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. marctheduck

    Kind of a boring story but I know that liberals lap up the gossipy stuff. This is about as important and tracking Obama's supporter like Bill Maher (million dollar donation to the Obama campaign...not particularly reported here though) and ideas like George Bush orchestrating the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Pretty stupid!

    May 26, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. DDanny1

    Just in – Literary Agency just announced the "Law Of Gravity" is incorrect!!! Quick everybody! Grab on to something!!!

    May 26, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Texas Annie

    Romney lost any credibility whatsoever when he aligned himself with this nutcase Trump. Why does anybody give that crazy man even the time of day?
    (And if you've ever seen Trump without his make-up & hairstylist, he's flat out scary looking. IE: US Open hospitality tent– he was an ugly freaking crazy rude egomaniac!!)

    May 26, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Interesting ! Kenya has made a monument out of the house Barrack was born in. Somebody is lying , thats for sure !

    May 26, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. Mike

    They keep telling us that Obama needs to prove he was born in the USA.

    They can't prove that he wasn't.

    Go to Kenya, birthers, and find some hard evidence that doesn't exist. Jerks.

    May 26, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. fred37ify

    Still wonder why Kenya made the house Barrack was born in a monument ! Someone is telling lies thats for sure !

    May 26, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. pkbkr

    It's the company you keep, Mittens! The richies with the richies.....Mitch has NO integrity or he'd distance himself from this madman! They sure would do well for the middle class too, don't ya think????? What a joke!

    May 26, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Larry L

    Romney backers include "Mr. Crappy-Pants" Ted Nugent and Donal Trump. Both of them are "birthers" – a group driven by some combination of ignorance, dishonesty or racism.

    Romney & Trump have a lot in common. Their daddies gave them a lot of money and they've never had to think about the challenges faced by the working class Americans. Preppies.

    May 26, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. george S

    Romney is now truly going off the rails....God forbid if he gets the keys to the White House...We're doomed if he does

    May 26, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. NauticalMan

    Donald Trump is a mistake, and Mr. Romney would hold hands with the devil if it meant becoming President.

    May 26, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Yahweh's son

    That Donald ought to look into Mitt's background. His father was a Mexican, born and bred. I guess that means Mitt is, too.

    May 26, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Debby

    Well I am voting Romney. I don't care about the birther thing its a non issue Borger.

    May 26, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. Molly

    Romney only cares about power and $! Look at his new best friend! So sleazy the two of them are.
    OBAMA 2012!

    May 26, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. pritiblond

    Whether Obama is a citizen or not is not nearly as important as his marxist leanings. Undisputed are the facts that his mother was a marxist, his dad a communist, and his friends are anti-American radicals. He must be removed from office this fall regardless of his nationality.

    May 26, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. Mitt

    Romney needs to take sometime to find out who really he is. Not what his "Religion" told him. Nor his God from another planet. Nor the two brothers jesus and satan. Nor jesus's 3 wives. No, he needs to take some time off from his selfish pursuits and look into his heart.

    May 26, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Pizza

    Why did the Donald send investigators to Hawaii to prove Barack was born in Kenya ? ( Sounds so much like invading Iraq after 9/11 . . . . it doesn't make sense. )

    May 26, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. cgs

    His Grandmother didn't have any reason to lie.

    May 26, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Birds of same flock together

    May 26, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. goo6er

    Romney isn't a birther, and neither is Trump, but that doesn't stop him from saying anything to draw attention to himself. But as for CNN's assumption that Romney is serious about contending for president, that's a stretch.

    May 26, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. mcskadittle

    just what the republicans need more distatractions

    May 26, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. Smako

    I would vote for Romney, but only if Trump was no where to be seen. I'd rather sit this election out than vote for the geek that said "My people have been searching for evidence and they have told me they have found things that are incredible." They found nothing that hasn't been found before or since. The ramblings of someone who couldn't remember if she urinated that morning started the whole birther movement. That is such a sad commentary.

    May 26, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  22. HomerCrans

    Why do black women got such big buts?

    Romney is a racist!

    May 26, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. Marshall

    You have to understand that conspiracy theorists will not be deterred. Every new piece of evidence that there is not a conspiracy is taken by them as further evidence of a conspiracy.

    May 26, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Dine with Donald, do this and that with Donald, is Romney a patsy for Donald or what. Donald holds no political office, not even in local government because he doesn't take seconds, he's got to be in charge and it appears he's in charge of Romney.

    May 26, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. Trailboss

    I can't understand what the problem is...So the president was born in Kenya somewhat he's president and by the time you find the all the paperwork he'll be be supporting Hillary other wise fight over education and jobs. I think with all of this biting is not going to keep us from voting the we have been treated. We'll at the polls if we have to get someone roll us in there.

    May 26, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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