Romney doesn’t back away from ‘birther’ Trump
May 28th, 2012
09:01 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney doesn’t back away from ‘birther’ Trump

(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Monday he wasn’t concerned about Donald Trump’s commitment to the “birther” conspiracy, one day before the GOP presidential candidate hosts a fund-raiser alongside the celebrity business magnate.

Asked on his charter plane whether Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace gave him pause, Romney simply said he was grateful for all his supporters.

“You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Romney has said in the past that he firmly believes Obama was born in Hawaii, and is thus constitutionally eligible to be president.

Trump, however, is decidedly less sure. The “Apprentice” host has been a vocal proponent of the “birther” conspiracy going back several years, at one point claiming he had “investigators” looking into Obama’s records in Hawaii. 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 will join Romney and former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for a campaign fund-raiser in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening. Romney's campaign also is 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 pose 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."

Trump’s questions about Obama’s birthplace resurfaced Friday in an interview with The Daily Beast.

"Look, it's very simple," Trump said in the 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 that, 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."

CNN’s Rachel Streitfeld and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Sydium S. Washington

    Live and let live, Mitt.
    To Barry (Obama): Leave and let live. Capish? (To the readers: get the picture?) (laughs)

    May 28, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. dreucalypt

    Romney will always wink and nod to the birthers. He can't come out and endorse their craziness, but it suits him to keep their madness at a boil

    May 28, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Good way to turn off independent voters. Keep it up, Willard.

    May 28, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. kravitz

    This proves Romney isn't serious about becoming president.

    May 28, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Romney doesn’t back away from ‘birther’ Trump◄
    Because he's all over the place – easy to manipulate and will do "anything" to get over the hump!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA – Romney is DANGEROUS!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    May 28, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  6. lyn

    Does anyone really believe this would even remotely be an issue if Obama were a white, Republican ???? - Really !!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Birds of feather flock together

    May 28, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  8. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Romney approves of Rove's antics, so why would his going along with Trump surprise anybody?

    And you can bet he'll accept the support of the organized right-wing slime machine, too – ina heart beat ! ! !

    May 28, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. ShiWms Phx AZ

    Is Mitt serious? Donald Trump as one of his Voices? Hey Mitt, Its time to Meet the Press! Not foxnews. But real people, talkn bout real issues....Come on Mitt...and please leave Ann @ home. Thanks and have a Great day!

    May 28, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. realitycnn

    Romney appears to be desperate and williing to do almost anything to buy and lie his way into the being POTUS.

    May 28, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  11. Kenny K

    Has trump investigate travel and visa records of President Obama's mother ? Has he also requested for Romney's birth cetiificate yet?

    May 28, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. labman57

    Mitt is just another dime-a-dozen self-serving Republican politician who eagerly embraces Machiavellian tactics - if it helps him to attain his objectives, it's all good.

    May 28, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. Surfer George

    Romney on Trump/"Birther's":

    "Birther money spends too – AND – a Birther vote still counts as a vote.

    I'm not gonna win anyway, so I might as well put on a good show!"

    May 28, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  14. Yonni

    Please tell us actually what do you Romney believe in? Because from so many opposing and contradicting positions you took throughout your political career it is hard to know what actually you believe in.

    May 28, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  15. Brian

    I never thought I'd see the day when a presidential candidate embraces the 'birthers' or 'birtherism' in an effort to become president. I seriously hope that the Romney campaign retracts, or states the candidate misspoke on this issue.

    May 29, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  16. BeverlyNC

    This should be the end of Romney as a viable candidate. Association with a racist birther is not a Presidential value to be tolerated. If President Obama went fundraising with Jeremiah Wright would it be a non-story? The media should be ashamed for reporting this story and not condemning Romney for being a man with no character, no integrity, no real values, unable to truly represent ALL Americans, no principles, and a perpetual liar on his own past and on President Obama's record. Romney is done as far as I am concerned. He has proven he is unfit for office and the media should say so. Racism is NOT acceptable. Lying is NOT acceptable. Refusal to answer any questions of substance on the issues, present any policy ideas or solutions is NOT acceptable. Romney and the Republicans are destroyers, haters, liars, and racists who demean anyone who is not white, male, rich or a corporation. They are therefore disqualified for any local, state, or national office that is there to SERVE the PEOPLE. No more Republicans. No more.

