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. TJeff1776

    EVERY State in the United States accepts the fact THAT Obama was born in the United States. SO why should anyone belabor the subject ?? Other than to irritate others. Its NOT a vote getter OR loser.

    May 26, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. CherryStrWhiz

    Now that we know Rommey was born in Mexico, let's see if Trump will tell the truth about what planet he is from Mars or the Moon?

    May 26, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Jill-IN

    No courage, no surprise here. What a dissapointment Romney is.

    May 26, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Jill-IN

    George Bush was a business major – and look what a lousy 8 years that got us.

    May 26, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Here they go again, ...GOP Circus comes to town. I hope he picks Trump as a running mate. It will make this election much more entertaining and there'll be no real threat to Pres. Obama losing his seat.

    May 26, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Patriot

    And what about Trump? That sure is a funny sounding last name for a real American. And his dad was German, what about seeing his war record?

    May 26, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. kashbmaryd

    Some people are just never satisfied. And just think, if the president does lose the election (which he won't, lol), this birther non-sense will stop. Isn't that something? And Donald Trump needs to take a small percentage of his millions and buy a toupe that matches his hair color.

    May 26, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. yogi

    Romney really lacks courage, a very important ingredient for a president.
    Obama 2012

    May 26, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Blualliance

    The GOP will slam Obama with everything and hope that something sticks. They are desperate for control of America. I hope people question whatever the GOP puts out there as it's all lies and propaganda. God help us if the GOP gains control – we will go back 20 years and there will be absolute control over the poor and middle class. Please wake up America and dont be fooled by their tactics.

    May 26, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Jim

    every application this guy ever filled out for anything is sealed.....why.....whole college transcripts.....sealed why.....there has to be an application out there...a job app....something that he filled out when he was 18-25 when he didn't care that he was born wherever

    May 26, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. DJ

    For those who are claiming that Mitt Romney was born in Mexico, check the facts. He was born in Michigan at Harper hospital. As for the birth-er issue, there are things that have been printer and said by President Obama's family tat does make people questioned about what is the truth, But he has been in office for 3 1/2 years, the birth-er issue is the least of ours worries!!!

    May 26, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Pete

    Romneys campaign would be working full time trying to keep the damage down to a minimun resulting from that fool Trump.Trumps mouth will keep the campaign people wondering why Romney took him on board in the first place after his public out bursts and arrogence become unattractive to the campaign participants,making the voters reluctant about their thoughts on Romney, their future pick..Also people will see the real disconnect in Romneys attempt to relate to the average poor and middle income voter with his surrogate mouthpiece Trump,a highly publicized corporate hardass with his "you're fired "slogan on tv publicly syndicated nationwide...

    May 26, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Trump is nothing more than an opportunist and he will get his share of the bounty, it's like making a deal with the devil. Romney is being played by the player.

    May 26, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Blue

    This shows how crazy and how much of an idiot that Mitt and Trunp really are. Put them together and you would not have a complete individual. Mitt would say or do anything to try and get elected, but the American people are not brain dead, Miit. Your train left the station six years ago.

    May 26, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Irma in North Carolina

    This just goes to show you how racits Mitt is that he hangs around with a guy like Trump. Lets hope the good lord sees through these guys and doesnt let them in the white house.

    May 26, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. BeverlyNC

    This is proof Romney has NO character, values or morals and is not fit for any position of leadership. How you can stand with a narcissistic racist birther , take his money, attend fundraisers with him and just pretend not to notice he is man of hate and lies and ridiculous disproven racist conspiracy theories about our President?
    Romney is a liar, a job killer both at Bain and as Gov of MA (when he left MA was 47th in job availability). He refuses to answer questions on his policy views and just criticizes President Obama with outright lies about his record as President. Romney knows nothing about the issues average Americans face nor does he care. He endorses the Ryan budget which even the Catholic Church has called "immoral" for its destruction of all people programs from Medicare to education to food stamps to job training. Romney scarily knows nothing about foreign policy, the current world leaders, and still thought the Soviet Union was in existence!
    Any birther should be thrown out of office and any candidate who still is playing with that hate and racism is not a credible candidate and is not qualified to represent ALL Americans. The President stands up for ALL Americans and works for all segments of our population. Romney can't and won't and Republicans should find another candidate or be prepared to lose in a landslide. The 1960s and Civil Rights and Voting Rights and Racism and Womens Rights have been settled and the nation has moved forward. We will not go backwards to an ugly time of hate, lies, discrimination, and a whites-only mentality.
    Shame on Romney. Shame on the Republican Party. If Romney does not denounce Trump, he should be removed as the Republican candidate for he is not a man of character, honor, values or morality. America is no longer a white majority and the rest of the world is not. We cannot have a racist in any position of power when it comes to moving America forward or dealing with foreign leaders or other cultures.
    This is game over for Romney and any American who believes racism, hate and lies are wrong.

    May 26, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Ramon F. Herrera

    Which is the party where hatred is most concentrated and distilled, one wonders?

    The only ones qualified to make a statement are the victims of prejudice, discrimination, persecution and racism themselves. Let's ask them, shall we?

    Here's their response:

    – Black folks voted for Obama, by a 98% margin.
    – Jewish folks voted for Obama, by a 75% margin.
    – Hispanic folks voted for Obama, by a 66% margin.
    – Asian folks voted for Obama, by a 63% margin.
    – Gay folks voted for Obama, by an unknown margin.

    May 26, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. bear

    Romney bankrupted companies, Trump has declared bankruptcy more times than any company that received Stimulus money,

    May 26, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Michael Q

    America; you have been trumped! Pity. The US of A, as defined by the Republican Party, is the biggest joke in the world. Obama has done more in the last three years against the negativity of the Republican Party to rebuild the image and character of a once great country almost destroyed by these right wing nut jobs.

    May 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. 1936 redux

    Isn't such close proximity to the Rev, Jeremiah Wright embarrassing for a candidate who's serious about becoming the next president?

    May 26, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. CarsonC

    It has been absolutely proven time and time again that Obama was born in Hawaii, which is a U.S. territory, lol. Therefore, Obama is an American citizen. It's absolutely ridiculous that people are so naive to believe such a stupid claim, when we have a lot more issues on hand.

    May 26, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. CitizenJP

    What can be said about the character of a Presidential candidate who proudly associates himself with a thug who made his money in shady deals and gambling?

    May 26, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. B

    I have to give Sen. McCain credit for having the decency and integrity for standing up to the extreme far right- wing of his party by refusing to run a mean spirited campaign. Romney is completely devoid of such moral character.

    May 26, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. David

    Romney's dad was born in a Mexican poligamist commune long after the Morman church banned this practice, he comes from stock no different than Warren Jeffs.

    May 26, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. Find out the Truth

    Salt Lake City Magazine cover story, The Myth of Mitt. Read it!

    May 26, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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