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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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. Mike Botwin

    It is no surprise that Romney would pander to the right wing lunatic fringe base. He'll do anything and say anything for power. He's been doing it for the past seven years. Why is this news? He's Mitt the Etch a Sketch.

    May 26, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Mike Botwin

    P.S. Three corporate bankruptcies all on the taxpayers' nickel. Well played, Donald.

    May 26, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Debra From Georgia

    Well when Hillary Rosen said what she said about Ann Romney, the Romney campaign tried to connect Ms. Rosen with Mr. Obama. I believe Mitt Romney is a true Birther.

    May 26, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. neil

    Trump needs his mouth duct taped shut.Enough with this nonsense already.Romney is a joke as a matter of fact the entire republican party is a joke.We gotta retire all these bums.They are making our country a laughhingstock.Obama/Biden 2012.

    May 26, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. richsadz

    "schooled in Kenya"
    that's a new one, birthers must have large rear ends cause that's where this come from.
    go ahaead make up more stuff

    May 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Steven Brooks

    Trump is a clown, a media-loving, greedy man out to get whatever he can regardless of the impact on others. Given his history, he has no business attempting to question the legality of ANYTHING or the ethics of anyone.

    May 26, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. William

    The fact is that Romney was born in Mexico and I think we should demand to see his (probably false) birth certificate."
    Love this PaulC, Thank you for the laugh! Turn around is fair play.

    May 26, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. .. a laurel and hardy handshake ........

    ...and are there not many that feel that WILLARD MITTHOUSE ROMNEY is not quite christian?

    May 26, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. ssbre

    Romney sticking with trump is such an insult to this country's intelligence it is almost unfathomable. THis is bascially saying to you and i and everyone else that romney and the GOP have absolutely no issue with spreading a bald faced lie at any time. THis is exactly why mitt romney has zero character and he is a weak man with a weak will. Romney could have been a leader and distanced himself from these foolish lies coming out of trumps melon but instead he has chosen the path that its okay to lie to the american public as long as you give him money. Romney is nothing but a stuffed suit who will work for the highest bidder – and a vote for him is against every american citizen and a vote to support the highest bidder. wake up people - mitt romney is a patsy

    May 26, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. garc

    I have never seen a more clownish clown-car of republicans. Although I'm a democrat, I used to have respect for the GOP. Not anymore, if this is the best you guys can do. Just nuts.

    May 26, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Bobby Ray

    There is NOT reasonable doubt about Obama's birthplace. Obama was born in Hawaii. Birth certificates in both long and short form have been produced, and the appropriate Hawaiian officials have sworn affidavits that they are genuine. At least 6 Federal lawsuits have been decided in favor of Obama being born in Hawaii. Birthers will cling to their false arguments instead of looking at factual evidence. That is also why they believe that the Earth is flat, only 6000 years old and is not subject to global climate change. Here is the best cuts to the very wealthy create jobs instead of recessions.

    May 26, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. katahdin

    This pretty much proves it: Mitt Romney doesn't have a single shred of actual integrity.

    May 26, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. CcCcC

    This is a debate for the mentally challenged. Regardless of where he was born or who his father is, his mother was American that makes him an American at birth. Even if you are born out of the country, like Mr McCain was, you are still a citizen in eyes of the law.

    My mother's father was born in Germany and she was born here, does that make her not a citizen since her father wasn't an American at birth. I think a lot of people need to think about that because this is land of immigrants everyone is from somewhere at some point in their lineage.

    May 26, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. GonzoinHouston

    A pair of rich CEO's; now there's a team that will work wonders for the middle-class worker!

    May 26, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Mike Botwin

    Just think how many votes Romney will get from really dumb, paranoid people. Smart move Mittens.

    May 26, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. aggie95

    "Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States." Who is Mitt Romney to ACCEPT that the president was born here??? AND, Romeny's father was born in Mexico. Why isn't his citizenship questioned??? Probably the same reason McCain's wasn't questioned that he was indeed born on an army base in Panama. These folks (GOP/teabaggers) are ridiculous. And yes, you cannot control what a supporter or surrogate says....But when you continue to hang out w/ them, that says alot. Basically, it's like you want him to continue spreading these lies while trying to deny you support such foolishness yourself. Yet, Romney and his campaign continue to claim they want to focus on the issues...Yeah, right!!!

    May 26, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Wake up people

    Is anyone surprised? I wouldn't be surprised if Robmey feels exactly the same way. He just doesn't say anything and sits back like the coward he is and lets everyone fight his battles for him. First Anne and now Trump and the grinch. This is exactly how he will be as POTUS, he will sit back like he's the king and let the greedy Kochs and Rove run this country into the ground. Wake up people, is this the man you want in the White House?

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 26, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Rick in Phx


    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.

    People like this are the reason a lot of voters get frustrated. I got a really good idea for you "sonnie3". Here in Arizona voters are outraged because Sheriff Joe Arpaio is going to use tax payer money to send deputies to Hawaii to "investigate" Obama's birth certificate (Because we ALL know that a low level sheriff from the state of Arizona will find the REAL truth lol lol lol). So why don't you get together with all the people that you can find that still think like you, gather as much money as all of you can muster up. Send it to Joe Arpaio and enclose a letter that states that your group is behind him 100% and now he doesn't have to use tax payer money because your group will fund his "investigation". Come on "sonnie3", put you money where your mouth is.

    May 26, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. basky

    OBAMA / BIDEN 2012!!! Nothing's going to stop them both. Not even the dumb Carl Rove nor their super pac can stop the POTUS from wining.

    May 26, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Anthony

    It's amusing in a perverse way how some birthers justify their cow pies by saying they're "educated" or that someone (another birther, of course) wrote a book supporting them. When one or more homeless schizophrenics approaches you on the street spouting nonsense and making threatening gestures, you back away even as you have some sympathy for their mental illness. I'm having trouble feeling any sympathy for these birthers but I'll keep trying.

    I have to say, though, that freedom of speech in the USA is irreproachable, even though some like to keep testing its boundaries.

    May 26, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. w l jones

    Well just a little history not one person living in this country can prove they were born in this country only what they were told so put it to rest. Bless.

    May 26, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. John

    Yet after 4 plus years of claims that Obama was born in Kenya, not one piece of creditable evidence to prove this has come forward.

    May 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Alfuc

    GO Romney/Trump 2012 & 2016 – Trump/?/? – 2020 & 2024 – The winning combination ALL THE WAY!!!

    May 26, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. AgrippaMT

    What's the old saying? Rich swine of a feather flock together. Both Romney and Trump are proven swine.

    May 26, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. littleourkie

    Mitt will pay heavily for this. McCain lost the last election thanks to Palin who was chosen to attract the crazy vote. You would have thought the GOP had learned their lesson.....looks like they haven't.

    May 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16