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. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    "blowviating ignoramous"?

    Looks like George Will just picked up The Chump's "cow pie" and threw it right back at him!

    May 27, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Smeagel4T

    The Wall Street Journal (a CONSERVATIVE publication) confirmed that Wall Street Mitt along with the GOP/FauxNews have been LYING extensively about President Obama’s spending record. Spending growth under President Obama has been 1/6th that of W’s, and 1/6th that of Reagan. Even Clinton’s spending record was 1/2 that of W and 1/2 that of Reagan. President Obama has had the best fiscal responsibility record since Eisenhower, while the GOP administrations have been the most fiscally irresponsible. This is from the Wall Street Journal (15May) – a CONSERVATIVE publication.

    The GOP should have nominated Trump. While both Wall Street Mitt and Trump are disasters, at least Trump has entertainment value. When Trump lies at least everyone knows he's going for the provocation to get attention in order to feed his ego addiction. Wall Street Mitt just lies for no other reason than to deceive the American people.

    May 27, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    "(i.e. The Donald Trump, Mitt Romney's of the world aren't having any of it....)"

    Probably should clarify. The Trumps and Romneys of the world haven't been able to come to terms with the Obama presidency because HE doesn't fit their idea of who gets to live the American dream. That dream is was considered unreachable except for a few of the wealthy and extremely powerful. Obama smashed THAT glass ceiling, and Trump and Romney are still throwing temper tantrums. Well, the entire GOP has been throwing one gigantic tantrum for nearly 4 years now. And who suffers the most? Those who voted Obama in ... the middle class and poor.

    May 27, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Romney might want to call his event a "fund raiser", but I think that "birther shower" is a better name for it.

    May 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. chucky

    Trump appeals to the lowest common denominator–people who want gold plated faucets. He made his wealth because people are vain and pathetic. The people who respect him would respect a crack dealer if he was on TV.

    May 27, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. wazuri77

    this birther nonsense is a smoke this point, these idiots should come out and just say we dont like him because he's black..

    May 27, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. TexaSAM

    Donald Trump. Please. It doesn't matter where someone is born, as in Obama's case, his mother is American, so he is too. He has a American passport and all the rights accorded to Americans. Just like my step kids were born to an English mother & American father in Australia and Indonesia, they hold American, British, Australian & Indonesian passports. Is Mitt Romney Mexican because his father was born in Mexico? Is Donald Trump a liar and cheater? He lied to the USFL by agreeing to play by the draft rules, then bought Herchel Walker for cash instead of losing him in the draft to another team. He wants to sue Scotland because his golf course is causing problams for the locals & they are delaying his plans. Donald Trump filed corporate bankruptcy at least 2x, has less than 1 million in cash assets and only makes money these days by marketing his name on various products like water and ties via his stupid tv show. He doesn't create jobs or products of any value. He just rents out his name.

    Donald Trump is just an greedy irrelevent annoyance in our society with nothing to offer. He exists only to massage his own ego. Anyone who takes his advice may as well throw their money into the Hudson river. My only hope is that he'll scam Romney out of some of his cash before he's done.

    May 27, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Jim

    I have to question whether Trump was born of a woman. He does not look human. He looks like a wax mannequin that's been left out in the blazing sun for a few weeks.

    May 27, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Blue

    Dumb and Dumber! Mitt and Donald are one of a kind.

    May 27, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Ambrose Smith

    Trump promised that he would show his taxes when Obama showed proof. Now that Obama did, Trump won't show his taxes–and his rationale is "That isn"t his REAL certificate! So I STILL won't show you my taxes!" Trump is such a CARNIVAL BARKER!

    May 27, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Mitt needs to wake up and smell the coffee

    "And who suffers the most? Those who voted Obama in ... the middle class and poor."

    Vengence is both powerful and nasty. The GOP obstruction against Obama supporters has been their #1 goal. I'd like to think that America voters can see this obstruction for what is really is ....

    May 27, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. hypatia

    Anyone still claiming that 'birther' crap is mentally unfit for office.

    May 27, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Willow

    Why oh why does the media give Trump so much air time. PLEASE ask Romney to produce his past income tax returns like the President published his birth certificate. Ask Trump that. Why doesn't he press Romney to produce this information.

    May 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. caesarbc

    I demand to see Mitt Romneys birth certificate. He is Mexican and it is obvious that the Mexicans are trying to take over the US. I demand that he release his original long form birth certificate now. If he does not then his name will not appear on our state presidential ballot!

    May 27, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. caesarbc

    I demand to see mitt Romneys original long form birth certificate. He is Mexican and it is obvious that they are trying to take over the US. If he does not produce his certificate his name will not appear on our state ballot!

    May 27, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Greg

    Keep up the good work Donald. You're doing a great job helping to get President Obama re-elected.

    May 27, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Grill

    Trump has just lost it.

    May 27, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Lori

    Keep it up, Trump. The more you tie you and your dwindling reputation and your "birther" comments to Romney, the more I see a second term for President Obama!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012!!!!!

    May 27, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. BeverlyNC

    Republicans made as stupid a choice with Romney as McCain did with Palin. It will have the same results – Republicans lose and are swept from office. Americans are sick of hate, lies, obstructionism, no job results or any serious economic recovery plans from Republicans. They have done Nothing for the People for 3 years but spread hate, fear, lies, open racism and how many job or economic bills have they offered up in Congress? ZERO. That is the same number of votes Republicans should get from the We the People they have betrayed – ZERO.

    May 27, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. pjaswfla

    "Birther" shares the first two letters with "Bigot." The birthers just won't admit in public that they cannot abide the idea that Obama isn't lily-white.

    May 27, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. sayquitter

    Romney and his cadre of ignorant rightwing ideologues are finding that attacking pres Obama on politics and the economy is not sticking with the voting public, in great measure because people are weary of voting for a party that has shown its incompetency handling the economy and affairs, foreign and domestic, as the previous administration showed So they are resorting to the kind of tired lies and name calling that turned off voters in the previous presidencial election. I hape he sticks to this charlatan oil salesman more as that would make it easier for people to hava a real choice between Romney and his minions and pres Obama.

    May 27, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. FXS

    These two are on a different planet along with the rest of the 1%. How can we even imagine that they care about the rest of us, seriously!

    May 27, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Are not we still waiting for Donald Trump's tax returns? That was the challenge he made to Pres. Obama.

    May 27, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    "Is this all you have ? you sit around and call people names ? You all sound like a bunch of 3rd grade school girls."

    You left out afterbirthers, but what's your point? Afterbirthers represent the mental deficiencies found in many right wing voters (ignorant, bigoted and easily manipulated). Those who waste time commenting on the birther issue are also somewhat deficient as well, to the extent their efforts to oust the GOBP are sidetracked and their energy drained from more important efforts.

    May 27, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Leslie Knope

    Bobby Newport and Donald Trump – That would be a winning ticket – for Obama!

    May 27, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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