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. ramble3144

    You do have to wonder, especially about Obama who lies so easily,"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."

    May 30, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. scmom

    A lot of you people who question the birth certificate don't get the reason why it was not produced when this crap was first started. NO OTHER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HAD TO PRODUCE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Why should he? What's so different about his candidacy? This country has just thrown out the window what this country was founded on. Someone on here questioned his middle name, what the hell does what you mother name you have anything to do with it. If he was white none of this would even be discussed because all the presidents have been white. I bet if Romney looked more Mexican (darker) than white you fools would be asking for his birth certificate.

    May 30, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Informed99

    This is truly absurd and Trump is a fool for continuing down this path. He will hand the next election to the Dems on a silver plate all because of his pointless and uninformed position on this non-issue. If I were a Dem, I would be cheering all the way home now that Trump is part of the race. How pathetic.

    May 30, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. frank

    it is not about "birther" it is about TRUTHER!!!!!!!!
    Obama is a great liar...but eventually we will find out the truth.

    May 30, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. indigo

    I respect Donald Trump's business acumen but he should stick to what he knows and stay out of politics. Wasn't his insistence on the "birth certificate" issue embarrassing enough the last time around, to wit, last May President Obama said he had other things on his mind and the next day we learned Bin Laden had been killed. I guess the Donald's giant ego supersedes everything!

    May 30, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "The Birth Cert . produced from the WH has been proven to be a photo shop copy from at lest 3 different papers . His grade school and college papers also NOT produced . To become President of the US BOTH parents must be American Citizens ."

    Your first sentence proves you don't know anything about electronic documents.. Your second comment shows you know nothing about established law.

    May 30, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. John Hungler

    I like Donald Trump, he seems to be a fine businessman (as what is provided for us as reported) but on his conviction of the Birth'er Issue he acts a bit immature. Does this translates to his ability to be a person we should be listing to???, wealth does not indicate or translates as a person to be Truthful or a Knowledgeable person for others to depend on.
    He says he does not want to name names but he should at least give some facts even after he did do his own investigation but he does not want to go over "Old News" so in his own words if it is Old News then it must be NOT true since if it it true then it is CURRENT NEWS that is out there to be discussed and reported.
    John Hungler
    Freedom of speech is a American right, but right does not give you the right to cause harm to others, like the voters ability to make in-formed truthful choices of FACTS...not someones irresponsibly rants.

    So Donald put your money where your mouth is and STOP your Candy Wrapping Babbling, the candy wrapper may look good but the ingredients tell the truth.

    We, the USA people, need people of Trust and Truth not people of Wealth and Agendas...be a man not a Bully

    May 30, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. TSB8C

    Where Obama was born is irelevant. There is no dispute he went to school in Indonesia. It is required to be an Indonesian citizen to attend school there and they don't recognize dual citizenship. So regardless of where he was born, any other prior citizenship had to be renounced in order to meet Indonesian citizenship requirements to attend school. If his parents renounced his US citizenship (since he was a minor at the time) then he is ineligible to be US president. Doesn't matter if he was born in Hawaii or not.

    May 30, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    "Has everyone in this country lost their ability to reason? Why is it that anytime Obama's birthplace is brought up, The news media immediately wants to label the person asking the questions crazy. No matter what Party you belong to the following facts are not disputable, which at the very least causes much suspicion, which Obama could rectify by just being transparent.
    1. No ORIGINAL of the long form Birth certificate has ever been released, only a copy.
    2. Obama WILL NOT release his College transcripts, (which happen to have birth info)
    3. There is NO record of Obama's mother being in the hospital.

    Look this up...these are facts that are a matter of record no matter what political agenda one may have."

    This is what passes for "logic" in AfterBirther Land? There is a very good reason NO government "releases" originals. That is because they have a legal duty to KEEP those records. Which is why the ONLY record you'll EVER be provided is a certified copy, which will be admissible in place of an original in all 50 states and all federal courts. Why are you nutjobs trying to rewrite the rules of evidence? As far as the college transcripts, I'll support you on that if you support me on getting Rmoney's last 10 years of tax returns, the records he hid or destroyed in MA and his Bain records for "job creation". Deal?

