Obama campaign: Why doesn't Romney push back against Trump ‘birther’ questions?
Mitt Romney, the likely GOP presidential nominee, arrives Tuesday in Las Vegas, where he will attend a fund-raiser hosted by Donald Trump. Trump's plane stands in the background.
May 29th, 2012
06:28 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign: Why doesn't Romney push back against Trump ‘birther’ questions?

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama's campaign is highlighting what they call Mitt Romney's "refusal" to condemn Donald Trump's continued highlighting of the "birther" conspiracy.

The release of a new video by the president's re-election team Tuesday morning comes a few hours after Romney appeared to downplay Trump's comments, and a few hours before Romney teams up with Trump at the business magnate and reality TV star's hotel in Las Vegas for a fundraiser for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Asked on his charter plane Monday night whether Trump's questioning of Obama's birthplace gave him pause, Romney said he was grateful for all his supporters.

"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. "But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."

Romney has said in the past that he firmly believes Obama was born in Hawaii, and is thus constitutionally eligible to be president.

Trump, however, is decidedly less sure. The "Apprentice" host has been a vocal proponent of the "birther" conspiracy going back several years. And early last year, as Trump flirted with his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination, he claimed he had "investigators" looking into Obama's records in Hawaii. The president released the long-form version of his birth certificate in April 2011, showing he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Soon after it was released, Trump announced he would not make a bid for the GOP nomination.

The new video by the Obama campaign contrasts Romney with Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the last Republican presidential nominee. The video starts by saying "As Republican nominee, John McCain stood up to the voices of extremism in his party."

Then McCain is seen in clips from the 2008 presidential campaign pushing back against supporters’ claims that Obama wasn't an American. In one of the clips, a woman speaking to McCain at a campaign event says, "I have read about him, he's an Arab.” McCain shakes his head and responds "No ma’am, no ma’am. He's a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with."

The video then asks, "Why won't Mitt Romney do the same" and proceeds to highlight clips of Trump over the past year questioning whether the president was born in the United States.

Trump will join Romney and former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for a campaign fund-raiser in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening. Romney's campaign is also raffling a chance to have dinner with the celebrity businessman for supporters who donate $3 to the campaign.

"I want you: Dine with the Donald," a campaign flier proclaims, along with a drawing of Trump in the pose of Uncle Sam.

Trump once again raised questions about Obama's birthplace last week, including in an interview published Friday with The Daily Beast.

"Look, it's very simple," Trump said in the interview. "A book publisher came out three days ago and said that in his written synopsis of his book."

The interview continued, "He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. His mother never spent a day in the hospital."

Trump was referring to a literary agency that, in a promotional catalogue from the 1990s, listed Obama has having been born in Kenya. An employee of the agency recently acknowledged that it was her mistake.

But Trump isn't buying it.

"Now they're saying it was a mistake," he told the Daily Beast. "Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, 'Oh, I mean Hawaii.' Give me a break."

– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Kevin Liptak, Paul Steinhauser and Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.

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 • President Obama
soundoff (515 Responses)
  1. Peggy - TX

    Jeff stated in an earlier comment:

    the fact is there are just too many Kenyan's that say Obama was born there. That creates quite a bit of doubt that his birth records are true, add that to the number sequence problem with his certificate of live birth and it really adds up to the fact that he was not born here. Set all that aside anyway, why in the world would any real American be voting for anyone named Barrack Hussien Obama after everything the muslims have done to the USA? If Obama was just an everyday citizen having to take flights in the US we all know that name would get investigated heavily before he was allowed on a plane.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    Thanks you Jeff for expressing your opinion. You have every right to vote based on the ethnic origins of a politician’s middle name. I wish to reply to your question. As the Daughter of a Veteran of two wars, and I can trace my Ancestry to 1705 immigrants, so I believe I am real American and I love America. I can easily vote For Barrack Hussein Obama, in spite of the fact that his name a has Muslims origins, because I have the greatest respect for Barrack Hussien Obama and he has earned my trust.

