Though the 2012 election has been noticeably less influenced by the “birther” movement that plagued 2008, but this time a reference to President Barack Obama’s birth certificate came from an unlikely place: Obama himself.
At a rally in Nashua, N.H. -- a few miles from Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney was once governor -- Obama cracked a short joke about the “birthers” who have repeatedly demanded he produce a birth certificate to prove he was born in America.
"Once [Mitt Romney] took office he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the state and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families to the tune of $750 million," Obama said Saturday, according to CNN.
"He raised fees to get a birth certificate," Obama continued, "which would have been expensive for me."
The crowd laughed at the joke, and Obama cracked a smile and continued on with his speech.
In 2008, Obama released a Hawaii certificate of live birth to prove his American citizenship in response to the birther movement. When birther advocates continued insisting that Obama was born outside of American soil and thus ineligible to be president, Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011.
While Obama has repeatedly gone to great lengths to prove his American citizenship, it has not stopped a small contingent of Americans who steadfastly believe that he was born outside of the country.
Donald Trump has been the most prominent voice of the birther cause. Though he stopped questioning Obama’s citizenship and American birth when the president released his long-form birth certificate, Trump is currently requesting that Obama release his passport and college transcript. Trump has offered $5 million to a charity of Obama’s choice if he releases the documents.
So far, it seems that Obama has no plans to cater to Trump’s request.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.