Tim Pawlenty: Birtherism Not An Issue We Should Be Raising (VIDEO)

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TIM PAWLENTY BIRTH DEBATE

During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday morning, potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said that politicians shouldn't "play into" the debunked conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was born outside the United States.

"I, for one, do not believe we should be raising that issue," he said, breaking with possible 2012 rival Donald Trump, who made headlines on Monday for raising doubt over the eligibility issue. "I think President Obama was born in the United States."

But just last month, Pawlenty cracked a joke on the birther matter at a national Tea Party summit in Arizona.

"Now, I'm not one who questions the existence of the president's birth certificate," he said at the event, the New York Times reported at the time. "But when you listen to his policies, don't you at least wonder what planet he's from?"

Several weeks earlier, Pawlenty drew laughs from a crowd at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference in making the very same remarks.

As for Trump, Pawlenty said he believes he's "talented," "funny" and "interesting" on Tuesday morning. He added that the billionaire "might" emerge a serious contender in the race for the presidency; however, he was clear about rejecting his remarks on the president's birthplace.

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