President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the White House briefing room (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
President Barack Obama on Monday shrugged off an ad by a political action committee founded by a former Navy SEAL that accuses him of improperly milking the death of Osama bin Laden for political gain.
"I don't take these folks too seriously," Obama told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
"One of their members is a birther who denies I was born here, despite evidence to the contrary. You've got another who was a tea party candidate in a recent election," Obama said. "This kind of stuff springs up before election time."
The Obama campaign has accused the group responsible for the bin Laden ad, the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, of trying to "Swift Boat" the president—a reference to the attacks on Democratic Sen. John Kerry's military service when he ran for president in 2004. The organization has ties to Republican politics.
The founder of another group, Special Operations Speaks, openly doubts that Obama was born in Hawaii despite the evidence. Here's how he put it to Foreign Policy late last week:
"I have to admit that I'm a Birther," said SOS founder Larry Bailey, a retired 27-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, in an interview. "If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is."