• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Romney: ‘No One Ever Asked to See My Birth Certificate’

Mitt Romney needs a new joke writer, stat.

USA Today (“Romney makes birth certificate joke“):

During an appearance in his native Michigan today, Mitt Romney said: “No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate — they know that this was the place we were born and raised.”

Probably because he’s a white guy whose dad was president of an auto company and a state governor?

This has, naturally, already spawned a Twitter hashtag: #futuremittjokes. Among the better ones thus far:

  • “No one ever tells me how articulate I am.” Jamelle Bouie
  • “No one has ever left a noose on my door!” Jamelle Bouie
  • “No one calls me an affirmative action hire.” Jamelle Bouie
  • “Nobody’s ever tried to arrest me for entering my own home, they know this mansion is where I live.” Hayes Brown
  • “I’m never stopped by the police while driving one of my Cadillacs.”Lawscribe
  • “When I’m in a restaurant or a store, no one ever just assumes I work there.” Adam Serwer

In the grand scheme of thing, no big deal. But it’s been one unforced error after another these last few days.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    You know, Mitt, it’s not a dog whistle if everybody can hear it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 0

  2. John Peabody says:

    Oh, Millard…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. PJ says:

    Just another birther “joke” from the Romney clan?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. Ernieyeball says:

    “I’m never stopped by the police while driving one of my Cadillacs.”

    “…except for the time I went to a college Halloween party in blackface…I hope no one finds out…”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  5. Ernieyeball says:

    You keep teasing us with an edit function that vanishes like the Sirens of Greek Mythology when the rocks appear.

    Try this:

    “I’m never stopped by the police while driving one of my Cadillacs.”

    “…except for the time I went to a college Halloween party in blackface…
    was that wrong?…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    But it’s been one unforced error after another these last few days.

    Today’s GOP, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. anjin-san says:

    Wow. The Romney campaign whined pretty hard when Obama made a Seamus joke.

    When Obama made the dog comment last week, Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said: “After sanctimoniously complaining about making a ‘big election about small things’ President Obama continues to embarrass himself and diminish his office with his unpresidential behavior.”

    Good thing Mitt is keeping it classy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0

  8. al-Ameda says:

    No, but they keep asking to see your tax returns, you mannequin.

    Honestly, was ‘Donald Trump Day’ out on the hustings?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  9. Gromitt Gunn says:

    From the headline, I thought that perhaps R-MONEY had decided to finally and fully disassociate himself from the birthers.

    Oops.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  10. sam says:

    No one ever not asked to see my tax returns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  11. Jeremy R says:

    Romney’s son Matt during a Q & A, responding to a question about whether his father will release more tax returns:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romney-son-makes-birther-joke/2011/12/30/gIQADa1ERP_video.html

    Matt Romney: “He’s certainly not afraid of anything. He’s not hiding anything. But, you know, I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades, and birth certificate, and sort of a long list of things, and then maybe he’ll do it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  12. MBunge says:

    And just to make the difference clear.

    When Obama tells a joke about Romney strapping a dog to the roof of his car, the punchline is “Romney did something stupid. Ha!”

    When Romney tells a joke about Obama’s birth certificate, the punchline is “Obama’s black. Ha!”

    One of these things is not like the other.

    Mike

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 0

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Matt Romney: “He’s certainly not afraid of anything. He’s not hiding anything. But, you know, I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades, and birth certificate, and sort of a long list of things, and then maybe he’ll do it.”

    Sounds like Matt is a dittohead too.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  14. MattT says:

    No wonder they pushed up the nomination to first day of the convention. Give Mitt a chance to run his mouth for a few days and there might be a serious chance of buyers’ remorse even in the GOP.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  15. rudderpedals says:

    unforced error

    Well, he’s a legacy candidate, he’s going to act dopey. Recent history shows dynasty candidates lack their forbearer’s skilz. (Gore and both Bushes for example. Chaffee would be a counterexample that doesn’t fit in the theory, unfortunately)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. swbarnes2 says:

    But it’s been one unforced error after another these last few days.

