Talking Points Memo has the exclusive which not a single Ohio progressive blog apparently got.  Click on the link to hear the audio:

According to audio recorded by someone at the dinner and obtained by TPMDC, the joke concludes with: “Lincoln was a skinny lawyer. Obama is a skinny lawyer. Lincoln was a Republican. Obama is a skinny lawyer. Lincoln was highly respected. Obama is a skinny lawyer. Lincoln was born in the United States. Obama is a skinny lawyer.”

That was followed up with a more subtle crack from State Rep. James Zehringer, who said he read over Portman’s Wikipedia entry, which starts by identifying him as an American lawyer. “Rob Portman is an American lawyer. That’s the first sentence [on his Wikipedia page]. That’s something our president can’t say,” Zehringer said.

The good news is that even an all GOP audience noticeably groans at the birther jokes.

Meanwhile, Portman’s campaign gets the “ignore the ironic elephant in the room award” for this spin:

A Portman spokeswoman called the remarks “inappropriate” when asked by TPMDC about her boss’ reaction, but also dismissed the questions as silly.

“The comments were inappropriate, but it’s unfortunate that all Democrats have to offer are cheap political attacks meant to distract people from the economic serious challenges we’re facing in Ohio. Rob Portman will continue to focus on developing solutions to help Ohioans get back to work,” said spokeswoman Jessica Towhey.

To call Democrats questioning Portman’s failure to call out those comments and instead tacitly accept them is not “cheap”.  What those two GOP idiots did was cheap political attacks.

This is the political tension the Ohio GOP is playing while trying to keep the birthers and the tea baggers while not scaring away the sane world.

And Portman cannot balance to the two well.

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