During a speech at the first Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on Tuesday, former President Barack Obama cracked a joke poking fun at "birthers" who are convinced that Obama was not born in the United States, and therefore should not have been eligible to be the president.
At one point in his speech, Obama expressed his joy at being back in Chicago, where he started his political career in the 1980s.
"The reason I’m so excited to see you all here today in part is because this is where I started," he told the crowd.
"Now, this isn’t where I was born, I was born in Kenya," he mused. After some laughter, he added: "That’s a joke."
President Obama at the #ObamaSummit in Chicago: "This isn't where I was born. I was born in Kenya." https://t.co/Z1tnyFk3u1— Charlotte Morabito (@Charlotte Morabito)1509486437.0
The joke came at the expense of Donald Trump, who spent almost a decade pushing the theory that Obama was born in Kenya, and worked Obama detractors into a frenzy after he demanded that Obama produce a birth certificate that could prove he was indeed born in the United States.
Eventually, in 2011, a "short-form" and "long-form" birth certificate were released to the public, showing that Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961.
During the White House Correspondents' Dinner held later that week, Obama made some jokes at Trump's expense, saying: "Donald Trump is here tonight! Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter—like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
While many birthers have held onto the notion that Obama was born in Kenya and that the birth certificates were fakes, Trump eventually conceded in September of 2016 that Obama was born in the United States.
He has yet to apologize for starting and perpetuating the rumor, however.
Twitter applauded Obama for keeping his sense of humor in tact:
😁 JOKE OF THE DAY 😁 'I was born in Kenya,' #Obama trolls #Trump and #birther movement https://t.co/Zfwm2etBIT via @usatoday— Michael O'Grady (@Michael O'Grady)1509567484.0
@MorabitoCM How wonderful! A man with a sense of humor and witty sarcasm❤️— Patricia Ray (@Patricia Ray)1509525695.0
@MorabitoCM I Love it :)— Cheryl Cipres (@Cheryl Cipres)1509534311.0
But keeping to their conspiratorial roots, the birthers took the joke as an admission:
The truth is often disquised as a "joke" Obama jokes about birther movement: 'I was born in Kenya' https://t.co/HPEwJSP0Fs— Magicwolflady (@Magicwolflady)1509554567.0
IM NOT SO SURE THIS IS A JOKE!! https://t.co/ImWwTB3ssp— Alan Stanfield (@Alan Stanfield)1509554699.0
That's no joke. Trump was right about the birther question all along. Obama & Wife are still getting over on everyb… https://t.co/0gqQDvbkud— Ed Murray (@Ed Murray)1509512988.0
@MorabitoCM Finally the truth. His is very liberal, so it is essentially impossible to determine fact from fiction… https://t.co/3H8XvQOtEK— Brant Gieck (@Brant Gieck)1509538429.0
Beside the joke, Obama had some other important things to talk about, including the notion that we should strive against partisan politics.
"The moment we're in right now, politics is the tail and not the dog," he said. "And what we need to do is to think about our civic culture. Because what's wrong with our politics is in part is a reflection of something wrong in our civic culture, not just here in the United States, but in many places around the world."
Wise words from a wise man.
@MorabitoCM We so miss you #ObamaSummit #Obama— Robert Maldonado (@Robert Maldonado)1509543206.0
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