“Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago,” he said at a campaign event in Ohio.
And then what does he turn around and do this week? Makes a birth certificate joke on Friday while campaigning in Michigan, the state where he grew up and hopes to put in play in November.
“Now I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born,” Romney said. “Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
The remark sounded an awful lot like it came straight out of the playbook of so-called birthers who’ve insisted that the president wasn’t born in the United States even after he publicly released copies of his birth certificate. Romney’s campaign hastened to say that he believes Obama is an American citizen and it was just his way of expressing hometown pride.
But to some people it will seem more like his way of speaking in code to appeal to certain members of the GOP’s far-right base. The Obama campaign definitely sees it that way.
“Throughout this campaign, Gov. 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 Gov. Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America,” said Obama for America national spokesman Ben LaBolt.
As if to underscore LaBolt’s point, radio host Rush Limbaugh applauded the incident on his program, proclaiming Romney’s remarks “right on, right on, right on.”