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. Mosbear777

    We the people reserve the right to question the evidence of our so-called "president". Hence, I would like to see the original birth certificate and examine it. I would also like to see original newspapers with birth announcements and also examine them. Furthermore, I would also like to see all college, law school and job applications from 1980 to present in their original form. When I make post such as these, I am called "an idiot", a "birther" a "freak". I was also kicked off of Youtube for "hate speech" regarding this issue. What gives people?

    May 30, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Strategic Bob

    Joet,

    I believe George W. Bush's DD-214, or a comparable Air National Guard document, has been released. It won't show anything. In the months after our pullout from VietNam, the military was shedding people like crazy. The ones who were not working out so well were the first to be pushed out. Given the numbers involved and the administrative burden of putting people out with the right kind of documentation and "ineligible to re-enlist" status, a lot of people were put out with clean papers rather than what they deserved. I know that it happened because I was one of those pushing people out as fast as they could be gotten out the door. (Note: I did not like what was going on and later in my career, when I was more senior, I made sure that people got what they deserved – good, bad or indifferent – when they left the service.) Given that Bush did not finish his full drilling requirements with the Texas Air National Guard, it is highly likely that he falls into that category, but it cannot be definitively proven. Further, it would be a pointless exercise. Knowing what happened won't change history and, unlike some of what he did as President, it wasn't a war crime. There is no reason to keep beating this particular dead horse.

    May 30, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Bart

    Wow, Wolf really made Trump look like an idiot. Trump professes to be the authority on this, but when confronted with the facts says, "I don't know anything about that." Incredible. Trump has no core, just that he is a shameless self-promoter.

    May 30, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. JOHN

    Obama has to be reelected. Wow these republicans can outdo themselves.

    May 30, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. JustAO

    Anybody else have the feeling that Trump secretly wants Obama to win re-election? Why else, besides profiteering off birther crowd, would he use megaphone on ridiculous talk? I think Trump knows a Romney presidency would devestate our economy again with unbalanced economic theories from past presidency. The stock market has completely recovered since Obama has been in office. They don't want a bubble economy collapsing over Republican economics again.

    May 30, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. scott

    people will still vote for him though......guess because he is rich?

    May 30, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. jgarza

    Why hasn't any one questioned Mitt Romney's birth and that of his father and grandfather? As I understand it each was born in Mexico.

    May 30, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Joseph Monte

    The place of birth was important to our Founding Fathers, because there were many people who lived in the United States who were born in England. Many feared they might be counterrevolutionists ala Aaron Burr. I think that the ties to the Motherland present no such peril today so the question is moot. Who cares where Obama was born? I want to know what he studied in school. It sure wasn't economics.

    May 30, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. LMC

    That romney would align himself with this twit just shows that money is all Romney cares about. If Romney was an honorable man/candidate, he would denounce trump. McCain wasn't afraid to draw the line, but Romney is.

    May 30, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. scott

    Myra...if i,m honest with myself...you and marion are more rediculous than the Don....why dont you go buy one of his books or something.

    May 30, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. nik green

    Because the long form .pdf of the birth certificate was released by the White House as a .pdf document, we have no way of knowing whether the certificate is genuine or altered. The only way we will know that is by having the ORIGINAL DOCUMENT examined forensically, to determine its authenticity, or lack thereof. The White House has refused to to do this. It's no wonder people are suspicious.

    May 30, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. eyeugize

    Fact.....The certified copy of the long form birth certificate put out by the White House has been proved to be a fake by a competent group of retired law enforcement officers. Some are ex employee's of DOJ, others have been admitted and testified as experts in their fields in various courts. A one hour presentation by the Arizona posse on March 1, 2012 clearly documents and explains why it's a fake. If the certified copy is a fake what's that say about the original now held under lock and key in a private shrine in Hawaii the most corrupt State in the nation. Blitzer seems to think a newspaper birth announcement is valid evidence. Trump may be a billionaire celebrity blowhard, but he's totally correct when he stated that planted birth announcements were common in the early day's of Hawaii's statehood. Lots of people did it and still do.

    May 30, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. PHIL TJ

    I m sure if Mitt wins, Trump will take the credit because Mitt cannot stand on his own. Americans, grow up, some of your wrtings indicates you know more about football than politics.

    May 30, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. scott

    Because you will just ask for something else...perhaps his moms afterbirth or some film from th delivery with somebody holding up a newspaper to prove the date...we make fun of you birthers because nothing will ever convince you...you wanted and got 2 different birth certificates....not good enough...the state of Hiawaii has backed him...we laugh and poke fun at you because you are funny and nutty and weird....the real reason could be race or blind ideology or maybe...you are just a funny silly freak...Either way, keep it up, its kinda entertaining,and certainly wont help Mittens one bit. I guess thats the silver lining

    May 30, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. larvadog

    Mosbear777 – The problem with your demand, as you should understand by now, is that first, not everyone can get their hands on the "original" of anything – if we even could honor all birthers' requests to see the original birth certificate, how do you propose that happen? And there is no requirement to provide them nor do you have a right to see them. Second, no matter what evidence birthers are given, they find fault with it – nothing can ever be "original" enough, factual enough, or proof enough for you or your ilk. You will always find some fault that will in your mind disqualify the president. Third, conspiracy theorists (of which birthers are a branch) can never be disproven. You require proof of a negative, and it cannot be provided. Please just go away and leave political discussion to the grownups with rational minds.

    May 30, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. hypatia

    Barum revisited.

    May 30, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. It's me in Chi-town

    I agree that Trump is only helping the Democrats but I think that no matter who wins in November, we all need to get behind that president and support him. Our country needs that we stick together through the storm that awaits us. Things are going to be tough for the next president, Democrat or Republican. We all need to wear the red, white and blue and help get us through this.

    May 30, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. caesarbc

    I want to see Mitt Romneys birth certificate. Until he is able to disclose both the certificate and his tax records, his name will not appear on State ballots. He is Mexican, and he must prove that he is not.

    May 30, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Harry Kermet

    Romney hangs out with people like Donald Trump??? That should be enough to convince normal-thinking Americans that he is not a proper candidate for the presidency of the US. I don't need anymore convincing that I need to vote for Obama, even though he's not the best president we've ever had.

    May 30, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. caesarbc

    Whoever the next President is, they are going to have to figure out how to stop people from eating each others faces.

    May 30, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. KevinZ

    So for those of you who think Obama's birth certificate is not legit do you think Romney's might also not be legitimate either?? There are those that think he (Romney) may have been actually born in Mexico.

    May 30, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Betty

    eyeugize
    Really? And they say liberals are "drinking the koolaid". Seems to me, you have had more than your share.

    May 30, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. crazypete

    Ha! I love Trump, the guy is a genius and has everyone fooled. He's given tons of cash for years to Democrats, and now he is still a Democrat, but pretending to be a Republican to make them look bad with the Birther stuff. Ha! Good going Trump!

    May 30, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Eric

    I love it!!! With Trump at his side, there is no way he cant lose. Trump is the epitome of a "1%'er". All Trump does is add money, and not many votes. I hope he nominates Trump for VP. That would seal the deal.

    May 30, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Mitt Romney's father ran for president who was born in Mexico. I want to see Mittie's birth certificate also.

    May 30, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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