    May 29, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  17. joesixpackjr

    What's the big deal about birtherism? Most people believe that O was born in Hawaii, particularly after
    O finally released his actual birth certificate. A few people think O was born in Kenya, and what's wrong with that since O's own publicist formerly believed that O was born in Kenya. The media seeks to attach a stigma to any questions re O's birth. Why? It is now off limits to mention anything about O's place of birth or his former pastor J. Wright. These media created stigmas show that the media is just a propaganda machine. Why stigmatize discussion of anything related to O; he's the Pres. and we ought to be able to question, doubt and criticize him at will.

    May 29, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  18. Flowers68

    As long as he gets 50.1% of the vote he'll accept an endorsement from anyone? That's scary. He's admitting that he'd sell lhis soul to be POTUS.

    May 29, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    If President Obama had been born outside the US, the fact that his mother was a US citizen would have granted him at the least dual US citizenship (that's OUR law, not the other country's). As a dual US citizen, his parents would have had to register him as a "foreign birth abroad."

    In order to get a Social Security Number and/or US passport (both of which the President possesses), he would have to be a naturalized US citizen. This would have left a paper trail of the foreign birth certificate and naturalization papers. There is no paper trail because the President was born in the US.

    How do I know this? Because I was born in Germany of American parents (my dad was in the Army stationed there). I had dual US-German citizenship until I was 12, when I became a naturalized US citizen. When I got my Social Security Number, I had to present the paperwork showing I was a US citizen; ditto for when I got my US passport.

    So Trump and all you birther idiots, give it up. Try creating a life for yourselves that gets beyond blind hatred and stupidity.

    My bad; that would take brains and character – both of which Trump, birthers and Mittens lack.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 29, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  20. LCSWquilter

    So Romney's goal is to get 50.1% or more? Sounds more like a Wall Street guy trying to hedge his bets rather than a prospective president leading an entire country. This man has no vision for the USA.

    May 29, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  21. Chuck

    Interesting, and yet Trump has no problem with this clear contradiction:

    "His mother never spent a day in the hospital."

    "and she pointed down the road to the hospital."

    One of these people (at least) is wrong. Which is it?

    May 29, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  22. FRANK FROM LAS VEGAS

    This just shows one more time that Mittens is afraid of the Tea Baggers, Birthers and every other right wing nut group. Mittens has no spine, obviously no core that includes the truth. This is also obvious from all of the half truths and outright lies he tells. It also explains why he flip flops on everything, he'll say whatever the group he is talking to at the time they want to hear. Mittens is absolutely not presidential material, no way, now how, period!

    May 29, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  23. sharksbreath

    Without bigotry. The Republican party would cease to exist.

    May 29, 2012 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  24. Rawmoney2012

    What I'd like to see is a study to determine how many of the older birthers believed in the crazy stuff circulated by Fox News and other sources about Bill Clinton when he was President. I have a family member who, years ago, was adamant that Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster, an aide in some capacity who committed suicide at the time. I would just be interested in how many of these people might make up the birther movement today. The birther movement might not be really about racism, if this is the case. It might be more about shear gullibility and weak-mindedness. It's about the mental manipulation of the under-educated, I'd surmise–make a claim to grab the attention of the weak-minded, and you have yourself a good, loyal, voter, perhaps for life; you just have to continually contrive more such theories over time.

    The logical fallacy driving both arguments is pretty much the same. With the Birthers, it's that the President doesn't have a birth certificate-he was foreign born. Then, should you show them an actual birth certificate–even if it were somehow certified authentic by God himself, they'd just claim it was forged–no matter what. And they'd contrive some other argument to keep things going. With the Vince Foster accusations, you could try to convince the believers with actual facts in the case all you wanted, and they'd still believe Bill Clinton perhaps personally murdered this guy in the dead of night. Any offering of proof would be countered with claims that all such proof was faked.

    Then, when Clinton left office at the end of his last term, the whole line of thinking more or less vanished, as the manipulations involved in perpetuating it were just no longer needed. After all, he was out of office.

    So, maybe next time you come across an older birther, mention Vince Foster and see what he/she says. You may just spark memories of another time when that guy or girl had fixated on some hateful, irrational nonsense contrived by people who just want to manipulate the vote.

    May 29, 2012 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  25. Laurence Ringo

    Wow.Here we go again.I must confess:I consider myself a fairly intelligent person,and for the life of me I simply cannot,cannot understand exactly what any sane person would see in Donald Trump.When George Will called him a"bloviating ignoramus",I was stunned at how perfectly those words described Trump;as for Romney,he's just like any other nickel-slick politician sucking up to whoever will help him buy his next office;in this case the Ultimate political prize.To be fair to Romney,in one sense he's playing it smart.If he had publicly disagreed with TrumP,he would have had to endure Trump's tantrums for who knows how long,and nobody wants that,do they?

    May 29, 2012 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
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