May 29th, 2012
05:12 PM ET
2 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. Donald Trump

    People who believe faith is a virtue are more inclined to commit absurdities; that's why faith is dangerous. The faith people have and still have in dictators is testament to this.

    May 29, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. shayne

    The Donald sure does love to hear himself talk, even if it is bollocks. But the media keeps giving him airtime so is their own fault it would seem.

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

    Wolf Blitzer just kept harping on about the birther issue even after Donald Trump gave his opinion on it. Blitzer ignored Trumps request to move on and talk about the economy, China, etc. One more thing ... why didn't the CNN video clip show the introduction given to Donald Trump? Maybe it was insulting.

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

    trump is no better then bill maher...both have more money then brains.....

    May 29, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. Mary

    Windbag with money. Try being like Buffet even Gates is better than you, donates money and computers to communities that need help even schmuck Zuckerburg gave Newark, NJ millions of dollars of stuff for schools. All you do is pollute the air with your love of your own obnoxious bloated self. Your Celebrity Apprentice is just a way for you to get you and your privileged brats on tv. By the way last time on the View (when Elizabeth Hasselbeck kissed your butt for an hour) your makeup person, they used a shovel to put the pancake on it looked like it was an inch thick. Joke you are a joke with money.

    May 29, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. abbydelabbey

    Trump remind me of a man who would say or do anything for attention and $$$ - he invents his own reality and disregards the truth.... it's amazing who can be successful in America - ethics, morality, truth, honor are all discarded....

    May 29, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. Tam

    Ignore him. He thrives on attention. Good or bad.

    May 29, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. Maris

    CNN–Why don't you stop putting this clown on TV? Who cares what he thinks about anything?? All he does is run his hot air bag of a mouth in whatever direction suits him best. YOU keep giving him a soapbox and he keeps soaking it up.

    May 29, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Nodack

    How do people as crazy as he is get to be billionaires?

    May 29, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  10. Taylor

    Donald, you have the right have an opinion, but once it contradicts fact, then you no longer have that right. Now you are just hating and causing problems for no reason. Well, we know there's a reason, but we can't say it out loud because it upsets you. But I will. You and every other birther are racists.

    May 29, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  11. jobdespair

    CNN should be embarrased that they even give Trump airtime.

    May 29, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. Bill Poster

    I don't understand why anyone would listen to Trump. other than pointers on how to file for bankruptcy.

    May 29, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. ricardo1968

    What "alot of people think' is not an argument. Some people think that if you lie loud enough and long enough, it will become true somehow. Here's the issue. If Obama can legally prove that he is a citizen, then it doesn't matter if he was born in Kenya!

    May 29, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. g

    what has happened to the republican party–nothing but looneys left

    May 29, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. bill

    Dont understand the Republican party. Right wing will suport any Republican going against Obama. What Romney needs is the canter of both parties, Donald and right wing folks are not helping their party. Birther issue and other issues mean nothing to most Americans, what matters is the deficit, economy and employment. As a bussiness man Romney has a big advantage on economic issues, he does has to stop his suporters from clouding the real issues.Romney can start by sending Donald back to the Palm beaches and zip it..

    May 29, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Rick

    The word that best applies for Trump is buffoon.

    May 29, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. evensteven

    Absolutely silly. We have enormous problems in the country and Trump wants to waste time talking about this petty triviality?

    . . . and this man is a mega-millionaire?

    Quit wasting our time Donald . . .

    May 29, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. Patti

    Trump is embarressing himself, I've lost so much respect for him and Im not even a dem. Maybe we should go back to see if he has any skeletons. Doesn't he have anything good to say about anyone but Snookie

    May 29, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. labman57

    Trump appears to have been consuming an excessive amount of mercury-laden seafood during the last several years.

    May 29, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. Billy james

    Hard to believe Donold Trump is this successful in business. Total intimidation, total jerk of a human being.

    May 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. Robert

    I think R-Money was born in Mexico and I'd like to see HIS long form birth certificate.

    May 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. lyn

    So Trump had no problem with Palin's vetting by the FBI or whoever does that job. But he does not believe the same government agency for giving their stamp of approval to Obama. Trump loves the limelight, as most wanna-be celebrities do.

    May 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. Brenda

    Donald is living proof that you don't have to be smart to be rich

    May 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. David

    ill second the motion that Donald is darn right about obamas birthplace(Kenya) no doubt about it

    May 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. Jackie

    Trump is a spoiled, loser, bully who is not happy unless he puts himself in the news. He is nothing but a boil on a horses rear end. Period!

    May 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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