Romney doesn’t back away from ‘birther’ Trump
May 28th, 2012
09:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney doesn’t back away from ‘birther’ Trump

(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Monday he wasn’t concerned about Donald Trump’s commitment to the “birther” conspiracy, one day before the GOP presidential candidate hosts a fund-raiser alongside the celebrity business magnate.

Asked on his charter plane whether Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace gave him pause, Romney simply said he was grateful for all his supporters.

“You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Romney has said in the past that he firmly believes Obama was born in Hawaii, and is thus constitutionally eligible to be president.

Trump, however, is decidedly less sure. The “Apprentice” host has been a vocal proponent of the “birther” conspiracy going back several years, at one point claiming he had “investigators” looking into Obama’s records in Hawaii. 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 will join Romney and former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for a campaign fund-raiser in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening. Romney's campaign also is 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 pose 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."

Trump’s questions about Obama’s birthplace resurfaced Friday in an interview with The Daily Beast.

"Look, it's very simple," Trump said in the 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 that, 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."

CNN’s Rachel Streitfeld and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The Tea Party has embraced the Birther Movement. The presumptive Republican Candidate has alieneated enough Independent and Conservative Democratic voters that he needs the Tea Party in order to win in some states. Given that his overall believability ranks somewhere between slim and none, I expect him to take the states that wouldn't vote Democratic even if you threatened to take away their tax bloated earmarked pork projects, but the "battleground" states are the ones that Republicans with their Tea Party Masters have done nothing but destroy their quality of life over the past two years are now likely to go Democratic in reaction to their treatment.

    May 29, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  2. Rosco1776

    The 3 ring circus is in Vegas, Trump, Romney and Newt! Three jokes with no punchline!
    Too bad Romney won't change anything about our foreign policy and more of our soldiers will come into harms way under his rule.

    Vote Peace, Prosperity and Liberty, vote Ron Paul 2012 !!

    May 29, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  3. ghost

    Go Mitt, anything to get more money and the chance to be POTUS.

    May 29, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Atta girl, Mittens, prove once again what a pathetic coward you are. If President Obama was appearing around the country with someone who questioned your ties to Mormonism, polygamy and Mexico your attack dogs would be on it 24/7. Thanks, though, for admitting you're desperate for votes and know your only hope, along with your GOBP cult, is to appeal to the birthers, bigots, angry, rich white men and gun fetishists. That's pretty much all that's left of your "party" base right now.

    May 29, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  5. DJ

    Why is the Obama team attempting to make Romney the fall guy in this?? He already stated he believes President Obama was born in Hawaii, Does the Obama team expect everyone who has notoriety to be condemned if they still believe this?? If it is a none issue what are they really concerned about?? There will always be some out there who will question what has been published. Why should Romney have to cover these tracks, this is America everyone has a right to their own opinions.

    May 29, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  6. vwcat

    While Trump talks birtherism and many think he is a true believer, the reality is that Trump doesn't believe in the silliness that is birtherism.
    What he does believe in is self promotion.
    Trump is a modern day PT Barnum and he promotes his own self interests, i.e. ratings for his show, getting air time at the convention, being talked about and getting his mug on cable news.
    And being controversial is how you achieve this so he goes for the most extreme and silly conspiracy theory around. He uses this nonsense to get attention.

    May 29, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  7. L. R. Long

    This is who Romney surrounds himself with. Donald Trump. One who succeeds (Trump or Romney) should not be criticized just for being successful, but that does not mean those who succeed (Trump or Romney) can never be criticized... Trump will say or do anything for money. Can't imagine why he gets along so well with Romney...

    May 29, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  8. Stella

    Do we see Obama staying away from those "filthy private equity vultures" at Blackstone? If the media puts pressure on Romney to stay away from Trump–there certainly is a double standard!

    May 29, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  9. Binaryhawk

    The republicans are a sick bunch if they hate Obama so much that they'd rather have this jelly fish Romney as president.

    May 29, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  10. chill

    Romney is essentially without convictions and a coward to boot, so why expect anything different?

    May 29, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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