President Barack Obama joked about his birthplace on Thursday at a campaign speech in Chicago where he prepared supporters at a fundraiser for a 2012 presidential re-election run.
Obama alluded jokingly to accusations that he was not born in the United States.
He was at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee where extolled Chicago, where his campaign will be based, as the place where he became a man.
I was talking to a group earlier and I said, you know, I grew up here in Chicago. I wasn't born here, Obama said as the audience laughed, according to a White House transcript of his comments.
Just want to be clear. I was born in Hawaii, he said to applause. But I became a man here in Chicago.
He also addressed the issue during an interview with ABC, saying the issue wasn't something he was worrying about.
He said that instead, it presented a problem politically for those who did bring it up.
He was asked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos about potential opponents in the 2012 race Republican candidate Donald Trump's recent comments doubting if the he was born in the United States.
I mean all of us have been struck by Donald Trump rising to the top of the Republican field by feeding fantasies about your background. What do you make of that? Stephanopoulos asked.
Well you know, I think that over the last two and a half years there's been an effort to go at me in a way that is politically expedient in the short-term for Republicans. But creates, I think a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the President was born where he says he was, in Hawaii. (LAUGHS) He-- he doesn't have horns.
We may disagree with him on some issues and we may wish that you know, the unemployment rate was coming down faster and we want him to know his plan on gas prices. But we're not really worrying about conspiracy theories or-- or birth certificates. And so-- I-- I think it presents a problem for them. But, look I right now have such a big day job that I am not yet focused on what's happening on the other side. There'll be a time where I'm-- I'm very focused on it.