(USA TODAY by Richard Wolf) President Obama says that attacks on his record from a political action committee founded by a former Navy SEAL should not be taken seriously.
In an interview this afternoon with The Virginia-Pilot, Obama noted that the PAC's founder, Scott Taylor, has said he does not believe the president was born in the USA.
"I don't take these folks too seriously," the president said. "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.
"This kind of stuff springs up before election time."
The political action committee, including former special operations and CIA officers, accuses Obama and aides of leaking sensitive information to promote his national security record -- and his re-election bid.
Campaign aides deny the charge and liken the new criticism to the "Swift Boat" attacks that Republicans used during the 2004 election to discredit John Kerry's Vietnam service.
Federal prosecutors and congressional lawmakers are investigating the sources of news leaks on issues ranging from the raid that killed Osama bin Laden to reported cyberattacks on Iran.
In the interview, Obama also called on Republicans and Democrats in Congress to compromise in order to head off cuts in military spending next year. From the paper's report:
Obama said he thinks Congress will figure out a way to head off $500 billion in defense cuts, set to begin in January.
"The numbers work as long as each side recognizes they've both got to give. Democrats have to understand we're going to need some additional spending cuts, and Republicans have to understand we're going to need some additional revenues."