Mitt Romney on the defensive after Barack Obama jibe
Saturday 25 August 2012
Mitt Romney was on the defensive after raising the discredited rumour that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore ineligible to be president.
The Republican candidate jokingly declared "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate" as he campaigned near his own Michigan birthplace.
Mr Romney later insisted the remark was just a joke and not meant to question Mr Obama's citizenship.
But the comment risked creating an unwanted distraction for Mr Romney in his last few days of campaigning before the Republican National Convention, which opens on Monday and concludes with his formal nomination later in the week.
The authenticity of Mr Obama's birth certificate has been questioned by some Republican critics who insist Mr Obama is not a "natural-born citizen" as required by the Constitution.
Mr Obama released a long-form version of his birth certificate last year as proof that he was born in Hawaii in 1961.
But polls show some Republicans remain unconvinced. A Pew Research Centre poll taken in April found 19% of Republicans, when asked where Mr Obama was born, said they were not sure, and 6% believe he was born in another country.
The flap over the joke came a day after Mr Romney caused another stir by declaring that big business was "doing fine" in the current struggling economy in part because companies get advantages from offshore tax havens.
Mr Romney made his birth certificate remark at a large outdoor rally in Michigan, where he grew up and where his father, George Romney, served as governor.
Mr Romney told supporters that he and his wife, Ann, had been born at nearby hospitals.
"No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised," Mr Romney said.
The crowd of more than 7,000 responded with hearty laughter.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled killing two women residents
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says conflict may 'continue for a long time' as hundreds of Palestinians flee their homes
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...