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. sonnie3

    Mentored by Jerimiah Wright and schooled in Kenya and do you really think the truth about obamas birthplace has come out yet? For sure their is reasonable doubt.

    May 26, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Of course Mitt will stick with Trump; misery loves company!

    May 26, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. MaryM

    CEOs do not make good Presidents. Romeny or Trump. Everyone knows what happened to America with the last CEO President. America is NOT a run for profit organization.

    May 26, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    I better learn CHINESE, Indian, etc......nasty Animals lost morality, ethics...... Karma!!!! Yes, obama12.

    May 26, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. PaulC

    The fact is that Romney was born in Mexico and I think we should demand to see his (probably false) birth certificate.

    May 26, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. LMC

    An honorable candidate would distance himself from a supporter like Trump after such ridiculous and questionable allegations. Aligning himself with Trump is a stupid mistake for Romney.

    May 26, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. DarqueSide

    It doesn't matter WHERE President Obama was born. His mother was an American citizen, therefore HE is an American citizen. So the 'birthers' (which is just another word for 'maroons') can go stuff themselves.

    May 26, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Curt

    I would distance myself from Trump if you wanna be taken serious

    May 26, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Weasley

    lefty, you said Obama has " skill at administering a government..." Uh, where have you been the last three years? There is no job that prepares a candidate more for being president than actually being president. By your standards, President Obama is by far the most qualified.

    May 26, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Fact is Birthers really, really don't like President Obama's biological father, who WAS born in Kenya. And DID travel to America on a student visa. None of this has anything to do with President Obama, who was born in Hawaii.

    And, yes. Many of these "facts" claimed by Donald Trump relate to the father ... not the son. Thus, the confusion - Including the language barrier with the Grandmother.

    May 26, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Curt

    The fact that Romney is aligning himself with the likes of Donald Trump shows his true character. For someone that wants to be President you would think he would sever all ties with Trump.

    May 26, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. mklsgl

    Seriously, don't you think that all of Pres. Obama's blue-blooded classmates at Harvard would've put every moment of his life under intense and microscopic scrutiny before he made Law Review?

    May 26, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Mr. 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" would outsource the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    Expect these two 1 %er's to join hands and funds so they can fund a private space flight to Planet/Star Kolob, and build a new throne, and then fight over who gets to set in their rightful spot at the right hand of God.

    May 26, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. bilk7

    Trump went off the rail long ago. By Romney looking for support from soneone like that shows he should never be in a decision-making position, especially the Presidency.

    May 26, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. judy

    the repbublican party as a whole seems to be missing some screws. Romney wants to use the donalds money not his own so as usual he will go along with this nonsense. The same people that are saying the president was not born here are the same ones looking for big foot. What can ya say? Stupidity abounds in this party . Obama 2012 Forward

    May 26, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Martha in CF

    Sorry, they are both losers. The White House would be a laughing stock of the world IF they did get elected.....

    Obama/Biden2012-the only hope for the next 4 years.

    May 26, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. SB

    If Mr. Romney continues to surround himself with people like Trump and Newt, then I think that Democrats will be delighted...(by the way, great stragedy to capture the independent vote Mitt–at least 1% with show up in mobs to vote with those circus freaks).

    May 26, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. paul

    Someone should tell Trump that Hawaai is the 50th state. His comment would probably be, "No it is not, because I said it is not". They are both bullies when they don't get their way. Throw Chris Christie in the mix and they could really show this country how to run–their way.

    May 26, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. BK

    I guess if the GOP doesn't believe they can win straight up, the birther nonsense is what you get.....

    May 26, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Milton K. Wiah

    American politics seems to be a joke these days. Man like Trump who does not stand on one issue is making
    mockery of the system. 2008 he demorate, 2009 he was an independent and 2012 he is republican just like
    the man he is supporting, Mitt Romney.
    How can one who is even not a politician continues to abuse American people intelligence.
    I do not know how this man feels when he is making these false statements about the president. No one in his
    her conscious mind will even go this far let alone Trump who is well known, from whom many young people
    want learn being a business person. I expect uneducated Americans to make these statements but not
    Trump. He is an embarrassment to Mitt Romney campaigh.

    May 26, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. John

    Where is Romney's birth certifcate? I have many questions on this hot issue.

    May 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. John N Florida

    Where's Romney's Birth Certificate? He's not a Natural Born Citizen either, at least according to the Birther creed. Under the same rules Rubio isn't qualified to be Vice President. He's an Anchor Baby born of 2 non-citizens.
    The Birther Movement is already gearing up to Challenger both of them

    May 26, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. johnnyZ

    I am beginning to doubt that I was born in the US. I have a birth certificate just like President Obama's. Hmmmm?

    May 26, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Pander Bear

    I, for one, applaud the continual questioning of President Obama's birthplace and his legitimacy to hold office. The more the right wing continues to bring it up, the more absurd and ridiculous they look. Sonnie and Demme, please keep it up. No one will want to be associated with idiots like you.

    May 26, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Thomas

    I don't think Mitt Romneys father would be very proud of his son , seeing the way he panders to the likes of Trump.

    Old man Romney thought guys like Trump were punks that never had dirt under the polished fingernails.

    May 26, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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