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. Andy

    The poor poor dead horse.

    May 27, 2012 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  2. Lauren R.

    The simple question that CNN seems to overlook is where the the unnamed "employee" (scapegoat) of the literary agency got the idea that Obama was born in Kenya. They don't just make up bios from thin air; they usually print what the author (Obama) tells them. So the next question is why did Obama tell them he was born in Kenya? To help sell books? Why? Let's get to the bottom of this story and stop using the unnamed "employee" as the scapegoat. Obama provided the information. Why?

    May 27, 2012 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  3. John K.

    You guys don't get it. The whole birthed thing is all just a put-on! Orly Taitz is Sacha Baron Cohen in drag!

    May 27, 2012 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  4. jon

    Hard not to have birthers when Obama's book publicist used a biography that stated he was born in Kenya and ran this from 1991-2007

    May 27, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  5. phyrro

    I think we need to ask Romney for his birth certificate to make sure he is not an alien robot from the star Kolob.

    May 27, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  6. peterb

    While I don't necessarily believe the birther claims, one has to admit that it would have been much simpler if he hadn't actually recorded in his book bio that he was, and I quote, "born in Kenya". Additionally, not sure why some of the quite embarrasing beliefs of some of Obama's bankrollers aren't being brought to light. I'm sure the fact that many of his supporters believe that aliens are trying to control their minds should be considered a tad more odd than wether or not a claim Obama himself made in writing is true.

    May 27, 2012 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  7. peterb

    While I don't necessarily believe the birther claims, one has to admit that it would have been much simpler if he hadn't actually recorded in his book bio that he was, and I quote, "born in Kenya". Additionally, not sure why some of the quite embarrasing beliefs of some of Obama's bankrollers aren't being brought to light. I'm sure the fact that many of his supporters believe that aliens are trying to control their minds should be considered a tad more odd than wether or not a claim Obama himself made in writing is true.

    May 27, 2012 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  8. m0rp

    I don't necessarily accept all the birther claims, but you gotta admit that it'd be much simpler if he hadn't recorded in his book bio that he was, "born in Kenya". Additionally, not sure why some of the embarrasing beliefs of Obama's bankrollers aren't being brought out. the fact that many of his supporters claim aliens are trying to control their minds is a lot more odd than wether or not a claim Obama himself made in writing is true.

    May 27, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  9. John

    Mitt Romney all ready sound like a fool, now he has Donald Trump up there with him taking about the birther and what Donald did he really making Mitt Romney even sound more like a IDIOT. Mitt Romney say one thing one day and Changes his mind the Next. I really believe he don't even know what he taking about ,and later someone tell him to change he mind and say something else. to keep taking about this birther crap Is only going to prove that you are a fool and a IDIOT. It Been Proven NOW about six times. Even the State of Arizona has see it and Is going to put President Obama name on the Ballot. When Is enough of this going to be enough, even these Idiot would have to believe It by NOW.

    May 27, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. Marie MD

    If we didn't know what a ho the flip flopper was now we know. Even this trumper had to give it up after lying about how his people had found evidence. This is just pandering to the stupid faux news lemmings (sorry little lemmings).
    The Presiden'ts birth state has been proven ad nauserum.
    WHERE IS THE BISHOP'S LONG FORM BIRTH CERFITICATE AND HIS 2011 TAXES!!!!!?????

    May 27, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Is the flip flopper all right? I am beginning to think there's something wrong with him. He has that same leering dumb look no matter who he is looking at at the moment.
    It's for his no working wife, the fat boy from NJ, the beefcake (bard) from FL, the woman, or two (pun intended) from the Midwest or SC.
    What's up with that? Maybe we need to do an MRI of that brain. We already had #43 with 1/3 of a brain engaged leading the country.

    May 27, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  12. lies from the right but mostly hate

    Romney could care less about this country its all about the power and ego trip not aboutthe citizens of this country.

    May 27, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  13. GayAtheist

    Mormon Mitt needs the Trump Sideshow because Mormon Mitt has no substance.

    May 27, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  14. Segunmx

    This is how people who don't have basis or potentials try to gain popularity. Trump is a dumb making mouth all around; riding with Romney is a display of nonsensity...I'm not surprised anyway, birds of same feather do flock together. We need to fix our problems and not smoking birthplace dumbs!

    May 27, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  15. sara

    Just some more evidence of who the republican party is. Shadow, unintelligent and CRAZY. Just think how the American people go to this point. Enough! Obama/Biden 2012

    May 27, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  16. Big W.

    D.T. phone home, D.T. phone home. He walks and talks and rolls on his belly like a reptile, petrified for 500 years, he comes to life before your very eyes... This is like the midway at some carnival or circus; or maybe a casino. Note to world leaders: Sane Americans don't really have these psychological deviations that overwhelm their sense of reality. We are mostly, basically, normal people. Please ignore the squirrel bait. We can do better, please have faith in our ability to cull out the insane and abnormal few.

    May 27, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Just look at that uncomfortable half-smile on Romney's face...priceless!

    May 27, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  18. Cynthia L.

    Sometimes, like now, I feel Donald Trump is a plant, a Trojan Horse to embarass a party that continues to show bad judgement.
    Way to go Donald!! You're doing a Rock Star job of it, you little devil, you! Besides, knowing that Mitt is richer than the last eight presidents combined, you're probably hoping he'll throw you a bottle of his favorite shoe polish just for showing up and performing.

    May 27, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. Orwell Sees it

    Two billionaires who want to be POTUS walk in to a tea shop . . .

    May 27, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  20. Lucky18

    How many times does someone have to say that Donal Trump is an....???sorry, they won't let me say it!!!!

    May 27, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  21. TJ

    Romney bankrupted companies, Obama bankrupted the whole Country!!

    May 27, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  22. tim

    The lunatic Birthers march on despite every piece of evidence proving Obama was born in Hawaii and zero reason to believe he was born anywhere else. What's worse, a Birther or a Birther enabler?

    May 27, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  23. Geff Gordon

    It looks to me as if Romney is trying to have it both ways; saying that he accepts Obama's citizenship while chumming with Don the birther. Why? He wants Romoney.

    May 27, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  24. Still On The Fence

    The evidence supporting USA birth is full of holes which is why the question continues to exist. Can anyone out there answer the question as to how a kid from Hawaii acquired a Social Security Number from Connecticut? Obama himself refuses to answer that question and has spent the past 3 years hiring lawyers to fight any and all Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits that are seeking the answer. Why? Wouldn't it just be easier to just provide the answer? Makes any resonable person go hmmm.

    May 27, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. lyn

    WAKE UP AMERICA, Romney don't care a dam about anyone, all he want is to be President he will do, say and listen to anything to be President.

    May 27, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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