Trump sticks with 'birther' argument, Romney sticks with Trump
May 29th, 2012
02:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Trump sticks with 'birther' argument, Romney sticks with Trump

(CNN) - Donald Trump did not back down on Tuesday from his questioning of President Barack Obama's birthplace, which, paired with the Obama campaign highlighting Trump's remarks, served to keep the issue alive on the day he is to fund-raise alongside presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

"I've never really changed. Nothing's changed my mind," he said on CNBC of his skepticism toward Obama's birthplace.

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In April 2011, Obama released the long-form version of his birth certificate, which showed he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Natural born American citizenship is one of the Constitutional requirements for the presidency.

"Is it the most important thing?" Trump asked in the interview. "In a way it is. You're not allowed to be the president if you're not born in the country."

Obama's campaign released a web video on Tuesday that said the 2008 GOP nominee "John McCain stood up to the voices of extremism in his party… Why won't Mitt Romney do the same?" In the video, McCain is seen addressing a woman who called Obama an "Arab," saying, "He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with."

The president's deputy campaign manager suggested Romney's alliance with Trump in light of the tycoon's statements calls into question how he would serve as president.

"Mitt Romney's continued embrace of Donald Trump and refusal to condemn his disgraceful conspiracy theories demonstrates his complete lack of moral leadership," Stephanie Cutter said in a Tuesday afternoon statement. "If Mitt Romney lacks the backbone to stand up to a charlatan like Donald Trump because he's so concerned about lining his campaign's pockets, what does that say about the kind of President he would be?"

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday the White House was forced to address the issue last year, "but not because we chose to, but because it was such a ridiculous distraction from the important business that we should be doing here that the president is committed to doing and Congress should be doing to help the economy grow and help it create jobs."

"We can revisit that but I think the American people are pretty fed up with this kind of nonsense," he said.

Although Romney and Trump are to fund-raise in Las Vegas on Tuesday, the candidate on Monday chose not to rebuff Trump's suggestions.

"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 told reporters when asked about the issue. "But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email on Tuesday, "Governor Romney has said repeatedly that he believes President Obama was born in the United States. The Democrats can talk about Donald Trump all they want – Mitt Romney is going to talk about jobs and how we can get our economy moving again."

In his television interview, the wealthy real estate mogul said, "I walk down the street, and people are screaming, please don't give that up."

"A publisher came out last week and had a statement about Obama given to them by Obama when he was doing a book as a young man a number of years ago in the '90s: born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia," he continued.

The literary agent apologized earlier for the mistake, which appeared in a promotional catalogue for an Obama book in the 1990s.

Despite his views and the investigation into Obama's birth records, Trump maintained on Tuesday, "I don't consider myself birther or not birther" and said he is "not fanning flames."

He also acknowledged interest in creating his own super PAC, saying, "we're looking into it right now."

"We're thinking about five or ten million dollars," he said. "I haven't thought about it too much. We haven't given it a lot of energy but we're starting to think about it very strongly."

The Tuesday fundraiser is scheduled take place at Trump's Las Vegas hotel.

Also see:

Romney likely to hit 'magic number' on Tuesday

Texas gears up for Lone Star primary

Romney doesn't back away from 'birther' Trump

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney • Nevada • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Dee1030

    Donald Trump and Mitt Romney are two of the most sickening and phoney men on this planet.

    May 29, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. cali girl

    And the money rolls is without any respect for the each other.

    May 29, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. snowdogg

    "Is it the most important thing?" Trump asked in the interview. "In a way it is. You're not allowed to be the president if you're not born in the country."

    DUMB and DUMBER... all in one person!

    May 29, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  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 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Mitt

    Hey everyone! Read about me in this months SALT LAKE CITY MAGAZINE. I'm on the cover! The article is called, "THE MYTH of MITT". Wow! Neat huh?!

    May 29, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Chipster

    Poor Mitt Romney, could he possibly be any more pathetic? Trump is a taker, a user. He'll user Romney to grab just as much attention as he possibly can and sell him to the highest bidder. People said that W. Bush was "all hat and no cattle?" Trump is the same thing but without the hat. Even Jon Steward was able to expose his nonsense about sending a team to Hawaii to investigate the "birth certificate." Stewart sent a team to investigate the investigation and found absolutely no one in authority who ever spoke with any of Trump's so-called investigation ! All of Trumps money and property does nothing to make him look less pathetic. He's still just an attention-seeking little boy.

