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Rachel Maddow: Romney May Have Planned Birther Joke To Help Him With White Voters

On her show last night, Rachel Maddow connected Mitt Romney‘s birth certificate joke yesterday to a possible desire on the part of Republicans to rally white voters who may have some racial resentment to President Obama around the GOP ticket. She also noticed a trend of conservatives engaging in “troll” tactics to rile up liberals against Romney so that conservatives will be more fired up in siding with the Republican candidate.

RELATED: Mitt Romney Defends Birth Certificate Joke: ‘Not A Swipe’ At President Obama

Maddow first referenced the picture of Donald Trump with an Obama impersonator dug up by Mediaite last week, along with the caption hinting that both men would be making an appearance together at the Republican National Convention. Maddow guessed that Trump’s surprise role at the convention in Tampa will involve the mogul telling the Obama impersonator, “You’re fired!”

Maddow reminded viewers that Trump was a serious candidate for president a little over a year ago, despite his constant public scrutiny of President Obama’s birth certificate. Trump ended up endorsing Romney earlier this year, helping the candidate raise money, but he also continued to go for the birther angle. And Maddow couldn’t help but notice how much Romney’s campaign has been willing to embrace Trump despite being a very prominent birther.

Maddow noted that math does not look to be in Mitt Romney’s favor, and brought up a clip of Romney saying that he needs “50.1 percent or more” to win. And given Romney’s poor numbers with African-Americans and Latinos, Maddow concluded Romney’s best chance of winning is to get a commanding lead among white voters.

So what does this have to do with Romney’s birther joke?

Maddow wondered if the Romney campaign had actually planned the joke in advance, as if it “helps them” with voters who believe “there is something illegitimate and un-American” with Obama remaining in office.

Maddow then brought on MSNBC colleague Chris Hayes to expound upon this theory. Hayes noted similarities between both sides rallying up the base in 2012 and 2004, and brought up the “troll war” waged on Obama over the dog-eating story earlier this year. He suspected that such tactics were trying to give off the idea that “if liberals hate Mitt Romney enough, maybe conservatives will love him.”

Watch the video below, courtesy of MSNBC:

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