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. doug

    Trump is not a moral person. However as every fact and truth shows, Trump has more morals, values, decency, and integrity than any Democrat in America today. It sure makes for some good comedy when lib tries to rip Trump, libs are all in denial of the type of person they are based upon their actions and hate.

    June 2, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. MaryM

    lol, keep it up Trump. you are helping Presidents Obama .

    June 2, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Karm99

    "But I don't care"

    That pretty much sums up Donald Trump.

    June 2, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Larry L

    People who still identify themselves as "birthers" need to step back and take a look at themselves. In your heart you know that's all nonsense. So why continue with the dishonesty? Have you found some way in your Christian background to forgive yourself for being a racist? Oh yeah... it's not about that... Then what is it about? Ignorance? Delusion? What?

    June 2, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Debbie

    And because Trump has money Romney courts him. Sorta of the you know who a man is by the company he keeps.

    June 2, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Joe Cogan

    "Trump accused "the press" of protecting Obama by failing to deem credible his view". Hey Donald, that's probably because your view is about as "credible" as "the Earth is flat".

    June 2, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. AaaaCccc

    The true test of the Birthers: If they go after Romney

    There are numerous accusations about why Obama is supposedly not eligible. One includes the belief that a natural born citizen has 2 natural born citizen parents. Please don't argue with me, I am paraphrasing the Birthers. Romney's Dad was born in Mexico. If this isn't about race, then where are the demands to look at Romney's eligibility?

    June 2, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    if you would totally ignore it, like a child throwing a tantrum it will stop......problem is like a fight or a bad accident people will always run up and want to see it.

    June 2, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. ddt

    It's not Trump talking, it's Mitt Ramney

    June 2, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Trump is a major negative distraction for the Romney campaign, a good thing for President Obama.

    June 2, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. l3lessed

    I'm tired of conservatives throwing a fit like a five year old when they get called out for their lies and distortions. Reporting fact and reality isn't some hidden liberal bias. Not reporting them is actually being bias, and, unlike the right wing myth, this is how the media tends to favor the right. The right out right lies and distorts the facts, and the media doesn't say anything giving it credibility through silence. The lefts unwillingness to reighn in some out of control unions and union spending is bad, but the rights tax policies and war mongering are far worse for the nation. At least the union money goes to middle and low class american's who need it and will spend it. The right wing economic policies tend to only benefit the wealthiest american's who then just hoard the cash and dump it into unproductive, capital gain earning stocks. It's the new American royalty. Once rich, rich for the rest of your life, and your children lives, and their children lives no matter how little labor is produced.

    June 2, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Milton K. Wiah

    This man does not listen to the people he supports, Mitt Romney and the republicans. It is Mitt and his republican
    party that wants to start a war with Iran and not Obama or the democrats.
    Mitt Romney does not know the danger of associating with this man but sooner or later he will come to realize
    that he made a big mistake to have Trump on his side.

    June 2, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Pander Bear

    Go Donald Go! And I mean go, as in go away.

    June 2, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Lizzie

    Good for him, he got Pres.Obama to release his birth certificate, now he goes after he's college and university grades, the left screamed until they got Pres.Bushes, but Pres.Obamas are sealed, what's he hiding.

    June 2, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. B

    A bunch of warmongers who urges foreign wars for personal financial gain and stirs up racial tensions at home to divide the American people to maintain power.

    June 2, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. pam

    thanx donald where do we sen the flowers, love the dems Obama/Biden 2012

    June 2, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Wow, Doug. Are you plagiarizing Jesus? I could swear he said the exact same thing once...

    June 2, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Blindersoff

    Trump is here for all of America to see. Reading between the lies of the Donald . . . what he is actually saying, is, "Look At Me America, I'm an Idiot and Romney is a gutless phony"

    June 2, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Barack Obama's birthplace and an oblique suggestion that waging war with Iran may be "good politics" for someone seeking reelection.

    I wish I could be Donald Trump's hair stylist for one day, he would look so good with a pink mohawk !

    I will live long enough to see him go bald !

    Trump praised Romney for having "a lot of heart" and for his record as a businessman.

    Romney went to France to avoid the Vietnam war , his five sons avoided military service during Americas longest wars.

    Yes , thats some HEART Romney has.

    June 2, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. Name

    Trump leave our presendent alone he already won thank u

    June 2, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. fernace

    The "birther" issue reminds me of the days Black people had to show their "freeman" papers! It's an unconscionable act of predjudice & bigotry! Obama is for lifting up this nation & All its citizens! Romney & the GOTP are for making this country a "Corporation" run nation, by the rich & for the rich! 1912 or 2012, which era do you want to live in!? Forward w/Obama 2012!!

    June 2, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. Tony

    Trump is good politics for Obama. No matter what, we should not go back to the same old Republican policies (unfunded tax cuts, unnecessary wars) that got Obama elected in the first place.

    June 2, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. Name

    Donald you seems like u have a bad hair day leave president obama alone he already win so get it right

    June 2, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. jayne

    This is what I have to say about Mr. Trump. His concentration is not about the betterment of this country at all. And even though he knows in his heart that the economy has steadily improved within the 3 years, jobs have improved but not there yet most definately, Americans can honestly say compared to 2007 before President Obama took office it was worse than a mess and now 3 years later there is some improvement and definately some hope for the future of America. Mr. Trump is a strong romney supporter but do the american people know that this very rich man invests outside of America like in India and China for his own benefit? Are those the kind of people that romney want to back him up while their selfish interests are so obvious? Instead of Mr. Trump investing here in America where job creations can be experienced far and wide he takes his wealth outside and gains only for himself. That is what we call selfishness. An Mr. Trump just admit that President Obama so far has done so well that you dont have anything to pick on him until you stoop so low as to question the most ridiculous things outside of the box. Shame on you Mr. Trump!!

    June 2, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. dreamer96

    Donald 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 anything he has to say...He spends money gets in trouble and files for bankruptcy and they does it again...Bad Donald,... Bad,.. Bad,.. Donald.....

    June 2, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
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