May 29th, 2012
05:12 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer and Trump go at it over Trump's 'birther' claims

(CNN) - Donald Trump did not back down Tuesday from his questioning of President Barack Obama's birthplace, instead arguing heatedly with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that "a lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate," though he declined to offer names of experts who agree with him.

The issue of Obama's birth - litigated in the 2008 presidential campaign, then settled when the Obama White House released the longform version of the certificate in April 2011 - is being brought to the fore in no small part by Trump, who is also set to fundraise alongside presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney Tuesday evening.

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On CNN's "The Situation Room" Tuesday, Trump maintained that Obama's birthplace is a matter of opinion, rather than fact.

"Everybody's entitled to your opinion," he said. "You know my opinion and you know his opinion and that's fine. We're entitled - as he said yesterday in the airplane - we're all entitled to our opinions and he's entitled to have his opinion. I don't happen to share that opinion, it's wonderful."

Blitzer presented Trump with newspaper announcements of Obama's birth from 1961.

Trump interrupted, "Can you stop defending Obama?"

"Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you," Blitzer replied.

"You are, Wolf," Trump fired back. "Let me tell you something, I think you sound ridiculous."

Trump then alleged that the practice of filing U.S. birth announcements for an overseas birth was commonplace, though he offered no evidence.

"Many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefits of being so-called born in this country," Trump said. "Many people did it."

Obama's longform birth certificate showed he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 and was acknowledged as authentic by state officials. Natural born American citizenship is one of the Constitutional requirements for the presidency.

"Is it the most important thing?" Trump asked in an interview earlier on Tuesday. "In a way it is. You're not allowed to be the president if you're not born in the country."

Trump finds himself at odds with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose spokeswoman pointed out in an email statement that "Governor Romney has said repeatedly that he believes President Obama was born in the United States."

But Romney made no effort to distance himself from the comments, even when presented with the opportunity by reporters on Monday.

"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 when asked about the issue. "But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."

Trump said he has not spoken about the birther issue with Romney

"I haven't talked to Mitt Romney about it," he said. "What I speak to Mitt Romney about is jobs. What I speak to Mitt Romney about is China, because he's got a great view on China and how they're taking our jobs and taking our product and manipulating their currency so it makes it almost impossible for our companies to compete."

Trump spoke by phone with Blitzer in the interview from Las Vegas, where he and Romney will fundraise with former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

Obama's campaign released a web video on Tuesday that said the 2008 GOP nominee "John McCain stood up to the voices of extremism in his party… Why won't Mitt Romney do the same?" In the video, McCain is seen addressing a woman who called Obama an "Arab," saying, "He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with."

The president's deputy campaign manager suggested Romney's alliance with Trump in light of the tycoon's statements calls into question how he would serve as president.

"Mitt Romney's continued embrace of Donald Trump and refusal to condemn his disgraceful conspiracy theories demonstrates his complete lack of moral leadership," Stephanie Cutter said in a Tuesday afternoon statement. "If Mitt Romney lacks the backbone to stand up to a charlatan like Donald Trump because he's so concerned about lining his campaign's pockets, what does that say about the kind of President he would be?"

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday the White House was forced to address the issue last year, "but not because we chose to, but because it was such a ridiculous distraction from the important business that we should be doing here that the president is committed to doing and Congress should be doing to help the economy grow and help it create jobs."

"We can revisit that but I think the American people are pretty fed up with this kind of nonsense," he said.

As evidence of his claims, Trump pointed to a biographical note published in the 1990s by Obama's literary agent, which said Obama was born in Kenya.

The literary agent recently apologized for the mistake.

Also see:

Romney likely to hit 'magic number' on Tuesday

Texas gears up for Lone Star primary

Romney doesn't back away from 'birther' Trump

Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney
soundoff (1,069 Responses)
  1. JohnRJohnson

    The question that someone needs to ask Wolf Blitzer is why was he interviewing Trump in the first place? Why give that gasbag airtime? Why does CNN allow itself to be manipulated by this self-promoting idiot? Is being a birther Trump's worst quality? I don't think so. He has plenty of other issues. Ignore him. Don't give him a forum that costs him nothing!

    May 29, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. allenwoll

    Trump has only RE-confirmed that whatever fragment of a brain he once possessed has now become completely IN-active or dead. . WHAT A CREEP ! ! !

    May 29, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Sue

    I am glad someone in the media finally called Trump for what he is. However, the media needs to stop bringing clowns like Trump out if they really want people to stop making moronic statements. Trump is a clown and he will perform when you bring him out.

