Romney campaign sticks with Trump, despite birther comments
May 26th, 2012
10:33 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney campaign sticks with Trump, despite birther comments

(CNN) – Donald Trump, whose penchant for questioning President Barack Obama's place of birth showed no signs of abating Friday, is helping presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney raise money. Isn't such close proximity to the "birther" conspiracy embarrassing for a candidate who's serious about becoming the next president?

That was the question posed by CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger to Romney's senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom Friday.

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"I can't speak for Donald Trump, but I can tell you that Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States," Fehrnstrom said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Fehrnstrom, it turns out, doesn't need to speak for Trump. The celebrity business magnate spoke out for himself in a Friday interview with The Daily Beast, saying he still had questions about Obama's birthplace.

"Look, it's very simple," Trump said in the Daily Beast 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 literary agency who, 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.

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."

Obama 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 presidential nomination.

Trump's latest foray into birtherism comes just days ahead of a big campaign event with Romney in Las Vegas. The event, which will also feature former candidate Newt Gingrich, is set to take place Tuesday at Trump's International Hotel on the Strip.

Romney's campaign is also raffling a chance to have dinner with Trump 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 post of Uncle Sam.

The campaign offers: "Airport transportation in the Trump vehicle; Stay at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York; Tour the Celebrity Apprentice Boardroom; Dine with Donald Trump and Mitt Romney."

Will such close proximity to an avowed birther damage Romney's credibility? Their rivals certainly hope so. Obama's campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt labeled Trump the "birther in chief" on MSNBC Friday.

But Fehrnstrom, quoting a member of the Obama White House, said a politician's supporters don't speak for the candidate himself.

"You know, not too long ago, Jay Carney, the spokesman for the White House made a statement which I think is correct, and that statement was that a candidate can't be responsible for everything that their supporters say," Fehrnstrom said. "And in this case, Mitt Romney has made it clear that the place of the president's birth is not an issue for him. He accepts the fact that he was born in Hawaii. And we have many important challenges facing our country, and that's what we'd rather talk about."


Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney
soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens knows he needs every low life to support him, or he will lose. I cannot imagine that how right wingnuts can over look that Mittens is spineless, and will cave into every special interest.

    May 26, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. svann

    Trump was a poor joke even before the birther thing. Are you kidding me? He is about as real a candidate as reality TV or pro wrestling.

    May 26, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. !ST SGT

    Borger is a nutcase. Every sane person out here has doubts about Obama whether it be birth, his lying, his Social Security number stolen from a deceased person and his Patriotism.

    May 26, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. MaryM

    Can Trump be anymore a divisive choice for Romney. Very bad choice Romney

    May 26, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Indy

    Always good for Republicans to team up with one of the most hated people in the country and think that it will will help them. It is possible that Trump could even top Palin as the worst possible choice for VP, but then again Republicabs only care about staying rich. I wonder if Trump knows he would have to give up his entire business dealings and scams to serve as VP.The best thing that could happen to the Democrats would be a rich and richer ticket like a Romney Trump ticket

    May 26, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. God Help Us All

    As predicted in the Bible, our "leaders" will become more stupid & misleading with time. These two, along with their other "big corp friends", are trying to turn US into 3rd world country! If elected, we will all unfortunately experience WWIII. Unity & PEACE! OBAMA 2012!

    May 26, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Russ in Md

    I don't think he was born in Kenya. I think he lied on his college loan application so he could receive foreign tuition aid and then continued the scam in Harvard to get that extra minority and foreigner sympathy vote to become the president of the Harvard Review. He has been coning America his entire adult life.

    May 26, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. naksuthin

    I often wonder why out of our 44 white president...only the black president needs to explain where he was born or show his birth certificate.

    May 26, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. American

    Romney cannot be serious with his "birther" alignment. Not presidential.

    America needs adult leadership...President Obama 2012

    May 26, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. naksuthin

    Why is it that of all our 44 white Presidents...only the Black President has to show his birth certificate to prove where he was born.

