ICYMI: "Thompson's son joked about Obama birthplace previously"

Oct 16, 2012

By Daniel Bice | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

When Jason Thompson joked this week about sending President Barack Obama back to Kenya, it wasn’t the first time the son of former Gov. Tommy Thompson had gone that route.

A newly released video shows Thompson’s son riffing on Obama’s birthplace at a “United In Freedom” rally in Fond Du Lac on Oct. 6. Jason Thompson often appears for his father at campaign events.

“We have an opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago,” said Jason Thompson, a 38-year-old attorney at the Milwaukee-based Michael Best & Friedrich.

Someone in the crowd then shouts out, “Back to Kenya!”

“That would even be better,” Jason Thompson responds.

The video was first posted Wednesday by the liberal website HuffPost

Thompson is running for a vacant U.S. Senate seat against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin.

His campaign did not immediately respond to the new video.

For years, a fringe group of Obama critics has promoted the discredited “birther” argument that the first-term Democratic president was not born in the U.S. Though Obama’s father was Kenyan, the White House released Obama’s birth certificate last year showing he was born in a Hawaii hospital on Aug. 4, 1961.

On Sunday, Jason Thompson came under fire after a Democratic operative caught the him on video suggesting at a Republican event that voters this fall could send Obama back to Kenya.

“We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago – or Kenya,” Jason Thompson said during a fall brunch hosted by the Kenosha County Republican Party.

One woman jokingly added, “We are taking donations for that Kenya trip.”

Jason Thompson has since apologized to his father and to his colleagues at his law firm.

Democratic Party Chairman Michael Tate said Wednesday that is not enough.

“Is he going to apologize to the voters?” Tate asked. “Is he going to apologize to the president? This is bordering on absolute absurd behavior.”

On Tuesday, the former Republican governor said he saw no need for his son to offer apologies to Obama or Wisconsin residents.

Thompson then downplayed the videotaped comment.

“It was an off-handed remark that somebody mentioned it in the audience,” Thompson said. “If you look at the movie, he didn’t say it, somebody in the audience said it and he repeated it and I have talked to him about it and he’s apologized about it and that’s it.”

Read this story online here.

Read the Huffington Post story with the video here.