It is alright for Barack Obama to make jokes about Mitt Romney, but Obama's campaign doesn't like jokes that Obama is the butt of.
Romney's joke about no one asking him to see his birth certificate Watch:
The crowd loved it. Obama's campaign, meh, not so much.
The line, which prompted laughter and then cheers from the roughly 5,000 people gathered here, was an apparent reference to the long-debunked conspiracy theory that President Obama was born in Africa, and therefore not Constitutionally qualified to be president.
But the Romney campaign quickly pushed back against questions about whether Romney was invoking "birtherism."
"The governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States," said adviser Kevin Madden. "He was only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised."
A campaign aide told BuzzFeed, on condition of anonymity, that Romney did not plan the birth certificate joke in advance, and that it was an "off-the-cuff reference to him being a homegrown guy of Michigan" that was wrongly interpreted by the press.
Still, a spokesman for the Obama campaign seized on the opportunity to decry Romney for extremism.
“Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them," said spokesman Ben LaBolt. "It’s one thing to give the stage in Tampa to Donald Trump, Sheriff Arpaio, and Kris Kobach. But Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”
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.
They can dish it out but they just can't take it.
[Update] Didn't take long for the predictable howling of raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacism to start.
Bless their hearts!