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. pookyg

    Where is Romney's birth certificate? I have all sorts of questions about this hot issue.

    May 26, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Spockish

    Obama's long-form birth certificate was released. There is no doubt whatsoever. "Birthers" like Trump and those who post here have another agenda, but are too dishonest to admit it.

    May 26, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Independent Voters

    Where Romney birth cerificate..Trump going make Romney lose the election..President Obama dont give up fighting for
    the middle class let these 2 fools looking crazy.

    May 26, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. 1twinsfan

    Kenyan, Muslim, socialist, commie born in HI but renounced his American citizenship when he was brainwashed in the Indonesians schools. Hmm, sounds like President Obama has something to offer everyone. Who wouldn't want a leader who can multi-task so many hats?

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 26, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. svann

    Maybe this makes sense. Romney just loves to fire people and Trump made an entire television program based on just that.

    May 26, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Since he just follows Trump's ;lead, it looks like Rmoney is officially an After-Birther.

    May 26, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. PJ/TX

    These two are the most pathetic, self-serving rich men I have ever witnessed. If they had any self-respect
    Romney would show some backbone and take a stand against those who degrade the President of the United
    States, and Trump would quit trying to buy his way into relevancy.
    Gates and Buffett know how to be rich and respectful. Something these two will never learn, and obviously
    don't want to.

    May 26, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Really?

    Why is NBC allowing a political campaign use them for a presidential candidate political gain. FCC rules require that NBC give equal exposure to Obama Team?

    And, shame on you birthers. But, hey, if that's what you believe and your sticking to it, then you have to admit we have one smart president. Planned his presidency from birth! Wow!

    May 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Joan

    Well actually a Barack Obama was probably born in Kenya but it WAS HIS FATHER. Saying that a Barack Obama was born in Kenya could be true but it is NOT the President. Get real people. The President was born in Hawaii as has been proven by the Republican governor of Hawaii, hospital officials, newspapers at the time, Health Department, family, friends and most recently the state of Arizona which threatened to not verify his running until they were sure. If you have won over the state of Arizona, then it must be true because they hate him. So, the dillusional people who keep running with this issue (Trump, birthers, Tea Party) etc. should be exposed for their lies and contempt. Very, very sad.

    May 26, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. dnick47

    Seems to me that when his dad ran for governor in Michigan years back that it came out that the Romneys immagrated to Mexico to avoid the anit-polygamy laws in the US... I think Romney was born in Mexico.

    May 26, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. O.T.

    Isn't it more embarrassing for Barack Obama to have Rev. Wright as a mentor. Isn't it more embarrassing for Barack Obama to accept $1,000,000 from Bill Maher, a notorious spewer of hate speech. Besides, Barack Obama was the original birther. In the 1991 biography put out by his publicist, Barack Obama seems to endorse the idea that Barack Obama was born in Kenya (though I disagree with him on this).

    May 26, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. LiberaLIowan

    The only reason that "chump" isn't working in a drive-through somewhere, is because daddy gave him millions of dollars.

    May 26, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. NoWay

    Just 2 nut jobs that don't have real jobs.

    May 26, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Mitt McCain is the gaffe machine that keeps giving.

    May 26, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Jean

    That's right, PaulC, let's make Romney prove he wasn't born in Mexico of Mexican citzens. There are still many Romney family members still in Mexico. Why should we believe he was born here? Then there is "Bobby" Jindal who SAYS he was born 2 months after his folks came to the US and whose name isn't really Bobby. What is he doing in office?

    Romney hanging around with idiot rich guys who insist on believing stupid lies proven to be false over and over again cannot be helpful to Romneys reputation. Of course Romney hasn't had the guts to stand up against any controversial and false statement thrown his way, He just stands there with a frozen smile on his face and hopes no one notices. Who is going to run Romney's adminstration if Romney is lucky enought to buy this election? Somehow I don't think it will be wishy-washy Mitt, he will have handlers. By the way, has anyone wondered out loud why Romney was only a one term governor? If he was so terrific why didn't he get a second term?

    May 26, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Senior Citizen

    Obama has proved he was born in Hawaii, which is part of the USA, but of course the idiot with the bad combover probably doesn't know that. I also recall that when President Obama proved he was born in the USA Trump was going to show his financial statement, which he hasn't done and yet he is still trying to stir up trouble.

    I hope that Romney picks him for VP so that will be like McCain/Palin. Just how many times has The Donald gone bankrupt??? Somethink like 4-5 and yet people think because he's cheated all those involved when he went bankrupt, out of what was owed him, he's a great business man. He's a crook for defaulting on all those who he owed and yet comes out smelling like a rose.

    May 26, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    The Crisis we see in America today is no accident and it has not come about naturally!

    "The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse."

    "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.

    "Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation's wealth."

    May 26, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Crazy is cool?

    Crazy and looney.... describs Trump and anyone else that supports this stupid claim. Our president has presented more proof of his birthplace more than any commenter on this board has ever presented. But I know that these same crazy fools think that there was a time machine that was able to go back in time and have a fake birth announcement published in the paper.

    May 26, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. wrongfool

    The Crisis we see in America today is no accident and it has not come about naturally!

    "The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse."

    "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.

    "Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation's wealth."

    May 26, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. PTBarnumboy

    I don't know about this birther business but I do know, I mean really really know, that Obama is responsible for the Joplin tornado and was the one responsible for the gulf oil spill.

    May 26, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Bill

    Doesn't Trump realize that nobody listens to him? All the man is good for is a few laughs.....

    May 26, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. BHPT

    Within his company, a CEO has complete, unquestioned authority – absolute power. More like being a monarch than a President.
    The POTUS enjoys no such power. His success lies in employing negotiation and compromise.
    Romney's Bain Capital experience represents very little experience in those areas.

    May 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Alex

    Let's see Romney's Mexican birth certificate!

    May 26, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Paul

    People wake up. Kenya got its independence in 1963. From 1959 to 1963 Kenyan people were fighting for Freedom. Can you imagine an american girl 18 years old, traveling to Washington DC from Hawaii to get a Visa from the Brithish Embassy, travel to Great Britain, wait for weeks to get to Kenya because African countries didn't have daily flights to Europe or US? And she had to live her husband behind because he was still a student in Hawaii! Remember that Barack's father was one of the few Africans to go abroad for education and couldn't afford a ticket to go on vacation to Africa. Even today, how many African students can afford to go back on vacation? Now, the question is HOW many flights were between North Carolina and DC per week in 1961? How many WHITE families would let their daughters (18) travel to Africa today? Imagine in 1961? Trump is an idiot who can't think because he could have asked himselft the question if it was possible in 60s for American girls to go and have babies in Africa and if it is possible now! How many American can point to IRak and Afghanistan in the world map today even when we have troops there? I wonder why REPUBLICAN'TS don't like public education because they hate to learn. This is the reason why many in the Bush admnistration didn't know Shia and Sunnis in Irak and didn't know their past history and claimed that we were going to be welcome with flowers in Irak! Ignorance is a weapon of mass destruction.

    May 26, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. bobby hill

    why are you letting the killing go on?whydo you need anyones help?Bush didnt,he put people in war got them killed,no one talks about it help those people please.

    May 26, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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