By Justin Sink - 08/24/12 09:50 PM EDT
Mitt Romney said in an interview Friday that he did not intend his joke about President Obama's birth certificate as a swipe.
"No, no, not a swipe," Romney told CBS News. "I've said throughout the campaign and before, there's no question about where he was born. He was born in the U.S. This was fun about us, and coming home. And humor, you know — we've got to have a little humor in a campaign."
“Now I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital," the presumptive GOP nominee said.
"No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
Team Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt issued a statement moments after the comments accusing Romney of having "embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them."
"Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America," said LaBolt.
In the CBS interview Friday, Romney reiterated that he believes Obama is the "legitimate president of the United States."
"I've said that probably 30 times by now, and 31 certainly won't hurt," Romney said.
The candidate added that it was an emotional time campaigning in his home state Friday on the eve of the convention that would officially nominate him as the Republican candidate for president.
"You just felt, you know, you felt sort of everything that happened to us here — how we grew up, how we met here, the sacrifices that our families made — coming to Michigan, you know, it all sort of just washed over me as we got up on that stage," he said. "It was a very emotional feeling. It's a feeling of coming home."