The campaign for Tommy Thompson said the Senate hopeful's son apologized Monday after making a comment referencing President Barack Obama's birthplace at a campaign event.
Jason Thompson, whose father is running as the GOP nominee in a tight contest in Wisconsin, said it was time to send President Barack Obama "back to" Kenya.
"The election here in November will chart our course as a country not only for our generation, but our kids' generation. We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago," Jason Thompson said, before smiling and adding: "Or Kenya."
He made the remark, which was captured on video, while speaking Sunday at the Kenosha County Republican Party fall brunch in Kenosha, Wis. At times, Thompson was interrupted by applause and comments from attendees. Tommy Thompson, a former governor of the state, was not at the event.
In a statement Monday from Tommy Thompson's communications director, the former governor said he talked about the remark with his son.
"The Governor has addressed this with his son, just like any father would do. Jason Thompson said something he should not have, and he apologizes," Lisa Boothe emailed said in a statement to CNN.
The comment comes as the latest public nod to the so-called birther controversy. Last year, Obama released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii to quell speculation that he was not a U.S. citizen and may be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president. He has previously released a certification of live birth during the 2008 campaign. Both documents show that he was born in a Hawaii hospital on August 4, 1961. Contemporaneously published newspaper announcements also noted the birth in the Aloha State.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus was also in attendance at the event. Priebus has repeatedly shot down birther jokes in the past, referring to them as distractions for the party.
Thompson is running against Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin in a highly competitive race. A CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac survey released last week showed Baldwin edged Thompson by 2 percentage points, a margin well within the sampling error.