WASHINGTON -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday slammed Donald Trump for trying to reignite a debate over whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Trump, who is supporting Mitt Romney, put the issue back in the spotlight on Tuesday when, during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, he rejected the idea that Obama's birth certificate is real. He said even the fact that a Hawaii newspaper included Obama's birth announcement in 1961 and that the state of Hawaii authorized Obama's birth certificate isn't enough to convince him.
"There are many people that don't agree with that birth certificate," Trump said. "They don't think it's authentic, Wolf."
Carney hit back during his daily briefing, calling Trump's views "a ridiculous distraction" from the issues that people really want to talk about, such as jobs and the economy.
"One man's attempt to draw attention to himself by engaging in, you know, this kind of ridiculousness, doesn't really change what most Americans care about," he said.
Ultimately, Carney added, it will be up to Romney to decide whether he plans to associate himself with Trump's views on the campaign trail.
Trump has already signaled that he has no plans to drop the issue. In a Tuesday interview with The Huffington Post, he disagreed with his own spokesman in saying that he didn't think the birther issue was a distraction "at all."