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. carlos

    where is the report from the trumpy about sending his investigators to Hawaii?????. obsolutely NOTHING, this 'possum head is rabbid and putrid.

    May 29, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. yogi

    Tell me who your friends are and I wil tell you who you are. Well Mr. Romney...hanging out with idiots isn't very flattering, but that you lack any kind of courage is worst. What a complete disaster it would be if you would be in the White House, on many, many levels.
    Oh, and....my daughter was born in the Netherlands, her father at the time was Dutch, and her mother a U.S. citizen, which makes my daughter a U.S. citizen automatically. If president Obama's mother gave birth in any place in the world, OBAMA is a U.S CITIZEN, and by the way, four more years as president as well!

    May 29, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Keno

    Why do the media keep giving this air head any air time? Won’t he go sit down at a retirement home somewhere? Trump you make Palin look like Einstein.

    May 29, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. w.johnson

    it isn't what the media has to say, it has been admitted in open court that the sitting president has forged a birth certificate and presented it as being authentic. that speaks volumes about this mans character, doesn't it?

    May 29, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. 1twinsfan

    I'd also like for the Donald to explain why his birth certificate says Jamaica. Now, he says it's the name of the hospital, but I don't know. Some people, I can't say whom, say it's also the name of a country. I have my investigators on it and what they're finding is very interesting.

    May 29, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. Preacherguy

    Trump and many others in the GOP: "Don't try to confuse the issue with the facts – we are using the tried and true methods of Josepf Goebbels (Nazi head of propaganda) – 'keep repeating the lie until you convince people it is the truth'". Really poor way to deal with the American public. Really awful way to try to win an election.

    May 29, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Wake up people

    If anyone believes Chump hasn't talked to the flip flopper about this then I have a bridge for sale......

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 29, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. Jeff in San Diego

    Romney – Trump 2012! Now that's a ticket that makes perfect sense. Birds of a feather, if you will.

    May 29, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. rs

    Go for it Mr. Romney- tie your candidacy to the racism and stupidity of the birthers. The more you do, the less rational yor position becomes. No one wants a hick for President.

    May 29, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Harleigh Kiffer

    Wolf shows that, without a doubt, very opinionated and really has now displayed his bias leaving no doubt.

    May 29, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Gotta love the whole "the birth announcement was just to get benefits" lie, which does nothing to refute the ACTUAL EXISTENCE OF THE BIRTH RECORD IN HAWAII.

    May 29, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. MTATL67

    More reporters need to call these people out on this nonsense....good for Wolf.

    May 29, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Molly

    Do we really want a president who is unable to stand up to the courage of his convictions and confront Trump tonight at the fundraiser? Romney's comment of having to get to 50.1% shows he is willing to do anything to be President. If he is willing to do that to win the election, what will he do should he become President? Scary!!!

    May 29, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Jim Frost

    Why even give Trump this kind of publicity. Let him rant in his office.

    May 29, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Anne

    Trump is not the problem, but the media. I cannot see why this man without class is continually given the audience to express his bigotry. If this was happening in 3rd world country, the US media will be the first to critize it.
    Everyone in this country has trace of blood of a foreign country in his or her system. Put a stop to the lies going. American politics has become a disgrace to democracy. You can campaign for an office through a political party, but once you win, you are no longer representing the interest of the political party, but the people. Congress has to work with the mandate given to the president to move the country forward. God bless America

    May 29, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. NotFooledByDistractions

    You'll notice that trump refuses to say who those "a lot of people" who are questioning the bc? He's got nothing, he's full of crap – he's just playing to the rubes...sadly too many are going to fall for his cynicism. He thinks voters are stupid...well the birthers he's pandering to are, but I doubt indies and moderates will be amused.

    May 29, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Fritz Hohenheim

    Donald Trump reminds me of his namesake Donald Duck, just as stupid and badly groomed, just richer. He is a moron and you guys shouldn't give him publicity.

    May 29, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. fernace

    This is & has been poorly veiled racism/classism from the start! The "birther conspiracy," the obstruction, the claimed "failures"! The diversion from the fact that the radical republicans have no platform, no job creation plans, no answers, but they do have a lot of "jabs," "quips" & distortions about the Obama administration in general & the President specifically! They haven't stopped there, though! They also have problems w/childrens basic education, womens healthcare, gays, people of color, immigrants & the sick &/or elderly! To not be able to see where they're going w/this is self-inflicted ignorance! The Severely Conservative are making it clear that they stand w/the 1% & want to implement the Ryan Budget, to usher in 1912, again! Forward-Obama/Biden 2012!! PS. If you don't know how things were in 1912, get yourself some "history"!!

    May 29, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Dave

    Trump is to Romney what Palin was to McCain. I am going to love watching this crash and burn almost as much as I did McPalin

    May 29, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. w.johnson

    A lawyer representing U.S. President Barack Obama has admitted the long-form birth certificate presented by the White House last year is a forgery – but that does not disqualify him from appearing on the ballot this November.

    Defense attorney Alexandra M. Hill made the comments during a recent New Jersey ballot challenge hearing, brought about by Tea Party members who question his eligibility to appear on the state’s presidential primary ballot. Attorney for the plaintiffs, Mario Apuzzo, argued that President Obama has furnished proof of his “natural born” citizenship status to the state of New Jersey.

    Apuzzo went on to say that Obama’s father was not an American citizen, meaning President Obama is not a “natural born” citizen and ineligible for the office he holds.

    May 29, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. John

    Mitt should run far away from this idiot and all who say Obama is not a US citizen or christian. He makes himself a target and looks as stupid as those saying it. He is not showing us that he can make wise decisions. More and more he is not looking like a good candidate for high office.

    May 29, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. glorydays

    America certainly rewards stupidity....

    May 29, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Dave

    Trump still has not been able to produce his own birth certificate.

    May 29, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Ramesh Shrestha

    Are you kidding me, Wolf? I knew Donald Trump was ridiculous the first time I heard him on television. He is one of the most ridiculous, illogical and irrational persons in th world! He will take Mitt Romney's presidential aspirations to hell.

    May 29, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. LynneSki

    I haven't talked to Mitt Romney about it," he said. "What I speak to Mitt Romney about is jobs."

    If this is what Donald wants to talk to Mitt about why isn't it what he would want to talk to the President about????? Why wouldn't he want to cover the same topics?

    If Obama is not a citizen then isn't Romney one of those babies born in the US to grant the parents citizenship??? His father was born in Mexico, right? Or some such crazy Romney birther crap!

    Then there is always the question of the citizenship of Trumps hair!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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