Excerpt from The Plum Line blog by GREG SARGENT, The Washington Post
The Romney campaign is trying to shut down the story right now, releasing statements claiming that Romney has always maintained Obama was born in the United States and that Romney was merely making a paean to his birthplace.
Of course Romney fully believes Obama was born in the United States. But in a way, that’s the point — he’s still willing to dabble in birther humor, either to rev up his base by proving that he’s willing to take it to Obama or whatever, or for a cheap laugh, or for some combination of the two.
Maybe this will get chalked up to Romney’s awkwardness and get dismissed, but it looks to me like a major mistake. Coming just after days spent debating Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remark, this is again a reminder of the extreme voices in the GOP, which Romney has at times been slow to denounce. And it seems less than presidential, to put it mildly. The fact that uncomfortably large numbers still believe Obama has perpetrated an elaborate plot to fake his birthplace and ascend to the presidency illegitimately is a pretty damn big deal.
It will be easy for the Obama campaign to seize on this to raise questions about Romney’s judgment, temperament, and character.