Romney in Michigan: ‘No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate’

Has Mitt Romney gone birther?

The Republican presidential candidate appeared to join those who question President Barack Obama‘s place of birth during a campaign stop in Commerce, Michigan today, telling the crowd, “no one has ever asked to see my birth certificate.” Romney grew up in Michigan, where his father, George Romney, was a popular governor.

The candidate was joined onstage by his wife Ann and his running-mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. He also referred to Ann being born in and raised in the state.

“I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born,” Romney said. “Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital, I was born in Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate; they know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised.”

Conspiracy theories about Obama being born in Kenya, not in Hawaii, have dogged Obama since he began running for president in 2007. He released his long form birth certificate to quiet the conspiracists last year.

This wasn’t Romney’s first flirtation with the “birther crowd.” In May, he released his own birth certificate – a seeming nod to those who disbelieve the truth of Obama’s American citizenship.

Romney’s spokesman Kevin Madden sought to downplay his Michigan remarks, telling reporters after the event that “the governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States. He was only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised.”

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, issued a statement saying, “Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them.  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.”

Rush Limbaugh, perhaps not surprisingly, praised Romney’s remark, saying “Right on! Right on! Right on!” on his radio show.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign tweeted: “Barack Obama Song of the day: Born in the U.S.A. http://t.co/yYNprUBH

Follow Joy Reid on Twitter at @thereidreport.