    May 26, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Punisher2000

    The fact that you have, so far only my comment, clearly indicates the importance of this article.

    May 26, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Thomas

    Romney and Trump , both look so old and kinda sleazy.

    May 26, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Jules

    No Guts, Money is More Important than Ethics Romney once again proves he does not have the smarts or the backbone to lead this nation.

    May 26, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. s

    Where was Trumps hair born

    May 26, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. maf

    This is ridiculous. I truly hope that Mitt picks the Donald to be his number 2. That way it will pave the way to a second Obama term in the WH. Maybe that's how Donald thinks. He is so outrageous, he is really a Democrat and is undermining the GOP strategy by maintaining a position that only Andrew Breitbart (RIP) would be proud of!
    Either that or he is the richest imbecile to show that you don't have to be smart to be rich!

    May 26, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. madmaninthemiddle

    Obama White House on the question of Trump as VP nominee – "oh please, oh please, oh please,oh please..."

    May 26, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. denton310

    why won't romney release the names of his blunders who he has promised special access if elected? everyone else who runs D and R have released this information. what is he hiding?

    May 26, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. nat

    When will Romney show his birth certificate? His dragging his feet and/or refusal speaks volumes about his birth.

    May 26, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. amy

    You can't run a country like a corporation.. The "bottom line" is about "firing' Americans all in the pursuit of financial success,the building of an empire...Is not the kind of mind set a president should have.. The president is the "father" of his country..The one who is there to look after his people.
    These two together I'm afraid will make "American people" nothing more than bartering chips, in the high stakes of international business dealings.
    the "I run the world" mentality is frightening... Very scary...

    May 26, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. You Betcha

    Now, there's a dream team. A spinless weathervane and a self aggrandized gas bag.

    And !ST SGT, no, it is not the sane people that are buying into this hogwash.

    May 26, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Ronald

    These people can't talk about facts or anything that the GOP has done to help Americans. They certainly can't run on past performance since it was Bush that put us in this mess. So, instead of running a campaign on facts or ideas that work or policies that don't hurt the average American then they choose to use something that has been proven to be false and was stupid in the first place. Talk about desperate!

    May 26, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. snydergal

    Birthers are the most destible, disgusting, mindless morons on the planet today...of all the stupid lies swirling around us, this one is the granddaddy of them all! Even the clown Bennett in Arizona, who was going to keep President Obama off the ticket because he believed the birther notion, had to acknowledge Obama's status as a true American Citizen...why, for heaven's sake, is this still a campaign issue? Teavangelical/repub/ultra-considervative, evangelical/relgious right/wealthy 1%ers are all full of bilge water...willard mitt and toupee man, along with any and all others mentioned before, are un-American, un-patriotic, and unbelievable! OBAMA 11/6/2012!

    May 26, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Dirty money and Mitt Romney go hand in hand. No suprise he'd accept Trump's dirty donations - oops - I mean,,, Trump's campaign cash with both hands open.

    Oh, yeah. Don't forget that Obama should be held to the highest level of campaign strategy including being responsible for what Hilary Rosen and Jeremiah Wright have said, but Mitt? Nope. He can't and shouldn't be held responsible for what Trump says while fundraising for Romney.

    May 26, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. sjlucas

    Perhaps the only thing more ridiculous than Trump's hair is his arrogance. Trump is a joke but (at least for now he's not bankrupt) he's got money. Romney and the entire GOP only care about millionaires, so it is only logical that Romney would turn a blind eye to the fact that the guy is a blithering idiot in the hopes of $$ and a little bit of attention. Sad. Truly sad.

    May 26, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. lefty

    Obama's mom was an American citizen, and as far as I care, that makes him an American citizen. However the issue of his honesty and forthright answering of the issues relating to his personal history is the reason this sticks around. Obama is a produced "candidate" who has no skill at administering a government even as large a some sub-urban city council. All the kool-aid drinkers can continue to follow this cult of personality and I have no doubt that next January when he's out of the office they'll conspire to blame racism, religious conservatives and anybody else that the DNC talking points lists. Get lives!

    May 26, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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