    May 29, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. MaryM

    Birthers are just a group of hateful people that can not accept the fact that they are racists.
    If spineless Mitt can not stand up to birther Trump, how in the **** is Mitt going to stand up to other world leaders.

    Obama 2012

    May 29, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. The REAL Truth...

    This story isn't even worth commenting on. It merely emphasizes that all is fair in politics, when the vanquished turn and endorse the victor. Disgusting.

    May 29, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Eva Patchkow

    Why on earth would Romney appear with Trump and use him as a surrogate? It's either stupidity or desperation. Troubling either way. Trump's STILL plying this birther nonsense even though he never produced the "investigation report" he promised? Trump's snookering some in my party just like he's snookering reporters and it's an embarrasssment that's costing us votes. Is Romney gullible enough to let Trump use him for Trump's own publicity purposes? It's not "where's the birth certificate" anymore. It's "where's your report," Trump.

    May 29, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. ptw

    I don't know what Trump really believes, and I actually don't think he even cares. Being a birther gets him all sorts of free publicity which helps make him more rich and feeds his insatiable ego. People need to stop paying attention to him.

    Romney should be embarassed to keep an association with Trump, but I'm not sure that Romney actually possesses any shame.

    May 29, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Horsense

    search Harrison J. Brounel

    May 29, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Joi Gibson

    Here's an idea – look into finding a barber. Otherwise, STFU. Must you always be on TV saying stupid and childish things. And what happened to that so-called investigation that was going to turn up all sorts of surprising information on President Obama. If Willard cannot, in public, flat out reject the notion that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, are we really supposed to believe he will stick up for anything, especially in the face of the Tea Party House of Republicans. Stop being a wuss Willard!


    May 29, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Kris Craig

    "In his television interview, the wealthy real estate mogul said, 'I walk down the street, and people are screaming, please don't give that up.'"

    Ok, let me stop you right there. Since when does Donald Trump walk down the street?! Is that what he calls whizzing by in a stretched Limo or a private jet?

    Seriously. Anyone who's ever interviewed or interacted with Donald Trump knows what I'm talking about. The guy never makes eye contact and won't ever shake your hand. He avoids human contact– particularly with the "average" person– whenever possible. So you'll have to forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical about that particular anecdote.

    May 29, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. c'mon---man

    Why is the press ignoring the real issue about the relationship between Romney and Trump? They let Romney get away with accepting financial support from someone making this birther talk by saying he doesn't agree with everyone whom supports him without questioning their relationship. Romney is trying to have it both ways. He wants to continue to appeal to the "head birther", Trump, and what he can bring financially, yet expects to be free from questions about why he would associate with him. This represents a dereliction of duty on the part of the press.

    May 29, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. edog

    WOW! If Mitt can't stand up to TRUMP and tell him he is off base with this 'birther' thing, how can he stand up to PUTIN and tell RUSSIA to stop selling weapons to Syria.

    Mitt is a wimp!!!

    May 29, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Boo

    Who IN THEIR RIGHT MIND gives a damn as to what Trump thinks about ANYTHING?

    May 29, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. SlowGun

    Does Romney have no shame?

    May 29, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. edpeters101

    A match made in (wherever lunatics congregate)!

    May 29, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Common sense

    Go ROMNEY! I'd vote for a pineapple at this point.

    May 29, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. george of the jungle

    the republican party has been reduced to idiots. Once the GOP stood for something not any more. Now mitt is getting funding from that casino owner. I guess gambling money is ok too now with the mormon church. Amazing how principals go out the window when it comes to elections. OL mitt will sleep with the devil to get into the white house. Maybe he will install elevators for his cars. Makes ya want to puke doesnt it? Obama 2012 Forward.

    May 29, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. mcskadittle

    yes because sticking with the clown will help? I guess i not aware of the amounts involved

    May 29, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. livingston

    So Romney has no problem asking for help and calling a friend a person who he knows is wrong and for what? Money. That proves beyond a doubt that he can be bought and paid for. It also begs the bigger question – if he won't stand up to Trump, then what would he do in office. This means that if it gets him what he wants he would make a deal with the devil himself. There you go people. Just hold a gold ring in front of him and he'll let you do anything you want. It doesn't matter if your a person or a country – he won't stand up for what is right and good for America.

    May 29, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. mcskadittle

    That had to be one really big check, even romney doesn't believe the birthers

    May 29, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Common sense

    All of you sound brainwashed!

    May 29, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. ANDREW

    Those two should go find a room together!

    May 29, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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