Romney campaign sticks with Trump, despite birther comments
May 26th, 2012
10:33 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney campaign sticks with Trump, despite birther comments

(CNN) – Donald Trump, whose penchant for questioning President Barack Obama's place of birth showed no signs of abating Friday, is helping presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney raise money. Isn't such close proximity to the "birther" conspiracy embarrassing for a candidate who's serious about becoming the next president?

That was the question posed by CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger to Romney's senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom Friday.

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"I can't speak for Donald Trump, but I can tell you that Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States," Fehrnstrom said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Fehrnstrom, it turns out, doesn't need to speak for Trump. The celebrity business magnate spoke out for himself in a Friday interview with The Daily Beast, saying he still had questions about Obama's birthplace.

"Look, it's very simple," Trump said in the Daily Beast interview. "A book publisher came out three days ago and said that in his written synopsis of his book."

The interview continued, "He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. His mother never spent a day in the hospital."

Trump was referring to literary agency who, in a promotional catalogue from the 1990s, listed Obama has having been born in Kenya. An employee of the agency recently acknowledged that it was her mistake.

Trump isn't buying it.

"Now they're saying it was a mistake," he told the Daily Beast. "Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, 'Oh, I mean Hawaii.' Give me a break."

Obama released the long-form version of his birth certificate in April 2011, showing he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Soon after it was released, Trump announced he would not make a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

Trump's latest foray into birtherism comes just days ahead of a big campaign event with Romney in Las Vegas. The event, which will also feature former candidate Newt Gingrich, is set to take place Tuesday at Trump's International Hotel on the Strip.

Romney's campaign is also raffling a chance to have dinner with Trump for supporters who donate $3 to the campaign.

"I want you: Dine with the Donald," a campaign flier proclaims, along with a drawing of Trump in the post of Uncle Sam.

The campaign offers: "Airport transportation in the Trump vehicle; Stay at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York; Tour the Celebrity Apprentice Boardroom; Dine with Donald Trump and Mitt Romney."

Will such close proximity to an avowed birther damage Romney's credibility? Their rivals certainly hope so. Obama's campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt labeled Trump the "birther in chief" on MSNBC Friday.

But Fehrnstrom, quoting a member of the Obama White House, said a politician's supporters don't speak for the candidate himself.

"You know, not too long ago, Jay Carney, the spokesman for the White House made a statement which I think is correct, and that statement was that a candidate can't be responsible for everything that their supporters say," Fehrnstrom said. "And in this case, Mitt Romney has made it clear that the place of the president's birth is not an issue for him. He accepts the fact that he was born in Hawaii. And we have many important challenges facing our country, and that's what we'd rather talk about."


Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney
soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Trump is just one of many things Romney has to be embarrassed about. Funny though, he seems to have no shame about any of it.

    May 27, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. NoKidding

    Hmmm... Wonder if Trump is going to ask Romney to publish his birth certificate because he was born from a mexican dad? And how about making sure his fortune didn't come from any connections with the mexican drug lords? Amazing the kind of BS that was thrown at Obama because his dad was born in Yemen.

    May 27, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. doug

    So it is extreme to trust Harvard? Harvard said Obama was born in Kenya.

    As we know Obama is a Democrat, being a Democrat. He was born in Kenya when that was an advantage for him, a Democrat has zero morals, values, decency, or integrity. In fact Democrats look down upon those who have them.

    May 27, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. SassyMe2

    Why in the world would any rational person want or need help of any kind from someone like The Donald? Trustworthy, respectable, and dignified are not characteristics that jump to mind when I hear his name – nor are discretion, diplomacy, and caution. I immediately think: the Apprentice, the Rosey O'Donnell feud, Marla Maples. the beauty contest controversy – just to name a few. Donald Trump is a publicity hound and ranks right up there with the Kardashians, Anna Nicole Smith, the Salahis, Rush Lembaugh,etc! Mitt Romney would do well to remember that we are known by the company we keep!

    May 27, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Larry L

    It's a waste of time to continually show the "birthers" positive proof of the President's citizenship. At this point believers in that conspiracy are either too racist, too ignorant, or too dishonest to change their mind. In Trump's case I'd guess it's simply dishonesty – his attempt to get support for the VP slot.

    May 27, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. AllrightyThen

    I doubt some "birthers" actually believe the froth over this – but sadly, some of them do believe it. The bottom-line code to this nonsense is that President Obama is not the traditional color. Wish they would come out of the" birther closet" and just say it.

    For pure entertainment value – it is time for the "wifer" conspirousy movement to take an equal center stage – the movement that Mitt only provided the short form marriage certificate – therefore, he must have at least 5 wives... afterall, one nut deserves an opposite but equal nut. Just saying...

    May 27, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. jeanmorganstein

    If Romney is so concerned about President Obama being an "American", he should show just how much he (Romney) supports America, and remove the money he has in overseas banks
    avoiding taxes, and PAY America, the tax on it.

    May 27, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. the killjoy

    the hair-thing somehow does not inspire trust.

    May 27, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Biff Omney

    While it's true that a candidate isn't responsible for everything his supporters say, it's a different story when said candidate attends a lavish fundraiser held by said wacky supporter.

    May 27, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. awsomedeal

    romneys father ran for president HE WAS BORN IN MEXICO nobody gave a crap about that back then. why cause he was WHITE... obama/biden/2012

    May 27, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Thomas

    @gay guy
    I do like Barack Obama, he is ruining America, and he stinks (seriously) as president
    Enough promises already!
    Obama = Broken promises and lier! Obama lies, Obama lies!

    Hypocritical contradictions ! It must be painful for you two fighting a war of attrition between Truth and reality in your minds and hearts !

    The Truth will set you free! !

    May 27, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Georgene

    Never in history has any political candidate been subjected to such verifications. Unless every single political candidate running for office..any office...is subected to the same sort of scrutiny including the 1% Mitt then these birthers should crawl back under the rocks from whence they came. The President's birth certificate has been shown and validated by the appropriate agencies. This is not about whether he was born in Hawaii but more about the fact that he is the first black man to become President. Shame on the racist factions in this country that are now looking more and more ridiculous. I don't know why we give Trump any air time at all. He is just a narcissistic egomaniac who consistently demands and gets more than his already expired 15 minutes of fame. Who is he anyway? Just another guy who made his riches from walking over the backs of others and ended up owing the banks so much money that they cannot afford to let him go under. He is pathetic!

    May 27, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. emma

    How ethical is Romney being by participating in a Trump fundraiser? He is making a statement that if there is something in it for him he is for it, even though it falsely demeans another human being. Integrity was once a powerful American value, was it not?

    May 27, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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