Donald Trump has been birther-in-chief questioning President Obama’s legitimacy to be president. But Obama got his revenge Saturday night at the White House Correspondents’ dinner.
Mr Obama speaking at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the annual gathering of the Washington political establishment and glitterati, revelled in what his aides view as a major victory over his critics last week by releasing his full birth certificate, as Mr Trump had demanded.
“Donald Trump is here tonight,” said Mr Obama, beaming. “Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate to rest than The Donald. Now he can get to focusing on the issues that matter.
“Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened at Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”
Roswell refers to an incident in Roswell, New Mexico, where, according to some theories, an object that crashed in 1947 was an extraterrestrial spacecraft carrying alien occupants. Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur were rap stars whose deaths are the subject of continuing controversy.
Mr Trump laughed initially but the smile soon faded from his face. “All kidding aside, we all know about your credentials and experience,” Mr. Obama said.
“In Celebrity Apprentice, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha steaks, but you recognised that this was a lack of leadership, so you fired Gary Busey. These are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well-handled, sir. Well-handled.”
At one point big video screens in the ballroom flashed an image of what was labelled “Trump, The White House,” a take-off on the mogul’s practice of naming buildings after himself.
The mock-up portrayed a hotel-casino-golf course at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with bikini-clad girls frolicking in the fountain that adorns the White House front lawn and gold columns substituted at the front for white ones.
Mr Obama used his speech to ridicule his opponents about the “birther” issue, the theory, seized on by Mr Trump, that he was not born in the United States and was therefore ineligible to become president. The full birth certificate confirmed he was born in Hawaii.
Mr Trump has fared well in early opinion polls of the Republican 2012 election field. However, party operatives dismiss his chances, pointing out his liberal stances, three marriages, donations to Democrats and penchant for the outrageous. Last week, Mr Trump spoke in Las Vegas and let fly with a string of expletives.
The White House appears to have calculated that the more it can portray the Republicans as the party of Mr Trump, the better.
Following a visit to Alabama on Friday, Mr Obama also spoke of the devastation in the state where 250 died when tornadoes struck.
He said: “It’s going to be a long road back and so we need to keep those Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers. We also need to stand with them in the hard months and perhaps years to come,” he added. “I intend to make sure that the federal government does that.” [via The Telegraph (UK) and The Huff Post]