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. mdt

    i dont believe obama is a us citizen...and hope he is not elected for a second term. He will not get my vote

    June 2, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. jayne

    Mr. Donald Trump and all who support his negative views although ridiculours suffer from racism and they cant just stand the thought that a black president is actually ruling one of the most important countries in the world. Mr. Trump! Really!! And no wonder people are not paying so much attention to your bickering because it is just useless propaganda. I hope the states and cities that Mr. Trump has managed to gang up so as to vote against the current president will see that he has selfish motives.

    June 2, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. jayne

    hey people, why dont we ask romney to show his birth certificate so we can be sure he is not from Amercia! Remember the typal error? And oh,.........romney is a mormon. Really! Pretty funny romney campaign. AMERCIA instead of America!

    June 2, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    The more this guy opens his mouth the more he helps the guy he opposes, Obama, and damages the very person he claims to support i.e Mitt Romney!

    June 2, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Bob

    Trump was always a jerk and Mitt loses even more respect for not telling him to get lost.

    June 2, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. insight iowa

    He needs to scrap off some of the gold off his walls at home and pay back the banks and american people for his 7 bankrupts he has filed... and then claim its just how business works... you take a risk and sometimes it fails. I get that... Then we have to pick up the pieces. This Republican is voting a straight Dem Ticket.

    June 2, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    I wish Trump would just vacate this mortal coil ...

    June 2, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. AmericanPeasant

    Mitt just wants Donald's money to campaign with. However Mitt ought to know that he still has to pay one way or another. In this case he gets the Trump's money but he pays by losing support from Independents and people with general common sense.

    June 2, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Dee

    Trump got out of the race because they were going to check his financial background. Trump is not as rich as people think he is, he is paid for people to use his name on their buildings everyone knows this and how many times has he filed for bankruptcy. He just have a lot of connection with billionaires and that is why Romney is afraid to stand-up to him.

    The disrespect that he had for Wolf Blitzer was awful I would ban him from the show that is why he is so media hungry because everybody gives him air time and then he talks trash about them and their ratings.

    Why is he all involved in the Presidential election anyway he is an ordinary citizen that has a business and says he is rich and the GOP flock to him like he is a God and this builds his ego up..

    June 2, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. maf

    @ Doug – What a sweeping statement of blah, blah, blah . . . maybe get a bit more specific and try to zero in on something, ANYTHING credible. Trump has no business doing what he is doing. A real problem when NO ONE has the backbone to stand up to him.

    June 2, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. Former Republican for President Obama

    For the last time we are sick of Trump. His golf course is not in Charlotte it is in Mooresville.

    June 2, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. go

    war with iran –you will not see any romneys or trumps coming home in body bags

    June 2, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  13. dnick47

    @ doug Where do you get off at? Who set you up as a judge? Certinly not the Judge who says, "Judge not least you be judged. For with the same measure you use to judge another, that measure will be used to judge you." Peopleho care about the welfare of people like most all Democrats do have way more moral then Repubs who love money and judge.

    June 2, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. fernace

    Donald Trump is a billionaire who wants to protect his way of life! The GOTP's agenda fits that purpose! After all they are cleary For protecting the uber-rich & look to the middleclass to foot the bill! It doensn't matter that people think he's a joke, he has "the floor" & is able to spew whatever hatred he wants, especially about the President! The majority of Americans are middleclass, but the erosion of that status is evident & destructive! It seems Trump & his ilk want to make this country into a competitor of 3rd world nations by making our populace as poor & desperate as they are! Why else are they not disclosing their Superb Plan for America!? They want us on our knees, begging for scraps, as it used to be in our not too distant history! We're Never going there again & the New Radical Repubs need to understand that we, the people, are still the majority!!

    June 2, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. livingston

    Well, there he is folks – Romney's best friend and adviser. Remember the Republicans always say that you are defined by the people you associate with. Good luck with that.

    June 2, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  16. Tony in Maine

    @Larry L

    You got it right the first time – racism. They'll deny it, but that's another part of the right wing equation – lying.

    June 2, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  17. Dan J

    I'm convinced Trump is secretly a democrat. And what is with CNN's obsession with this story? Similar stories regarding large democratic donors, such as Bill Maher, didn't even get half the airplay that this story is getting.

    June 2, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    The western nations, specifically the U.S. and Israel want the Syrian regime to topple, and then on to Iran, and on to war with Russia and China. This is very very dangerous, and WW3 could be the outcome, as the Russians, and thus, the Chinese, are very much against any occupational wars in Syria and Iran. .... It is best for us, we ignore the propaganda mainstream media spews, and stay out of it...if we do not, this world is in for a war and economic depression the likes of which we have never seen before.

    June 2, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  19. Gryphon

    American politics is like trying to decide which comedy show to watch: MSNBC, FOX, CNN or "Two And A Half.
    I can't believe trump with all his money can look so bad and his talks on the birther issue is a great stand-up routine.
    He never talks about his failed ventures and how some of those have cost people their lifes savings.

    June 2, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  20. NoWay

    War is just what the repubs want. More money for the industrial complex shipped oversea to make more profits. Ugh.

    June 2, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. David Douglas

    I am sick of this D U N K – will it be his son he sends to Iran/Iraq – NO – And I refuse to send mine. All these old guys do is preach HATE – This world will be alot better place in 10-15 years. I am not teaching my kids to hate.

    June 2, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. Martha in CF

    Doug, Shame on you for judging all Democrats on their values in life. At least the Democrats are watching out for the middle class and the poor. If the redumblicans get in, say goodbye to the middle class and the poor. All Mr Trump does is go around and think he is the one that knows anything. He is rude and condescending-that is NOT what Americans should be.......Obama/Biden 2012

    June 2, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. Michael Q

    I am so sad the nation which gave me a university education still have buffoons like Donald Trump speaking as if an authority. Mr Trump uses an author who corrected an error he made over and over as if the original error was still the truth. Is this not how the Republican Party always argues for their ideology by simply avoiding the truth to make their points? I guess the if you are not with us, you are always against us, means if you believe a lie and keep repeating it, it must be the truth. America, if you vote these clowns back into office, that is not a scare tactic, it's just scary!

    June 2, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  24. Jay

    Why should anyone listen to this Clown Trump, he's not even a politician, he's just another greedy billionaire who wants to take from the poor and give to the rich.

    June 2, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  25. Bob from Pittsburgh

    A few year ago Trump came out with a book about real-estate, I was excited to read it, after all Trump is a guy that made billions on real-estate, I was beside myself to read it.. So my wife pick it ip and gave it to me.. The boy next door could write a better book, it was awful; he talked about nonsense, or common knowledge stuff everybody knows. By the way the boy next door is mentally challenged.
    I don’t have time to listen to him anymore.

    June 2, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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