Obama makes birth certificate joke in Orlando

September 8, 2012

President Obama wants to see your birth certificate.

In a reversal of roles, it was Obama asking to see hard evidence that Andrew Wupperman, 6, of Orlando, was actually born in Hawaii.

The president has gone through years of being accused by a sliver of conservative “birthers” who do not believe he was born in Hawaii, but rather Kenya or Indonesia. On Saturday, when Obama stopped in the Gator Dockside restaurant in Orlando during a campaign bus tour, he met Andrew. Someone told the president the boy was born in Obama’s native state.

Obama lit up and flashed the shaka sign with his thumb and pinky fingers spread wide, then asked “You were born in Hawaii? You have a birth certificate?”

The remark was a dig at the birthers and, perhaps, at Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was accused of embracing birtherism while making a joke about his own birth certificate at a campaign event in Michigan last month.

Noting that he and his wife, Ann, were born in Michigan hospitals, Romney said at a rally there: “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised.”

The Romney campaign denied the remark was aimed at Obama.

In Orlando, Obama worked a room with more than 100 people, leading a round of “Happy Birthday” for a young girl. "How old are you?" He asks her. She held up three fingers. “Awesome!" Obama replied. No word if he asked for her birth record.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.
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