COMMERCE, Mich. -- Despite his previous reticence to go anywhere near controversy over President Obama's birthplace, Mitt Romney dove in headfirst on Friday with a joke that touched off the latest round of partisan fireworks between the two campaigns.
Speaking to a crowd of several thousand people at an orchard farm and cider mill in his home state of Michigan, Romney raised the subject while reminiscing about growing up here with his wife, Ann.
"I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital," Romney said. "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
In an attempt to tamp down speculation that the presumptive Republican nominee was himself raising doubts about the president's birthplace, Romney aide Kevin Madden sent an email to reporters saying the candidate was "only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised."
"The governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States," Madden wrote.
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