Michigan Senate candidate Peter Hoekstra (R) defended his flirtation with birtherism during an appearance on CNN this afternoon and claimed that his proposal to establish a government panel to ensure that future presidential candidates are born in the United States is unrelated to the false allegations that President Obama was born in Kenya. “This has nothing to do about Barack Obama, this has nothing to do about the past, this is all looking forward,” he said. Moments later, however, he failed to affirm that Obama’s birth certificate is real and merely insisted that nobody has “discredited” its authenticity. Asked why he was proposing to further expand the role of the federal government, Hoekstra explained, “I’m all about solutions.” Watch it:
“I’m not participating in [the birther] debate,” Hoekstra added. “I think that this issue has been settled.” He also said that he saw “no connection at all” between this proposal and his racist ad depicting a Chinese worker mockingly thanking Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).