A tea party group from Pennsylvania joked about beating President Barack Obama in an August 6 email to its followers.
The joke, which describes Obama being beaten by the Founding Fathers and suggests he is a Muslim, was circulated by the group Northeast Pennsylvania Spirit of 1776 in an email titled "Our Forefathers Express Their Outrage."
The New York Daily News reports the joke is similar to a comedic bit by Robin Williams about Osama bin Laden and Islamic suicide bombers. In a statement on the controversy surrounding the email, the Pennsylvania group said "the joke, with pictures, has been circulating around for more than two years."
"It was sent to us again yesterday (8/6) and we forwarded on to our e-list," the online statement says.
When one member of the group was asked about the email, she told ThinkProgress that "the missive was funny because it’s predicated on the notion that Obama 'may be a Muslim.'" Despite Obama's Christian upbringing and visits to churches, polls continually show that large groups of Americans still believe he is a Muslim.