    Why is this an error? Where is the evidence that appeals to racism don’t turn on white voters?

    Aren’t you still going to vote for Romney yourself?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  17. James Joyner says:

    @swbarnes2: I don’t think this was a conscious appeal to racism but rather a hamhanded joke and a complete lack of self-awareness.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

  18. Me Me Me says:

    No one at BYU ever asked me what sport I played.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. Jr says:

    I am not going to call Mitt a racist….but he is really tone-deaf.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  20. Scott says:

    @James Joyner: I think this is true. Romney is clueless but not racist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  21. Lynda says:

    Romney team – We need to shift the news cycle from Todd Akin’s comments

    Romney – I know, I’ll make a birther joke!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  22. legion says:

    @James Joyner: It may be unconscious, but isn’t that also a pretty jaw-dropping indictment of Romney’s suitability for high office?

    You mark my words: before this campaign is over, Romney will accidentally refer to Obama as a n*gger. And people will still defend him as a viable, even preferable, candidate for President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  23. C. Clavin says:

    Um…
    Mitt actually did strap a dog to the roof of his car.
    Birtherism is nothing but pure delusion.
    Now Romney has gone full-on Birther.
    And just to be clear…birtherism has it’s roots in pure racism.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  24. swbarnes2 says:

    @James Joyner:

    I don’t think this was a conscious appeal to racism but rather a hamhanded joke and a complete lack of self-awareness.

    What’s the punchline of the joke?

    I don’t really care “what’s in his heart”. I care about the kind of policies he would set, and apparently his policy is fanning the flames of racism against Obama, as evidenced by his words.

    And again, where’s the evidence that this hurts him? When saying that Obama is not a “real American” is a major part of the Republican strategy, why do you dismiss him doing exactly that as not part of his campaign? A huge % of Republicans are birthers, how can you be so sure that appealing to them is an error?

    What, short of dragging a black person behind his touring bus, would get you to admit that Mitt and Republicans in general, use racism to appeal to voters?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  25. Rob in CT says:

    I don’t Romney is particularly bigotted vs. black people (I specify because I do think he’s almost surely bigotted vs. gays). He has, however, winked at those who are (I’m not sure every birther is racist, as opposed to simply mindlessly partisan, but then that partisanship is often bound up with race as well. Anyway, I do think it’s fair to say that racism fuels birtherism).

    It’s a bit like the Ron Paul newsletter thing. “Oh, Dr. Paul isn’t a racist!” Maybe not, I really don’t know. But he made a bunch of money off of pandering to those who are. Who is more despicable? The dumb-as-dirt, ignorant racist? Or the intelligent, educated man who plays footsie with the racist for money or power?

    This sh*t has been going on for a long time now. It’s been debunked over and over and over again. But you still have the leading lights of the GOP messing around with it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  26. Jeremy R says:

    The Birther rally audience was appreciative of Romney’s pandering affirmation:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/romneys-birth-certificate-joke-wasnt-planned-sa

    Meanwhile, the reaction from the crowd of Republicans here was largely enthusiastic, with some laughing it off as a politically incorrect joke, and others treating it as a welcome attack on what they believe to be the coverup of the president’s birthplace.

    Asked what he made of Romney’s line, Jim Barzakov, a retiree from Berryville, MI, expressed frustration with reporters’ fixation on the issue.

    “What is it with this birth certificate? It’s every question I get from you guys!” he said. “You must be all liberals! What kind of a question is that?”

    He then said the meaning of the line was simple: “It says Romney has his birth certificate; Obama can’t find his.” Asked about the certificate the White House released last year, Barzakov dismissed it as a “photoshop certificate.”

    Terese Cayline, who works at a real estate management company in Waterford, MI, said she doesn’t consider herself a “birther” — but raised several of the talking points espoused by skeptics of the president’s birth certificate.

