DENVER - Vice President Joe Biden openly mocked a statement from Donald Trump’s campaign Thursday, which admitted that President Barack Obama was, in fact, born in the United States.
That statement came from Trump’s campaign staff (not attributed to Trump himself,) and boasted that “Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and to the country by bringing closure to the issue” of the president’s American birth, a fact which Trump himself actively called into question.
Biden struggled to muster a reaction in an interview for 9NEWS political program Balance of Power. He laughed out loud when he heard the Trump camp’s statement and shot back first with sarcasm.
“Well, I tell you what he's a great patriot for doin' that. He deserves a lot of credit,” Biden deadpanned. “Come on.”
“How do you intelligently comment on some of the things Trump says,” Biden said. “I’ve kind of given up.”
Despite the campaign statement Thursday night acknowledging the fact that President Obama was born in the US, Trump declined to acknowledge it himself in person on Friday morning:
Asked today if he still believes the theories, Trump again refuses to answer, telling Fox Business "we have to keep the suspense going."— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) September 16, 2016
Later Friday morning, Trump reversed himself, as the AP reports:
Donald Trump has finally acknowledged the fact that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Trump said Friday that "that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period."
As he did so, the Republican nominee repeated the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for president started the so-called the "birther controversy."
There is no evidence that is true, and Clinton and her allies have strongly denied that suggestion.
Just before Thursday night’s interview, Biden delivered an hour-long speech at the University of Denver. He spent much of his speech decrying the state of American politics without naming Donald Trump, declaring that American voters don’t believe the country faces as grave of a threat as some want them to believe.
Pressed in the interview on how that applies to Trump’s campaign, Biden said, “there’s a sense that the only way you can move the electorate is to scare the living devil out of ‘em, I don’t think that strategy works. We’ll soon find out.”
Clinton’s lead in the realclearpolitics average of polls has narrowed in recent days, with a pair of polls showing Trump ahead.
“Every election, the voters have made up their mind later and later,” Biden said. “I don’t think the voters have really focused yet. They’re beginning to but I don’t think they have yet.”
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