CHICAGO – President Barack Obama's re-election campaign took a light-hearted line against "birthers" on Wednesday by hawking "Made in the USA" t-shirts and coffee mugs which picture the longer form birth certificate Obama released last month.
The "birthers" allege Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States and therefore ineligible to be president.
Obama tried to bury the notion by releasing his longer form birth certificate last month and then blasting in a televised address the "carnival barkers" who refused to let the issue die.
Obama has said he can't walk around with his birth certificate plastered on his forehead, so deputy campaign manager Julianna Smoot asked his supporters to wear it for him, according to an email message from Smoot on Wednesday.
In the message, Smoot called conservative author Jerome Corsi's latest book, "Where's the Birth Certificate?", "a greatest-hits reel of delusions" and derided his claims that Obama was a "secret Muslim."
"Wear your support for this campaign with an official Made in the USA T-shirt," the campaign website said.
The birther conspiracy theory was given a megaphone recently by real estate tycoon Donald Trump, who dropped his unofficial bid for the Republican nomination on Tuesday.
During his short-lived campaign Trump became the most prominent figure raising questions about Obama's birth and the issue helped draw attention to his bid.
But analysts say Obama's release of the longer form certificate showing the president was born in Hawaii in 1961 was then a factor in Trump's effort losing steam.
"We do not have time for this silliness," Obama had said in his televised comments, calling it a distraction from the real issues facing the nation. "We've got better stuff to do."
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.