Trump digs at Obama’s birthplace, suggests Iran war ‘good politics’ for incumbent
June 2nd, 2012
04:07 PM ET
11 years ago

Trump digs at Obama’s birthplace, suggests Iran war ‘good politics’ for incumbent

(CNN) - Some at the North Carolina state Republican convention may have chosen chicken or fish. But Donald Trump served up all red meat in his keynote dinner address Friday evening.

Trump, a high-profile supporter Mitt Romney, transitioned from effusive praise of the party’s presidential candidate to questions about President Barack Obama's birthplace and an oblique suggestion that waging war with Iran may be "good politics" for someone seeking reelection.

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"There's one line called 'place of birth,'" Trump said, speaking of Obama's college records. "I'd like to see what he said. It would be very interesting. I don't care what his marks were. I don't care if he had good marks, I'd just like to see 'place of birth.'"

"Perhaps it's going to say Hawaii," the real estate magnate and reality TV celebrity continued. "Perhaps it's going to say Kenya."

After reading from a 1990s pamphlet promoting one of Obama's books that described him as "born in Kenya" - a mistake for which the publisher recently apologized - Trump accused "the press" of protecting Obama by failing to deem credible his view.

The White House released Obama's long-form birth certificate in 2011, showing he was born in a Hawaii hospital on August 4, 1961. Only "natural born" citizens of the United States are eligible to be president.

Shortly after that announcement, Trump - who’d said he was commissioning an investigation into Obama's birthplace - declared that he would not run for president.

Yet he’s kept the controversy alive, as he did again Friday - even as he insisted, “I don’t really like talking about the place of birth.

"I'm not a believer, so we'll see what happens," Trump said.

Trump, whose real estate holdings include a golf course in Charlotte, spared few in his remarks. He was critical of diplomats, said he has no respect for most political pundits and accused reporters - save a few - of being generally "dishonest."

He addressed employment statistics released earlier that day, which showed businesses nationwide adding only 69,000 jobs and the unemployment rate raising up from 8.1% to 8.2%

"All of this is bad news, and frankly you could say good news for the Republicans in terms of an election. But I don't care, we love the country first, so it's bad news as far as I'm concerned," he said.

He said that war with Iran over their nuclear program "may be good politics" - seemingly implicating Obama, though he did not name him.

Trump floated a scenario "like somebody wanting to get elected, and the only way he's going to do that is to start a war with Iran."

The president has said he will keep all options on the table, clarifying in March that his pledge to “always have Israel’s back” is “not a military doctrine that we were laying out for any particular military action.”

Given Israel’s geographic proximity to Iran and animosities between the two nations, it is seen as especially at risk were Iran to develop nuclear weaponry.

Obama said at a summit of world leaders in April that this spring’s talks with Iran were no rote exercise, but were aimed at solving the standoff peacefully.

“I’ve been very clear to Iran and to our negotiating partners that we're not going to have these talks just drag out in a stalling process," he said.

Along with the criticism of others, Trump praised Romney for having "a lot of heart" and for his record as a businessman.

Reflecting on his own presidential bid last spring and his tendency to voice his opinions, Trump seemed to revel Friday in being outspoken politically whatever its potential impact on his popularity or his starring role on NBC’s “The Apprentice.”

"I'm sure I'll get in trouble for some of the things I said, but I don't care," he said.

This speech was not one he could have given as a presidential candidate, he suggested.

"The nice part about not being a politician, is I can say what I want. And if people like it that's fine, if they don't like it, that's OK, too," the tycoon said.

Also see:

Obama campaign launches assault on Romney's Massachusetts record

Obama campaign releases third set of Spanish ads

Gonzales says Romney must make personal connection to Hispanics

Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll

Filed under: Donald Trump • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Dumbpolitics

    There's an article right here on the CNN site where a reporter talked to a government worker about his certficate she's a republican but she spoke out to tell the truth that Obama was indeed born in the USA there was another person worked in government and knew Obama parents and he has pictures of baby President Obama and himself and parents in the USA. The reposter also got a person who was born 6 hours before our President and he got a copy of his birth cert. and guess what it looks just like the one the president showed us. He then went on to find Mr. Trump's investigators and they were at a bar with a couple of hoola skirt gals having a few. I made the last line up for fun in case you think I'm telling you the truth.

    June 3, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This country has served Donald Trump and his family well yet none of them have served this country including his buddy Mitt Romney.

    June 3, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Marie MD

    @lizzie, step out of the bubble. Your boy #43 got in Yale as a "C" student because his daddy had money. The flip flopper grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth that gave him the right to bully a gay student and cut his hair then forget he ever did it, right! Older, but obviously NOT wiser, he put his dog on top of an SUV to drive from Boston to Canada and laughs about it.
    Not that you are asking me, of course, but what I see in this bishop with no ethics, morals and very little conscience is a demented person. All this guy represents is that because his grandaddy had to have all those wives his father was born in Mexico and it was up to this limp man to spend all his life, without working it seems, running for president.

    June 3, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Steven Colo

    "But Donald Trump served up all red meat in his keynote dinner address Friday evening. "

    That is the first time I have ever heard of a turkey serving red meat. Or, for that matter, of Trump ever serving anyone but himself.

    June 3, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Enough

    Trump had better stick to what he knows best: making money. I couldn't care less about his political opinions.

    June 3, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. yogi

    Romney is using Trump as the ultimate distraction to hide from his record at Bain and as governor of Mass. Romney has not given one idea of how to create jobs simply because he has no idea, neither has anyone else in the Republican party. Remember Boehner screaming about jobs, jobs...absolutely nothing happened, simply because they don't know or even care.
    Republicans don't know how to govern, look at the states where there is a Republican governor: all they talk about is abortions and how to get rid of unions.
    All Republicans who signed the no-tax-increase pledge are cowards, all of them. Puppets to the extreme right and the 1%. It really is time to wake up America! Vote them out of office!
    Obama 2912

    June 3, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. yogi

    That is 2012...

    June 3, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Gerry Daley

    Another black eye for North Carolina – where I live – by a party made of up idiotic ideologues. Their entire agenda has not added one job to the state, but has been "red meat" to the crazies with an anti-gay ammendment enshrined in our consititution, environmental laws swept away, utter hypocrisy in the legislature, gerrymandering voting districts. and guns, guns, guns, in a state with an already appallingly high murder rate. Donald Trump here just completes the picture.

    June 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Jim8

    Let's all remember how Romney served our country during the Viet Nam war.

    He got a religious deferment and spent that period in France spreading the word of the Mormon church. He did find time to protest in favor of the war. That's right, he fought for the rights on people who went, like John Kerry (and me.)

    Google that if you dan't believe me.

    I have no idea why this isn't on the news every day, and in all criticism of Romney, Romney is a CHICKENHAWK..

    John Kerry had something Mitt Romney didn't have, the courage to go, instead of staying home and thinking the rest of us should go.

    I'd say that and the haircutting thing qualifies Romney as the young Republican we all hated.

    June 3, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. dreamer96

    Donald Trump has filled for bankruptcy 4 times...that is for himself, and companies he has run using his name....
    So why would we want to hear what he has to say...
    He is like Dick Cheney, who took 5 deferments to stay out of fighting in Vietnam,
    and then runs a war from the White House..

    June 3, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Thomas

    @Claudia, Houston, Tx
    This country has served Donald Trump and his family well yet none of them have served this country including his buddy Mitt Romney.

    Thats why we have a volunteer army , to protect those such as Romney and Trump . They have more important matters in there lives. Like worrying about higher taxes on there millions.

    June 3, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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