    May 29, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. j

    Donald is so looking for attention. No one cares for this pig

    May 29, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Byron

    Trump, a Perfect example of a person with Money but No Values. His support in the birther theory gives my mind as he is a person not to be believed on Any issue.

    May 29, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. cathy Forster

    wasnt Blitzer that asked the question to Trump???? He allways started the issue and then takes the defense. He is an idiot, without anything else important to ask the guest. Cheap media...

    May 29, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Romney's father was born in Mexico, Obama's father was born in Kenya
    Romney is a bishop and a Mormon all his LIFE, Obama attended Rev. Wright Church when he was an adult

    Why are they NOT questioning Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney's mormon church and his birth certificate?....Oh, because Romney is white and Obama is black!....

    Racism much....and Romney is pallying around and taking economic advise from this racist and bloviating ignoramus Donald Trump!!!!

    May 29, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. jimzcarz

    The Don....The highest paid Carnival Barker Evahhhh

    May 29, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. MA

    CNN and W Blitzer knew the answer to their question to Trump...but why asked over and over and over again? Is CNN running out of questions and topic to talk about? It is kinda pathetic...just focus on economy!

    May 29, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  10. Hadenuffyet

    Best news I've heard in awhile . Trump is doing a "Palin" to the GOP. You guys are

    May 29, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. Marla

    “Why is this an issue? As a military family, if my daughter has a child while they are stationed overseas, that child is still a US citizen, because his mother is one. The president's mother was definitely a US citizen, so it doesn't matter one bit where he was born, he is still a US citizen.”
    Of course, it's easy to tell what this is really about.....

    May 29, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Nate

    Unbiased, objective journalistic integrity is practically dead. These 'Journalist-anchors' no longer practice it and stick or interject their personal views and matters into their interviews. Oh wait – they are no longer 'anchors' because most of them don't sit behind desks anymore and 'Report' unbiasedly or objectionably.

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  13. Mike

    I wonder if Trump demanded McCain's birth certificate?

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. Jeremy

    So this is Romney's idea of finally "standing his ground" on an issue? I don't know who has sunk lower. Is it Trump for pandering to the far right (maybe he just cannot admit to being wrong) or is it Romney for sticking with Trump because he feels he can get access to additional wealthy donors.

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. John

    I don't know why Obama is the only person that is being questioned about his birth. I have yet to see Romney's birth certificate. His dad was definitely born in Mexico. He is probably hiding the fact that he himself is Mexican and that's why he won't let Obama's birth issue go away. Romney needs to come out and admit that he was born in Mexico.

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  16. 4sanity

    O Donald, we do so love your self-agrandizing rants ! It just reminds us of the level of intelligence prevalent in the Republican party these days. And of course you are welcome to your own opinion, just not your own facts.

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. Iowaeyes

    Independents, RUN, from this embarassing republican party. When you set out to prove you are an idiot you usually succeed and Donald did. Stop covering him. Money does not = brains.

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  18. Dave

    If the media would stop acting like what Donald Trump has to say means anything, then perhaps the twit would shut up – it's all about the attention he gets. Honestly. I'm sick of hearing about him.

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. House and Senate

    Let's keep the senate and executive branch in place and TAKE BACK THE HOUSE!! In the immortal words of Dick Cheney "deficits don't matter! This is our due".. Let's reduce the republican primates back to the stone age from where they came!!!

    May 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. ObamaUnitl2016

    Wow, Ferret Head has gone over the edge. But, hey, keep it up! It makes the radical right seem even more crazy than we all thought.

    May 29, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. Guest

    I'm happy for Trump to have all the air time he needs....... it will only help the Democrats

    If the GOP are worried about him they should deal with him themselves.

    May 29, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. Ron Burgundy

    One of the few things I think he actually is on the right side of!

    May 29, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. BO stinks

    Do not re-nig in November. God knows we ha evenough problems in America.

    May 29, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. Tom

    How can anyone possibly take The Donald seriously? He claims to be an authority on Economic policy, yet has been personally involved in more than a few bankruptcies. He claims to be an authority on Foreign policy, yet when all NY Hotels refused to accept Momar Gaddafi, Trump allowed him to pitch his tent in Trump's own backyard. Also, Trump lacks intellectual curiosity when he accepts rumors on face value as truths regarding the President's birth records. Given all this you have to wonder about Romney's judgement to be hanging around with The Donald.

    May 29, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. Greg Morgan

    Isn't it about time Trump presented some evidence that the creepy-looking stuff on his head is actually hair?

    May 29, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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