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Obama Mistakenly Refers to Hawaii as 'Asia' During Summit

Nov. 13, 2011: President Obama speaks during his closing press conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit near Honolulu, Hawaii.AP

It's hard to mistake that Hawaiian scenery. 

But President Obama apparently forgot where he was during his press conference Sunday on the outskirts of Honolulu -- despite being born there. 

The president mistakenly described his location as "Asia" while answering a question about budget cuts. 

"When I meet with world leaders, what's striking -- whether it's in Europe or here in Asia -- the kinds of fundamental reforms and changes, both on the revenue side and the public pension side, that other countries are having to make are so much more significant than what we need to do in order to get our books in order," Obama said. 

Obama understandably had Asia on the mind, as his press conference came in the middle of the U.S. hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where representatives from many Asian countries were in attendance. 

And, hey, Hawaii is a latecomer, having only been a state since 1959. 

Technically, Hawaii isn't in Asia, but neither is it geographically fixed to North America. Because it's a chain of islands, belonging to Polynesia, it is not part of any continent. Politically, however, Congress made sure the 50th state had its own star on the blue field of the U.S. flag representing the Union.

Hawaii is also Obama's birthplace, a fact the president has hammered since the campaign in the face of debunked claims that he wasn't actually born on U.S. soil. The president even referenced Hawaii as his birthplace the day before, reportedly making a crack about those conspiracy theories. 

Obama set out Tuesday from Hawaii to Australia. After that, he'll land in Indonesia, which unlike Hawaii is part of Asia proper. 

But Obama said Monday he'll try to return to Asia -- er, Hawaii -- for his Christmas and New Year's holiday, according to the Hawaii Reporter.

Click here to see the president's remark.

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