POLITICS
08/13/2013 10:57 am ET

Dana Rohrabacher Jokes About Obama's Birthplace At Gathering

AP

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) considered personally asking President Barack Obama if he was actually born in Hawaii, he told constituents at an event in his district on Thursday.

Rohrabacher said that while he was chatting with Obama and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Wednesday at Camp Pendleton in California, Rohrabacher mentioned the state's surfer friendly beaches.

When Obama responded that he had surfed while growing up in Hawaii, Rohrabacher said he had to hold himself back from joking about the president's birthplace. "I didn't want to say, were you born in Hawaii?" Rohrabacher said, drawing laughter from the crowd. "I didn't do that -- maybe I should've."

The comment came as Rohrabacher, addressing the group UNITE OC in Costa Mesa, was answering a question about the United States' relationship with Russia.

Rohrabacher also told constituents that he believed the American relationship with China is perilous, as is "radical Islam." He implied that the large number of Chinese students at American educational institutions is an opportunity for the country to enrich itself, something that could prove harmful to the United States in the future.

"We were told that if we just open up to China … and let them go to our schools and have them educated so that they could learn how to make bombs better … that they will put aside the gangster regime that they've got," he said. "It's the hug-a-Nazi, make-a-liberal theory. That's what I call it. And it has not worked."

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