Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts and a close ally of President Obama, said Thursday that questions surrounding the president’s birth represent “a new low in American politics.”
Patrick was appearing on his weekly segment on WTKK-FM in Boston, when he was asked by the program’s hosts, Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, whether Obama had played into Donald Trump’s hands by publicly discussing the matter of his birth certificate.
Patrick didn't take the bait. “I hope and I believe that the American people are bigger and better than this,” he said.” I hope and believe the Republican Party is bigger and better than this.”
Asked whether the so-called “birther” movement was fueled by racism, Patrick, an African-American in his second term as governor, responded: “I have no idea, but whatever it is motivating it, it feels like a new low in American politics,” he said, “particularly when you consider the enormous challenges facing this country.”
Patrick said that the issue, now spearheaded by Trump, was an attempt to “marginalize” Obama, adding that the prospect that “a character like Donald Trump can get the kind of attention he does for some of these really ridiculous charges reflects poorly, I think, on all of us.”
Like Patrick, the president sternly reproached the media at his White House Briefing Room appearance Wednesday. But as we noted in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times, the president hasn’t been afraid to allude to the controversy in front of friendly crowds of campaign donors, such as the ones who filled a ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan Wednesday night.
Obama introduced himself by saying, “My name is Barack Obama. I was born in Hawaii. I'm president of the United States. And I'm running for reelection.”
He went on, “Nobody checked my ID on the way in,” as the crowd laughed.