need to See His Birth Certificate

At a campaign stop in Michigan on Friday, Mitt Romney ventured into the dark depths of birtherism when he made a joke about how people have never asked to see his birth certificate because they know he was born in Michigan.

At a time when the Republican Party is reeling from the outrageous comments about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, Romney’s remark couldn’t come at a worse time. The Republican Party establishment has scrambled this week to distance itself from Akin in an effort to shake the perception that it is filled with extremists. The issue of President Obama’s birth certificate had been a rallying cry for GOP fringe figures and racists who sought to deny the legitimacy of his presidency.

 

Romney’s joke represents a departure from his general election strategy of portraying himself as a moderate conservative. His comment was likely an ad-lib, though many liberals will surely accuse him of deliberately engaging in dog-whistle politics. For the Romney campaign to have intentionally inserted a birther joke into the candidate's prepared remarks in a moderate state in which Obama leads, would mean it's amateur hour over at Team Romney. Although the campaign has had its missteps, it is difficult to imagine that it would blunder this badly. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

MORE FROM

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.

9 photos of Tropical Storm Cindy and its aftermath on the Gulf Coast

National Weather Service forecasters estimate up to 10 inches of rainfall fell in areas between southern Louisiana and the Florida panhandle.

Watch Elizabeth Warren school lawmakers on what Planned Parenthood actually does

"I am sick of coming down to the Senate floor to explain to Republicans what Planned Parenthood does."

Federal court clears path for Mississippi's LGBTQ religious objection laws

One outlet called HB 1523 the "nation's worst anti-gay bill."

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.

9 photos of Tropical Storm Cindy and its aftermath on the Gulf Coast

National Weather Service forecasters estimate up to 10 inches of rainfall fell in areas between southern Louisiana and the Florida panhandle.

Watch Elizabeth Warren school lawmakers on what Planned Parenthood actually does

"I am sick of coming down to the Senate floor to explain to Republicans what Planned Parenthood does."

Federal court clears path for Mississippi's LGBTQ religious objection laws

One outlet called HB 1523 the "nation's worst anti-gay bill."

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.