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. awasis666

    Like two peas in a pod.

    May 27, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. vidal808

    a bunch of idiots – Romney and Trump, ehehehee

    May 27, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. 2020

    this is a grand stage of how businessmen leverage on each other. Romney needs Trump's power of YOU ARE FIRED (a fake self fulfilled power grip) and Trump needs Romney's 3 minute fame to pop up his silly TV show. ALL FAKE MAKE BELIEVE REALITY SHOW!!!

    May 27, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. Thinkergal

    It is difficult for Mittens to look class dignified than he already does, but association with the Donald will do it.

    May 27, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Thinkergal

    I meant LESS dignified, of course.

    May 27, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. AiyeSiss

    Mistakes get made. If a publisher cannot READ, that is not the person's fault. The bank read my SS# wrong and I had endless headaches with the IRS until the error was corrected. Trump is wrong, telling lies and if Romney accept his lying support, then he is a liar too.

    May 27, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. DJ Reality

    Ihave one question today for you all.. Where is Wilbur Romney's birth certificate? Well two questions really. why haven't we seen Wilbur's birth certificate. Until we see it he should not be allowed to run for president.

    May 27, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. klamerus

    Is there truly anything more stupid than birthers??


    May 27, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Tante Waileka

    Obama was not born in Hawai'i... I WAS, 20 years earlier than his birth. The hospital showing on his 'so called' birth certificate did NOT EXIST until SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS AFTER HE WAS BORN. Explain that. This guy wants to destroy us, actually he doesn't know what he wants, he is only a stupid puppet after all. We can pray that George Soros his puppetmaster dies soon, then you'll see a shift in Obama's verbiage... but you will NEVER see him look in the camera's eye... he is too much of a fraud and a liar to EVER do that, because he is too guilty.

    May 27, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Dan

    I can't believe there are still people who believe that "more government" than we have right now is the solution.

    May 27, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Dennis

    In addition to being money grubbing,snobby wealthy U.S.citizens,Trump is also a self appointed historian with no knowledge of the President's personal history.They love their money more than they do their famiies or life.

    May 27, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. NotFooledByDistractions

    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?
    Lauren – 20 seconds on google would have answered your concerns...

    Miriam Goderich issued the following statement to Political Wire:

    "You're undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me - an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more."

    May 27, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. Fda

    Look this guy is black and most of these idiots will never accept him. This county has slipped back to the thirties again. And if you are a women, you better be scared because your rights are next.

    May 27, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Jill-IN

    Wealthy elite class is asking you to give up public schools and pay tuition for private schooling, give up social security and just get by somehow, and give up Medicare and buy private insurance though it is non-existent or unaffordable for middle class to buy, or if your employer doesn't provide health insurance, just go out there and buy your own, though it is unaffordable or non-existent for middle class. And while your at it, they just want to privatize everything on earth – every breath of air you take, and pay them for it. Do you get the picture?

    May 27, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Sometimes you can judge a candidate's character and quality by his or her choice of friends. Having Trump as a friend does Romney more harm than good.

    May 27, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Joe The plumber

    Trump is just another rich bigot. Who knew Eddie Munster would grow up to be such an azzzz,

    May 27, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. Anonymous

    "Romney bankrupted companies, Obama bankrupted the whole Country!!"

    The President has done no such think, so just keep on lyin' to yourself. The rest of us aren't fooled, though.

    May 27, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. bcm

    This issue is so disgusting that it is only topped by Trump and Romney. Mitt Romney is so desparate that he will associate himself with anyone and anything if he thinks it will help him win. These "birthers" just need to go away and try focusing on all of the real issues facing this country. Idiots!!!

    May 27, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. Anonymous

    "Let's make it very simple....WHERE IS THE ORIGINAL LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR OBAMA. Not a photocopy, not a "promise " from a clerk in Hawaii. If you really look at the evidence , There are definitely questions that need to be answered."

    It's in Hawaii you crazy afterbirther! Several people have seen it, including Republican officials in the state.

    May 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Anonymous

    "Wow, I wonder if you liberals used the same "guilty by association" standard with Obama and his pastor for 25 years Jeremiah Wright??


    More proof the crazy rightwing haters can't do comparisons. HINT: President Obama is not making public appearances and holding fundraisers with Wright, unlike Rmoney's slavish dog-like (oops, perhaps a poor choice of words there!) devotion to Trump.

    May 27, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. gg

    bain worker 56,00 dollars a day no pension no health care,,mitt 56,000 a day there pensions there health care . if mitt becomes president it will be your pension your health care

    May 27, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. ChrisM

    Jill-IN Well said

    May 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. Anonymous

    "Whether Obama is a citizen or not is not nearly as important as his marxist leanings. Undisputed are the facts that his mother was a marxist, his dad a communist, and his friends are anti-American radicals. He must be removed from office this fall regardless of his nationality."

    You crazy hatewingers just can't let go of guilt-by-association. CLUE: Many of us have parents with some rather deluded GOBP cult leanings. Many of us chose to adopt a different political philosophy. I guess "free thinking" is not one of your strong suits.

    May 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Norm

    Well Mitt..........there goes the election.
    And don't try to shake the Etcha Sketch a few months down the road.
    You were all the GOP could scrape together to run against Obama...and even they don't like you.
    Now you just deleted any chance of the moderate vote by joining this orange clown show.
    Like it or not...Obama four more years.

    May 27, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Bill

    To ally himself with this buffoon is an error. He takes any credibility that he has managed to achieve out of his candidacy by getting this clown-like character on his team; and to get into this nonsense birther stuff is political poison. Taking his $ is likely the only justification except for comic relief in a testy campaign.

    May 27, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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