At a Labor Day tea party in Cincinnati, OH, ThinkProgress captured exclusive footage of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) whispering to a birther, “I agree with you, but the courts don’t.” Watch it:
Yesterday, Schmidt issued a statement attempting to back away from her comments, claiming that she was only agreeing “that the constitution should be strictly interpreted”:
The President is indeed a Citizen of this country and constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States. I may not agree with his politics but there is no doubt he is the President and has my full respect. The video clip being circulated by some is part of a longer conversation with a woman who was very upset about a number of things. I, in no way, agree with her belief that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States. I did agree with her view that the constitution should be strictly interpreted. I was trying to be kind to a woman who was trying desperately and passionately to express her views. She has the right to her beliefs, no matter how much I disagree with them.
Despite this statement, as Politico’s Glenn Thrush has noted, it’s clear from the footage that Schmidt was playing a “wink-wink game” with the birther crowd.