    “[Romney] was born and raised in Michigan and as far as Obama goes, his grandma was there at his birth and his grandma has never been outside Kenya,” Cayline said. “So I find it ironic that he won’t show the real birth certificate.”

    and:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/24/romney-no-one-has-ever-asked-to-see-my-birth-certificate/

    … the crowd roared when Romney made the quip, and many supporters afterwards said they remained skeptical about where Obama was born.

    “I thought it was great because why should we have to worry about whether the president has a birth certificate or not,” Guy Myers of Clarkston, Michigan, said.

    Another supporter, Lauri Pierce of Midland, said it drew a contrast for her between Romney and Obama.

    “Well Mitt’s from Michigan. There’s no question about where he’s from,” Pierce said. “And you hear a lot of questions about Obama. You don’t know, but you hear questions.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  27. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t know whether Romney is racist but don’t be too quick to dismiss it as mere ham-handedness. Romney will do, say or be anything to get elected. And he’s running a series of blatantly dog-whistle racist ads.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0

  28. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Exactly. Given how heavily he’s pushing the “Obama is letting people get welfare without working” lie, dog-whistling is a large part of Mitt’s strategy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  29. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I don’t Romney is particularly bigotted vs. black people (I specify because I do think he’s almost surely bigotted vs. gays).

    Well, he was a missionary and a church official for the Mormon religion, a religion that was, until Mitt was an adult man in his mid-thirties, actively bigoted and discriminatory against black people. So while he may or may not have personal feelings of bigotry, he certainly was on the side of and actively advocating for bigotry for a large part of his adult life.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  30. Katharsis says:

    @swbarnes2: I actually would like an answer to this myself. I don’t mean something to the effect of Romney is a racist, however. What exactly would it take Mr. Joyner, for you to acknowledge that Romney is willing to stoke racial tension for partisan gain and would you consider it over the line?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  31. C. Clavin says:

    “…I don’t Romney is particularly bigotted vs. black people…”

    Certainly not…Romney and his party are xenophobes…bigoted against anyone not like them…an unreasonable fear or hatred of that which is foreign or strange…African Americans, Muslims, Mexicans, Women, Gays, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  32. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pandering to birthers is not new for Mitt. That’s what he was doing when he jumped into bed with Trump, and today’s remark is for the same purpose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    Nate Silver has Obama with a 70% chance of winning Ohio today, I would look for Mitt to wrap his arms a bit tighter around the birthers.

    In other news, Fox has an interesting article asking if annual physicals are unnecessary. Prepping the faithful for life under the bus?

    Don’t be silly, you don’t need to visit the doctor…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  34. Gustopher says:

    @Rob in CT: The Dog Whistle has to be pretty loud if you want the dog to hear it when he’s strapped to the roof of the car barreling down the interstate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @James Joyner:

    I don’t think this was a conscious appeal to racism but rather a hamhanded joke and a complete lack of self-awareness.

    Frankly, I think Birtherism is the new way of pandering to racists without having to use the old terminology (which immediately brands you as a racist). The Birther stuff is a way that they can all smile knowingly at each other, and say, “See, we’re not not racists, in fact you’re racist for thinking that we’re racists.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  36. stonetools says:

    Is Romney a racist? Probably not. Is he pandering to racists? Absolutely. Witness his cultivation of birthers like Trump. Witness his repeated use of the lie about Obama changing the welfare requirements. He repeats this universally debunked lie again and again on the stump, and has made three ads about it.
    Is Romney just being ham handed? No. He knows exactly what he is doing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  37. Davebo says:

    I don’t think this was a conscious appeal to racism but rather a hamhanded joke and a complete lack of self-awareness.

    Exactly James. And he doesn’t want to release his tax returns because he doesn’t want people to know how much he tithes (despite his wife telling everyone in a national TV interview recently).

    See, if black folk knew how much Mormons tithed and wanted to try out one of those church funded vacations they get you’ll have half of black America moving to Utah!

    If you’re gonna bend over backwards like that Jimbo you might as well join cirque du soleil!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0