The chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) wants his candidates to make "birthers" a campaign issue heading into 2010.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is urging Democratic candidates to ask their Republican opponents a couple of key questions in order to "drive a wedge" between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party movement. He relayed that advice in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

"Ask them, 'Do you believe Barack Obama as citizen of the United States?'" he said. "Ask them: Do you believe the Tenth Amendment doesn`t allow for health care for every citizen in the country? Do you believe that Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid is socialism?"

Menendez hopes that Republicans will be forced to either move hard to the right, or position themselves as moderates and risk losing support of conservative activists.

"I think these questions need to be driven to them," he said. "I'd get those candidates out there now defining these people as to where they stand."