The son of Senate candidate and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has reportedly apologized for his back-to-Kenya reference to President Obama that drew laughter and light applause during a brunch attended by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in Rep. Paul Ryan’s district.
In a video from Sunday’s Republican Party brunch posted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jason Thompson said, “We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago, or Kenya.”
One woman in the video can be heard saying, “We’re taking donations for that Kenya trip.”
The Thompson campaign has not responded to a request for comment.
Priebus was in the audience Sunday, according to the Journal Sentinel and the Kenosha County GOP website.
He released a statement, saying, “I agree with Governor Thompson, the comment was out of line and his son rightfully apologized.”
The remark alluded to some conservatives’ belief that the president’s birth certificate is a forgery and that he was in born in Kenya, where his father grew up. Despite overwhelming evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii and the release of his birth certificate last year, some conspiracy theorists remain.
Thompson wasn’t the first Republican with a microphone to make light of the president’s legal status.
“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney joked at a Michigan rally in August. ”They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
In response, the Obama campaign said at the time, “Governor Romney has 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.”
But Romney told CBS News he hadn’t meant the comment as a swipe at the president.
“I’ve said throughout the campaign and before, there’s no question where he was born,” Romney said of Obama. “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.”