May 29th, 2012
05:12 PM ET
3 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. lefty avenger

    Birthers are just xenophobic racists.

    May 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. nipthedog

    Donald Trump is nothing more than Sarah Palin's bookend.

    May 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. gene

    Where was Trump born ? To King and Queen in 15th century ? lol

    May 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. John Steel

    More pointless bile from the ugliest man alive. The only thing Trump is an expert on is bankruptcy.

    May 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. billt

    LOL, all the acusations trump makes, but yet can't seem to backup any of it. He is just blowing hot air. Too bad there are so many real issues this country needs to solve. I agree with George....

    May 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. Dan

    Trump is an idiot along with the rest of the birthers. Obama's mother was born in Kansas, which of course makes her a citizen, and therefore NO MATTER WHERE Obama was born he is a citizen of the US.

    May 29, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. Jonquil

    It seems Trump just can't accept that he was...wrong. I know he must be embarassed by this whole episode, but he needs to move on now. Yes, he's hurt the Trump "brand" by pursuing this beyond all reason, but continually imploring that his "Birther" theory is true, will not make it so.

    May 29, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. MODESTO vAZQUEZ New Port Richey fl

    Good job Wolf. I love the way you kept your cool.

    May 29, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. SPQR

    God bless The United States of America.

    President Obama 2012 !!!!

    May 29, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. Mike Northrop

    Trump is ridiculous with this birther issue. Blitzer asked or tried to ask questions, but Trump would not give an answer that was worth listening to and gave no credible reason why anyone should take the issue seriuosly. He is like those who denie evolution, no matter how much evidence they or he is shown they will not change thier opinion. The only thing to do is to ignore them completly.

    May 29, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Incredible

    Trump is proof that money does not make a decent human being.

    May 29, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. Cliff

    Trump = another racist, rich republican who refuses to believe a black man can win the Presidency. Well Mr Trump, YOUR FIRED. lol Dude not only was he elected once, baring a miracle and half the population going comatose next Nov, Obama will be re-elected. All Obama really needs according to latest electoral maps is either a win in Wisc or Ohio and it's all over. Where as Romney HAS to win every single swing state and every single state barely leaning his way. Which equals about 7. lol. Statistically the odds are now about 80% that Obama get's re-elected.

    It really is sad though, that rich, alledgedly educated men like Trump are so blinded by rediculous racism and bigotry. We are the greatest Country on earth? In the 21st Century? Really? Cause it sure feels like we have taken a 100 year leap back with all these racist birthers and rich folk spoutin off their garbage.

    May 29, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. sam111

    Just what romney needs - a trump-albatross around his neck. I wish they would both go away. They're both losers and deserve each other.

    May 29, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. Oswaldo Chacho D'Acevedo

    Wolf. The son of an american citizen is an american citizen regardless where in the world has been born. There was no reason why Mrs. Obama had to fake the born in Hawaii in order to have benefits as an american citizen since he was no matter where he born.

    Mr. Trump is indeed ridiculous (on porpouse)

    May 29, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Rob Rubin

    You'd think Romney would have learned a thing or two from watching how Palin overshadowed McCain in 2008 and basically doomed his chances. Why would Romney allow another egotistical blowhard with absurd opinions to overshadow him? As a liberal, I'm happy to watch the whole thing blow up in his face, but still..

    May 29, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. doug

    I want to see Donald Trump's birth certificate – I have heard that he was actually born on Mars – or maybe there is truth that he is the result of a genetic experiment gone bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a lunatic................and yet people feed his ego by paying attention to him – which – sorry to say – now I am doing!!!

    But YES – it MUST be he is the result of a genetics experiment gone bad!!!! lol

    May 29, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. Dave

    Donald Trump is a tool bag. Nothing but a big mouthed troll from New York. Just ignore him and he'll go away.
    I have some kool aid for all the lemmings that think Obama is not an American citizen.

    May 29, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. Jack Davis

    Blitzer is a loser and desperate for ratings. Trump is amusing with the allegation. Whether its true or false isn't the issue, it is hilarious to see so many obamaphiles get upset when it is brought up. Obama caused this in the first place, trying to be cutesy by not releasing the certificate.

    Trump has shown he is very effective in making a fool out of obama. I am certain he will do so again.

    May 29, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. sheldon

    Outside of knowing. How to make money, I don't se how anyone listen's to Donald Trump. Romney may not see it, but he will when the presidential poll results come in later this year.

    May 29, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. Chuck Crisler

    Seriously, just what do you expect from someone like Trump? As if 'opinion' of facts matters! For 10,000+ years people had an 'opinion'/belief that the sun went around the Earth. Their opinions didn't count for anything. BTW – that belief was backed up by the church until comparatively recently.

    May 29, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. sqeptiq

    Trump crawls through the slime and when Mitt hugs him the slime rubs off. Romney couldn't spell HONOR if you spotted him H,N,R and two o's.

    May 29, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. TXav9tor

    It amazes me that an "educated" and self-proclaimed "intelligent" man would stand behind the sole defense that many people think the birth certificate is not authentic. Wow, Donald! There are people that don't believe the holocaust actually happened....or that we actually landed on the moon. Does that make either event less likely? No, it just makes those that believe such stupid theories to be imbiciles. Welcome to the club!

    May 29, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. Jay Stevens

    If the media would stop acting like what Donald Trump has to say means anything, then we wouldn't know he had said anything. That's a win-win!

    May 29, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. Dino

    We don't need rich people trying to buy their way into being a politician or trying to buy smear campaigns. Maybe Mitt is strategically at odds with Trump over the issue because if he was in agreement with him then there would be more people raising questions bout how his Mexican-born father qualified to compete against Nixon.

    Whether or not Obama was born in the U.S. is a technicality not a measure of how whether he is qualified to do the job. The run for president is not a sporting match. If you're currently serving as a U.S. president that should enough of a qualification to be a candidate.

    May 29, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Natcat

    Trump is crazy! However, I don't think it is fair to tie this loon's comment to Romney. Never once have I heard Romney question Obama's birth certificate. Yes, Trump is an embarrassment to the GOP. At the same time, no one should judge ALL republicans as crazy, or that ALL republicans believe Obama is not a american born citizen, all because Trump and other "wacko" republicans state it is so. I believe there are loons in each party – enough said. I am a republican and full-heartedly believe Obama WAS born in Hawaii. Now, let's move on and focus on the real issues.

    May 29, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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