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. michael of michigan

    Someone please explain to me how running a business (which is composed of EMPLOYEES) qualifies you to run a country (which is composed of PEOPLE). The sole purpose of a business is to generate a profit. It is NOT to generate jobs, don't BS yourselves. Theres is no such thing as a 'job creator'. A business will never hire employees unless it becomes absolutely necessary in order to continue generating profit. Wages, benefits, and other compensation are some of the biggest expenditures for a business, so stop pretending like businesses and business leaders give a squat about you. You cost them money, and you are not worth it unless you bring them more money than you cost. So please, all of you Romney supporters, explain it to me...

    June 2, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. edbonfla

    Hey, Debbie, does "you know a man by the company he keeps" apply to President Obama's "company" of Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, etc.? Or does it only apply to Governor Romney?

    June 2, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. wilnel1984

    Great, let's get into another oil war.

    June 2, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. wilnel1984

    By the way, it's going to be really hard to attack Iran when most of our Navy is going to be in the Pacific.

    It's like the Republicans want bad things to happen.

    June 2, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. BeverlyNC

    Trump is an insecure clown who needs constant attention. If he wants to go to war with Iran – sign his son up to be the first soldier on the ground there. War with Iran is ridiculous and unnecessary. Republicans just want war because they could care less about our soldiers and see it as a profit machine for their defense contractor buddies. To vote for war, you should have to go or send your sons and daughters – then we will see how committed Republicans are to these made-up wars.
    Romney has proven he has no character, integrity and is a bigot to be so closely associated with Trump and his birther nonsense. Romney is also a liar who refuses to talk about the issues or his answers for them and just tells bald-faced lies about President Obama. Romney is no leader and if you remember his own Party hated him and was looking for anyone but him. You would vote for someone his own Party can't stand and doesn't believe in? He is the worst of everything Republican. I stand with my President who has honor, character, a proven success record as an outstanding leader both foreign and domestic and is a job creator. This month was only 69K but I will take that over the Bush job losses of 750K a month any day. If we get rid of the Republican Congress who has intentionally blocked ALL jobs, infrastructure and economic bills, America would be back to recovery already. Republicans are traitors of the People and of the nation.
    Is it not sickening to see them gleeful when they keep the job numbers down?? They want America to fail for their sick political games. They care nothing about We the People. Their obstruction plan is treason. Vote them all out so we can have real servants of the People (vs corporations) working in Congress with President Obama to bring America back to prosperity.

    June 2, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. Paul

    So Trump would start a war to get re-elected? So would Romney follow this advice?

    I'll stick with Obama, he has done a wonderful job avoiding and ending wars. Even if its bad politics.

    June 2, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  7. onlyfacts61

    "as every fact and truth shows". Really Doug? So if I want the coal industry to decrease emissions and to stop dumping waste that makes people (that I have never met) sick and die, then I have no morals, values or integrity? Trump has an opinion (without any facts of any kind) that the president is a fraud and he wants other Americans to believe this too. And it's working on you. You might want to check the definitions of some of the words you have used.

    June 2, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  8. tony

    Doug must know something God doesn't.

    June 2, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that much of Trump is hot air (only some of it goes into styling his hair) and doesn't understand what he is talking about. The birther issue should have died already. I think that there is a touch of racism against Obama with the birther groups.

    June 2, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  10. tony

    I wonder why all the "moral" republicans have so many ex-wives. Since marriages are so sacred and "made in heaven", these guys must be hanging out down in the other place.

    June 2, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  11. Quinton8

    If Obama thought for one minute that invading Iran would win him votes in the November presidential election, he'd invade that country in a heartbeat. These politicians in Washington care little for human lives let alone human rights!

    June 2, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  12. nolimits3333

    Trump is the perfect example of a Republican. Stealing the money of wage earners thru gambling casinos, so he can bash honest people.

    June 2, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  13. Mindie in Indie

    Here's something for you 'birthers' to think about. With a baby comes a mother. If Obama was born in Kenya there would be evidence his mother was in Kenya – passport, student visa, anything? All conspiciously missing. So...I'm just saying....

    June 2, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  14. Mindie in Indie

    Obama's mother wasn't even in Kenya during the time of his birth – no student visa, no passport, no documentation what so ever. Come on!

    June 2, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  15. Billy Jack

    Barry cant even pass e verify! Something really stinks. Barry enthusiasts would rather be comfortable than know the truth

    June 3, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  16. Leroy lopez

    A connecticut social security number for a dead guy, identity thief in chief

    June 3, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  17. babs

    That's just what we need another war from which we get no oil and debt expansion. Possibably the 1% should finance and fight this one.

    June 3, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. Larry L

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

    A fool never "cares" – especially one who made his way through life on his daddy's money – like Mitt Romney.

    June 3, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  19. george of the jungle

    trump just likes to hear himself talk and getiing all the free publicty. To bad mitt doesn't have the balls to tell him to shut up. but then mitt takes his orders from his big donors. Forward 2102 Obama

    June 3, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  20. fgh

    I think any intelligent Conservative would keep a long distance from Trump.

    June 3, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  21. Leroy lopez

    Cnn will be purged from the earths surface in short order, nobody in their right mind watches cnn. GOD is gonna cut u down cnn, u know it i know it. Sweet will be the flame of your demise. Goodbye cnn new world disorder dont let the hundred pound hailstones hit u on the way out. YOU LOSE!

    June 3, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  22. Bonnie in Seattle

    When is NBC going to tell him he is fired?

    June 3, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  23. Roy

    Ask Romney if he is willing to donate all of his $200 to $300 million to pay off USA debt but he can keep his $10 million so in that way we can see if he truly cares about our country.

    June 3, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  24. Penobscot

    Trump...tells it like it is.

    June 3, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  25. Corey

    Doug, generalizing like that doesn't help your case.

    You really think EVERY SINGLE democrat/liberal is the exact same? They're all people with their own ideas, just like you, and they're Americans, just like you are.

    I really suggest you don't start talking about hate, though. The birther movement that Trump is the de facto leader of (by virtue of being the richest and most outspoken about it) is based inherently on racism. You think people would be questioning the president's place of birth if he was white and named "John Smith" or something, with the same facts still holding true (Father from Africa, etc)?

    June 3, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
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