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. littleourkie

    Now there is a ticket for you......Romney/Trump in 2012........and don't think it couldn't happen.

    May 26, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. James

    We all know that Romney will win the Republican nomination. If he wants even a prayer of winning the general election, though, he must distance himself from Trump now. Trump is pure circus and the entire American electorate knows this. We cannot allow this man to become a heart beat away. The only one who was even worse was Palin.

    May 26, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. bossmechanic

    So many brilliant observations here.
    Not one of you know your hero's history.
    Not one of you will own up to Obumo's personal and legislative secrecy.
    Not one of you have an honest-to-God spine.

    May 26, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Ken

    This is a great move Willard!! You are really underscoring how well you know the average American and how much of a friend you are to the middle class!!

    May 26, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. mdn

    If the GOP had anything real to criticize they would by now. Instead they use carnival barkers to re hash non-issues from four years ago. I'm sure we'll hear about Rev. Wright and how the president pals around with terrorists.

    May 26, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Tam

    Dumb and dumber. The lowest common denominator. Scraping below the barrel.

    May 26, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Look folks, the GOBP cult is going to do everything it can to lie, cheat, buy or steal this election. In the meantime, ya'll are sitting her smugly yukking it up jamming the Rmoney/Trump items full of comments that will have no bearing WHATSOEVER on the election (there isn't even any disinfo to rebut, so you're not even doing that), while the GOBP zombies keep WORKING.

    You should be trying to help the people of WI right now or do something active and productive that will actually bring an end to the depraved GOBP cult and it's un-American attacks on the rest of us. Sitting at home and posting on CNN does not accomplish that goal. Yeah, I may look like a hypocrite, but someone needs to make this point repeatedly. Ya'll are being herded like sheep into CNN's corporatist slaughter chute of distractions where your energy to fight back is being deflected and drained. Think about it!

    May 26, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    Look folks, the GOBP cult is going to do everything it can to lie, cheat, buy or steal this election. In the meantime, ya'll are sitting her smugly yukking it up jamming the Rmoney/Trump items full of comments that will have no bearing WHATSOEVER on the election (there isn't even any disinfo to rebut, so you're not even doing that), while the GOBP zombies keep WORKING.

    You should be trying to help the people of WI right now or do something active and productive that will actually bring an end to the depraved GOBP cult and it's un-American attacks on the rest of us. Sitting at home and posting on CNN does not accomplish that goal. Yeah, I may look like a hypocrite, but someone needs to make this point repeatedly. Ya'll are being herded like sheep into CNN's corporatist slaughter chute of distractions where your energy to fight back is being deflected and drained. Think about it!

    May 26, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Really, CNN?

    Look folks, the GOBP cult is going to do everything it can to lie, cheat, buy or steal this election. In the meantime, ya'll are sitting her smugly yukking it up jamming the Rmoney/Trump items full of comments that will have no bearing WHATSOEVER on the election (there isn't even any disinfo to rebut, so you're not even doing that), while the GOBP zombies keep WORKING.

    You should be trying to help the people of WI right now or do something active and productive that will actually bring an end to the depraved GOBP cult and it's un-American attacks on the rest of us. Sitting at home and posting on CNN does not accomplish that goal. Yeah, I may look like a hypocrite, but someone needs to make this point repeatedly. Ya'll are being herded like sheep into CNN's corporatist slaughter chute of distractions where your energy to fight back is being deflected and drained. Think about it!

    May 26, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Ron

    Plain and simple: Romney wants to play both sides of this issue like he does all the other issues.

    May 26, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Roy

    I don't think Obama was ever born anywhere. Those in the know realize that he was hatched

    May 26, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @1936 redux

    "Isn't such close proximity to the Rev, Jeremiah Wright embarrassing for a candidate who's serious about becoming the next president?"
    -----------------------------------------------------
    What percentage of these "birthers" continue their rant out of pure racism? If you were Rev. Wright's age and grew up in a segregated America would you have anger to see the racists still around? Remember the racist signs at the Tea Party rallies of 2010? I saw Romney also accepted the endorsement of Ted Nugent – the man who admitted to crapping his pants to avoid the draft – and recently made suggestions he would harm the President if he was re-elected. Would you be embarrased by that association?

    May 26, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. AllrightyThen

    I think its time for the "Wifers" to grow, organize and dog Mittens for his long form marriage certificate. Why? Have not we all heard he has 5 more wives in secret? Its true – someone created a web site about it – so it must be true. I say fight birther insanity with wifer insanity.

    May 26, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. joe

    No matter if you are a Democrat or Republican, you have to admit Trump is a clown. Romney is not doing himself any favors being in the same photo with this clown.

    May 26, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Larry L

    @!ST SGT

    Borger is a nutcase. Every sane person out here has doubts about Obama whether it be birth, his lying, his Social Security number stolen from a deceased person and his Patriotism.
    ---------------------------------------------------–
    How do you explain the birth anouncement in the Honolulu newspaper – stored in archives and scrap-books all over the world? You birther position can only be explained by racism, ignorance or dishonesty.

    May 26, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    I have my doubts that Mitt Romney can govern, even under GWBush standards. And now that the GOP has spent 3 1/2 years elevating the Democratic President to a higher standard never before seen in American history, poor Mitt couldn't even begin to come across as sufficient - let alone competent. The first sign of barking from his own party will send Romney into incoherent blabbering.

    Oh, wait ... it already has.

    May 26, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. 0rangeW3dge

    A three ring Circus,,,The Greatest Show On Earth

    Mitt is willing to become the President by hook, or by crook.

    ...just not sure that we want our President to be either of those.

    May 26, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. fernace

    As many of us have already deduced, Romney goes where the $$ is, who cares about a little bigotry & slander!? He is probably among the many "closet-birthers" in the New Radical Republican Party (slogans: We're Severely Conservative! Corperations Are People!) I thought the Carnival atmosphere of the primaries was over & we could focus on issues & mature discussion, but I guess the political side-shows aren't over yet!!

    May 26, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Gary

    Some people like Romney and Trump cannot accept the idea that Hawaii is part of the United States!

    May 26, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. jim

    look, it's very simple ... obama has presented his hawaiian birth certificate TWICE. the hospital in hawaii says he was born there. the state of hawaii says he was born there. there are newspaper announcements of his birth in hawaii as well. clearly ... HE WAS BORN IN HAWAII.

    yet foolish conservatives continue to ignore facts.

    May 26, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. NOVA703

    Mitt's grandfather gave up his citizenship and his father was born in Mexico. I think the birthers are looking at the wrong candidate.

    May 26, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. John

    Why is it so embarrassing? It's no different than when Obama or Barney Frank or Bill Maher or Michael Moore claim "all" Repubs or "all" conservatives are evil or some such nonsense.Gloria, isn't that the real issue? Politicians or their loudmouthed supporters make absurd statements that today's media never challenges. It feeds the perception that the media is left leaning, and it's why CNN, MSNBC and the networks generally are becoming less relevant.

    May 26, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. marctheduck

    Yeah, but why is it that Obama is so secretive about his birth certificate and college transcripts? Why doesn't he just end the silliness by producing them and so that everyone can just move on (.org)?

    May 26, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. billy davis

    Mitt Romney would dine with the devil if it meant he could become POTUS. BTW... he believes it's his birthright.

    May 26, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Grow up already...

    If this is all the evidence you have for all the money you supposedly put into your investigation, Donald, I'd say you got ripped off. Your not much of a business man if you consider this evidence anything of value... Or are you just trying to market another one of your failures to the masses?

    May 26, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16