Washington (CNN) - Before President Obama left Washington Thursday for three fundraisers in his hometown, he tackled Donald Trump's recent concerns and outlined the road ahead as a candidate for re-election.
In an interview on ABC News, he addressed the on-going zings from the real estate mogul, who's ramped up his questioning of Obama's birth place in recent months saying, "Over the last two and a half years there's been an effort to go at me in a way that is politically expedient in the short-term for Republicans."
"But it creates, I think, a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the president was born where he says he was, in Hawaii."
The president told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that people may believe "he doesn't have horns," and worry about unemployment or gas prices, but not "conspiracy theories or birth certificates."
And he has an unlikely ally, confirming that Karl Rove agrees that scrutiny over his place of birth is hurting Republicans.
"The truth of the matter is that I think that the vast majority of Americans…Democratic or Republican-really want this election to be about growing the economy, getting control of the deficit…and my suspicion is that anybody who is not addressing those questions is going to be in trouble."
A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll backs up the president's contention. According to that survey, three out of four think the president was probably or definitely born in the country.
Admitting that "We have gone through two and a half of the most challenging years that we've seen since the Great Depression," Obama gave a glimmer of what may be heard on the campaign trail by touting his achievements in the White House.
"We have been able to yank this economy out of a very, very deep recession," he said. "We have been able to stabilize the financial system and get the economy to grow again."
"Not only have we now produced over 1.8 million jobs just in the last year, but what we've also been able to do is make society a little fairer, more competitive."
He also trumpeted investing in clean energy, making college more affordable, and changing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a policy that prevented gay servicemembers from openly serving in the military.
Obama noted ongoing issues like unemployment and "enormous challenges" abroad, including unrest in the Middle East, but declared, "I think I'm equipped to help us finish the job."
And he hit back at critics from the other side of the aisle who support House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's tax plan, stating, "It's not enough to just say, 'I'm going to keep your taxes low and make government small.' We've got to make real choices."
"If we believe that it's unacceptable for our seniors not to be able to go into a nursing home when they need care or children who are poor not to be able to get a good education, if we believe those things…then we've got to make sure that we're paying for it," he continued.
Obama addressed "concern" of American people who "just went through a decade in which the top one percent, the top 1/10 of one percent saw their incomes skyrocket. But for the other 99 percent, things were pretty tough."
Recalling that he grew up in "a society where if you work hard and you're responsible and sometimes you're a little bit lucky, you can achieve that American dream," he said, "I want to make sure that's true for everyone."
Meanwhile, Obama touted his birth place at a fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night:
"I was born in Hawaii. But I became a man here in Chicago. And a lot of the people who are here today, the values, the ideals, the beliefs, my core convictions about what makes America great were forged here," he said.
In 2008, the Obama presidential campaign released a copy of the certificate, saying the serial number was blacked out for concern over Hawaiian procedure. Since then, CNN and many other news organizations and the Annenberg Fact Check Project saw the original with the serial number, an embossed seal and a stamped signature.