    May 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. SueNYC

    I can't believe The Donald is still persuing this ... I know he loves the publicity, but really .... he is looking like a moron, along with the rest of the "Birthers." And even if he was born in Kenya, he mother is a US citizen, making him a natural born citizen of the USA. Here is the law for boneheads:

    For persons born between December 24, 1952 and November 14, 1986, a person is a U.S. citizen if all of the following are true (except if born out-of-wedlock)[8]:

    1.The person's parents were married at the time of birth
    2.One of the person's parents was a U.S. citizen when the person was born
    3.The citizen parent lived at least ten years in the United States before the child's birth;
    4.A minimum of 5 of these 10 years in the United States were after the citizen parent's 14th birthday.

    Either way, a black man IS POTUS ... get over it already people!

    May 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. citizen9

    "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?"

    That says it all. The Donald is a loony coockoo.

    May 30, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. BLKMANinAmerica

    ""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?"..................def he would not be working for middle America.

    May 30, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    ""I want to see Mittie's birth certificate also."

    He posted it online Tuesday. His father was born in Mexico."

    Just to add a bit to that, Rmoney released a document titled "Certificate of Live Birth" (gasp!) which, according to all the afterbirthers losing it here yesterday and today, is NOT a valid document. Radical righty heads are exploding all over America today.

    May 30, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. NorCalMojo

    This strategy to connect Romney to Trump is going to backfire. It'll give Trump a blank check and a forum to bash Obama and Romney will be sitting pretty above the fray. Not wise.

    May 30, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. HUNTER

    Not only does he sound ridiculous, he sounds outright crazy, stupid and very immature. "No I'm not, YOU are!". What is he in 3rd grade? Anyone who thinks Obama's birth certificate isn't authentic is accusing many, many government agencies of fraud, and is presuming there would be some kid of fraud going on back in August of 1960 in that regard! NUTS!

    May 30, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. JC

    Much as I think the whole birther thing is kinda ridiculous, there is this: that was not an original document, nor did it indicate anywhere that it was even a copy of an original document. That is exactly the same form that most of us on the west coast are familiar with. I have one that looks almost exactly like it, provided by a state when the notarized copy of my original certificate became too hard to read without serious effort. I've had the new one questioned a few times, and even had to bring in the notarized copy to get a passport. My original was destroyed by water damage way back when; these things happen. I guess the whole birther thing boils down to this: what happened to the president's original?

    May 30, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Not the Donald

    Who cares what Trump says? Anyone?

    May 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. CanadaONE

    trump lies just like his HAIR

    he trumped up these lies
    he is trumping up hatred and discrimination
    he trumps all levels of stupidity

    HE IS THE BIGGEST TRUMP that ever lived – get a real hair cut – quit living a lie – you are bald

    love Canada

    May 30, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Big_D

    I guess the GOP just realized that Romney isn't a US citizen so they are going on the offense. Romney has problems with a ex-patriot father who left then didn't reestablish US citizenship as far as I can tell.

    May 30, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Bob

    I guess Trump believes a lot of people were willing to join in a conspiracy way back then to assure Obama a shot at the White House when he grew up. This smacks of the kind of lunacy associated with the Masons and Templars and other secret societies that have been running the world and directing the course of history since the middle ages. I think the media should ask Trump to produce a recent brain scan. Members of the viewing public are beginning to question the authenticity of his his sanity.

    May 30, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. John Hungler

    What is Candy Wrapping Babbling nothing more than Candy Wrapping Politics, let us have the ingredients that is un-manipulated by twisted or snippets reports

    May 30, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Jimbob

    About time Blitzer challenged the hierarchy.

    May 30, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Johnson

    He sounds ridiculous and looks like someone who lives in a trailer.

    May 30, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Big_D

    Indonesia has an exception. It is only required that people over 18 renounce citizenship to attend school there. Sorry for breaking your fantasy with facts AGAIN!!

    May 30, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. skinsfaninneedofanewteam

    The good news is, President Obama was born in America. The bad news is, so was Donald Trump

    May 30, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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