04/24/2011 12:32 pm ET | Updated Jun 24, 2011

Michael Bloomberg: Birther Issue A 'Terrible Mistake' For Republicans

WASHINGTON — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Republicans are making "a terrible mistake" in pushing the "birther issue" during an appearance on this weekend's edition of "Fox News Sunday."

The New York City mayor, an independent, said President Barack Obama "was born here" on the program. Despite calling Donald Trump a friend and "a New York icon," he took issue with the potential presidential candidate's persistence in raising skepticism over the president's birthplace.

Bloomberg said that "anybody can run for president if [he or she] is 35 and an American citizen," including Trump. He noted, however, that the billionaire is by no means the only one pushing the birther issue on the right side of the aisle. “There are a lot of roots that have glommed onto this," he said.

Bloomberg asserted that it's time for Republicans to address pressing policy issues that are important to Americans.

"We have immigration, we have the deficit, we have the economy," he said. "Those are the things that the public cares about."