    Also, I just do not trust Willard ….

    May 29, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. onceacpa

    Birthers..are just another name for racists. If Romney doesn't have the guts to stand up to the ultra far right he is NOT fit to be our leader. If he won't publically disclose his main funders (Koch backed PACS, et al), he is NOT fit to be our leader.

    AndOnce upon a horse is right. Obama is almost dead central in his political leanings. The far right has twisted everything he has done, including huge distortions about his health care plan. Love the "Hoopla" about the penalty..The right wing certainly isn't willing to tell you that it is a self assessed "penalty" with no need to prove you don't have insurance...Wow..now how many will be paying a self assessed penalty? Doubt many would....

    . Romney on the other hand is getting most of his support by the far right. Now that should scare anyone who can think on their own two feet. Especially considering the ideologies of these same...Trump, Koch brothers? Anyone want what they do? If Romney wins that will be the society we live in...welcome to the land of greed and hate...

    .

    May 29, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    @DaTruff: "Obama was born in Kenya."

    Congrats, you can type what Fox tells you to. Now on to REALITY:

    If President Obama had been born in Kenya, our laws would have granted him dual US citizenship, since his mother was a US citizen.

    President Obama would then have had to be a naturalized US citizen to get his SS number and US passport. And that this process leaves a paper trail, not the least of which is the naturalization papers signed by the US Secretary of State at the time of the naturalization.

    I know this, because my naturalization papers were signed by then-Secretary Henry Kissinger. I was born in Germany, where my career Army father was stationed at the time. Because both my parents were US citizens, I had dual citizenship until I renounced my German citizenship (when I was 12) and became a naturalized US citizen.

    When I applied for my Social Security number and US passport, I had to produce original copies of my German birth certificate; my registry of foreign birth abroad (filed with the US Consulate in Germany); and my naturalization papers.

    So, DaTruff, where's the paper trail for President Obama?

    You and your ilk are pathetic!

    May 29, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. mitt the dim wit

    Mitt is a snake oil salesman, there is no reason for him to want the truth to be revealed. He enjoys the support of KKK, the Skin Heads(Nazi) and birthers, all because he wantss 50.1 percent of the vote.

    May 29, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Niuhc

    And the hate from the racist left continues with the "apples to oranges" comparisons on these blogs. Makes for some hilarious reading.

    May 29, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. george S

    Romney is SO lacking on SO many levels.....most notably the lack of integrity and character and pandering to those bottom feeders who wallow in a world of fear, anger and hate.

    May 29, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Kareen

    Trump might be rich, but I would not cross the street with him.
    I don't know why any politician would align himself with this IDIOT.

    May 29, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. mm

    Romney = the birther candidate.

    You can't outrun the track record you make, Mitt. Either stifle the Donald, or at least have the guts to come clean that the whole birther issue is a veiled argument for racism.

    May 29, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Wake up people

    @Debby. ICAM. And I am not talking about all whites because all of them are not racist, just the ones that come up with these far-fetched lies about the President. They think people are stupid and don't see them for what they really are. There are many whites in this country that absolutely abhor even the thought of a black POTUS. Since they can't say what they feel, they lie. Then they cover that lie with another one and the first thing they say is, it's not about race. And that is exactly how racism is alive and kicking in 2012!

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 29, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    It's official: Tramp wears a tinfoil tupee.

    May 29, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Larry L

    @DaTruff

    "Obama was born in Kenya"
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    At this point changing the mind of a "birther" is like teaching a pig to play the piano. Only those ignorant or racist enough to delude themselves are left unconvinced – it's a waste of time trying to fix those problems.

    May 29, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. CutTax

    Libs can belive in anything, but fact is: "Barrack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya , according official Kenya government certificate" This fact was also confessed by Barrack Hussein Obama family members.

