ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — It’s that birther thing again.
President Barack Obama was at an Orlando sports bar, snapping a University of Florida Gators’ sign, sipping a pint and working a crowd when he walked up to a table with five children. One adult pointed to one of the boys, 7-year-old Andre Wupperman of Orlando, and informed the president that the boy was born in Hawaii, the president’s native state.
Delighted, the president greeted the boy with a ‘‘shaka’’ sign, the pinky and thumb gesture typical of Hawaiian culture. The boy gestured back.
‘‘You were born in Hawaii?’’ the president said. Then he asked teasingly: ‘‘You have a birth certificate?’’
The patrons at Gator’s Dockside, clearly aware of the discredited claims that Obama was not born in the United States, broke up laughing.
But It appears that when it comes to birther jokes, there are political rules about who is entitled to make them.
Last month, Obama’s presidential rival, Mitt Romney, caught a blast from the Obama campaign when he was campaigning near his own Michigan birthplace and quipped that ‘‘no one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate.’’
Romney later insisted the remark was just a joke and not meant to question Obama’s citizenship. But Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt denounced the remark.
This time, Obama aides helped flesh the joke out. They made sure reporters with the president knew the young boy’s name, age and residence.