On Thursday evening, President Obama finally addressed the birther controversy, currently being spearheaded by the Donald. Maybe you thought the president would avoid the topic forever, because it's a ridiculous conspiracy theory infiltrating the media despite having already been easily debunked. Alas, ABC's George Stephanopoulos said, "Donald Trump's rising to the top of the polls by feeding fantasies about your background. What do you make of that?" Stephanopoulos said he expected Obama to "take a pass" on the question, but that the president actually "seemed to enjoy" talking about it. In any case, he responded with calm and, you know, reason — plus a joke — while reiterating that he doesn't think "the vast majority of American people" take these topics seriously, and that they'd rather vote for a candidate focused on "growing the economy and getting control of the deficit." From the president:
"I think that over the last two and a half years there’s been an effort to go at me in a way that is politically expedient in the short-term for Republicans. But [it] creates, I think a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the President was born where he says he was, in Hawaii. He doesn’t have horns ... we’re not really worrying about conspiracy theories or birth certificates ... The vast majority of Americans across the country — Democratic or Republican — really want this election to be about growing the economy, getting control of the deficit, preparing the future for our kids. And my suspicion is that anybody who is not addressing those questions is going to be in trouble. I think they may get a quick pop in the news. They may get a lot of attention. But ultimately, the American people understand this is a serious, sober time."
Now watch him say it:
Obama Exclusive: I Was Born in Hawaii and I Don’t 'Have Horns' [George'sBottomLine/ABC via Mediaite]