    May 29, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Chipster

    Birthers? – go figure! You just can't argue with people who accept the word of an attention-seeking numb-skull like Trump and a literary marketing blurb as fact and dismiss the Hawaiian Dept. of Health and the hospital that issued the original birth certificate. It's simply time to ask them to pull their tin hats on a bit tighter and accept that some people just willfully ignorant.

    May 29, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. bradalexander719

    @Debbie from May 29, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm | |||||| | Wow! I'm white, and I am perfectly happy having a Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or whatever race, creed, or religion lead our nation. -That is all.

    May 29, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Lucky Lucy

    Romney hates the little baby Jesus, even more then CNN Republican trolls do.........LOL

    May 29, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Expat American

    Jeff
    Set all that aside anyway, why in the world would any real American be voting for anyone named Barrack Hussien Obama after everything the muslims have done to the USA?
    ----–
    Your ignorance and lack of intelligence is truly astounding.

    Do you even know how many innocent civilians were killed during Bush and the Republican’s Shock and Awe – yet not a single Muslim woman and child who perished had anything to do with 911. Would you let a Muslim-American doctor, perhaps named Hussein (that is spelled correctly), save your mother’s life?

    Keep waving your flag.

    May 29, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Dee1030

    Obama was born in the U.S.A. get over it all you "birthers".

    May 29, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Hugganoak

    The reason that Romney is not pushing back against Trump's birther lunacy is because Romney in fact was secretly born in Canada to a father who was a Mexican citizen. That trumps Trump's claim.

    May 29, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Yawn. Who cares? Romney won't be POTUS in 2012, as, President Obama will win re-election.

    May 29, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Lucky Lucy

    @Expat American – Good thing you are not living in America, we have enough Loony's as it is......

    May 29, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Larry L

    @Guest

    "The only thing I want to know is why the Hawaii airline records are missing for the week of Obama's birth. and then there is the fact that he has closed his academic records-I can't imagine why. Most people are proud of their transcripts. Then there is his bio from his book that was "incorrect" until 2007. Nobody has good reasons for all the really troubling facts."
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    These are not facts – these are lies used as part of a conspiracy theory by ignorant racists. Since you want to go back to the records of an airline – how do you explain the birth announcement seen in the Honolulu paper and recovered in archives, scrap books from unrelated people, and library records all over the world? Were they secretly planted? Moron.

    The President was President of the Harvard Law Review! Do you think they elect dumb-@$$e$ to that sort of position at Harvard? His transcripts are none of your business. What's next? Do you want to see the film of his last colonoscopy? It's racism and ignorance – simple as that.

    May 29, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. jay, chicago

    Mitt Romney is " SOFT" and he has No Courage!
    Mitt says that he dissagrees with Trump on the "birther" issue BUT he can not stand up next to Trump and say that. Or maybe he likes Trump's money donations, or he does not realy care about the mis-information.
    If he can't stand up to Rush Linbaugh or Donald Trump (people in his OWN party) How could he stand up to Iran and N. Korea? I don't understand then how could anyone really trust Romney even on any single issue, other than the fact that all he cares is how to make himself rich!

    May 29, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Texas GOP

    Obama was birn in egytpy and mitt can proven it. get smarte an vote tea party proud. i proude tea in texas. i only votes gop no matter nows stupit candidates. beter then liberales. get smarte likes me vote key party proude.

    May 29, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. bradalexander719

    @Jeff – Also, why would any real American be voting for someone named Reince Priebus?

    May 29, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. steve

    Why? Dunno...why doesn't Obama fight back against a number of his big donors claims that ALIENS ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THEIR MINDS...(scientology). Besides which, it would have been a lot easier to fight the birther crap if the Obamessiah hadn't stated in his own authors bio that he was b0rn in k3nya. Should we take his word for it that he was? Or should we take his word for it that he wasn't? Either way, you can take his word for it.

    May 29, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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