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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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. M. Simons

    If Trump is encouraging war with Iran, he must have acquired some stock in Haliburton. War makes the rich Republicans even richer.

    June 3, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  2. John

    PLEASE ignore Trump so maybe he'll go away. If Romney and the Republicans think him an asset they are insane. Everything he is (and I don't mean rich, but rich bombastic fool) or says plays exactly into legitimate Democratic arguments.

    June 3, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  3. Mike in SA

    “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," Barack Obama.

    So exactly what do you call what we've been doing for the past 3 years, eh? We're farther away from resolving this issue than we were 3 years ago and Iran has moved closer and closer to nuclear weapons over that extended period of time.

    June 3, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  4. trumpet

    i think trumpET should shut up. Just because he is rich doesnt mean we have to bear his tantrums.

    June 3, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  5. steven harnack

    Has he finally gone completely insane? It's the far right conservatives who have been banging the war drums and insulting the President because he hasn't rushed to war with Iran and now Syria too. Romney has as much as said, and promised Netanyahu, that if he is elected there will be war. He's just proving the old adage that says that if you want to know what a Republican is doing just listen to what he is accusing Democrats of doing.

    June 3, 2012 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  6. imho44

    This does makes total sense: a clown endorsing a joke.

    June 3, 2012 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  7. Leif

    Trump is the gift that keeps on giving to comedians and to Democrats.

    June 3, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  8. no, its not.

    We're sick of wars. Nobody likes them. They should quit having them. The only people that would be happy are the Israeli's and we already spend too much on keeping them happy.

    June 3, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  9. TampaMel

    If by some stretch of the imagination I would ever think of voting for Romney, the fact that Trump is being used (not sure if he is being used or if Trump is using the Republicans) to aid Romney's campaign would stop me. Trump is a self serving egomaniac and I am convinced he does not care who wins as long as his bottom line benefits. I really think the use of Trump by Romney shows desperation .

    June 3, 2012 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  10. Andy

    Does anyone care what this joker says?

    June 3, 2012 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  11. LNB

    Romney and Trump schmoozing is, in a nut shell, what is so terribly wrong with what is happening in the US. It is called Plutocracy~ and coupled with Citizens' United, it makes me tremble to see the destruction of our country. VOTE !! BHO 2012 Elizabeth Warren 2016 2024. Last chance.....

    June 3, 2012 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  12. getoverit

    Oh please just shut up. If Obama was a republican you all would have demanded a sworn affidavit from the doctor that delivered him!

    June 3, 2012 05:31 am at 5:31 am |

    He speaks for Mitt McCain. The unhinged GOBP love Trump. Wars are good for profit.

    June 3, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  14. TM

    No Donald, your confused. It was the last President that started a war of choice to boost his poll numbers. The current President ended it.

    June 3, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  15. Mark

    I couold fill out any app and say I as born in Kenya. Big deal. His birth certificate is from Hawaii. The state of Hawaii has produced and verified this several times. So I guess the state of Hawaii is being fraudulent in producing his birth certificate ??? They produce the certificate not Obama.

    June 3, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  16. Ol Cranky

    @Doug "Trump has more morals, values, decency, and integrity than any Democrat in America today"

    Really? Are you that snowed by the argument that Republicans are, by default, wonderful and the most moral human beings that you would seriously argue that Trump is heads above everyone who is a registered democrat – even those of us who don't have multiple divorces after being caught committing adultery and who don't have the great business integrity to commit corp espionage in order to undercut our rivals by using their idea and doing everything possible to prevent them from being able to put their idea into action (yeah, that was something Trump praised quite highly on an early season of his Apprentice show)? The man bloviates with less knowledge of what he speaks than your average brainwashed political pundit and he's never shown any integrity let alone shown good moral character

    June 3, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  17. Marie MD

    Keep talking bad hair man (goes to show you that money really can't solve all your problems). You are sinking our bishop even lower because we know that like the Kola ho he is he can be bought for a few votes and thousands of dollars.
    You want to go to war with Iran? I want to make sure those five flip flopping boys are the first in line leading the troops.
    I think this guy needs to be checked at the nearest mental hospital. He is a banktrupted four wive bully of the worst kind.

    June 3, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  18. Jack V

    Donald Trump is making money uncool.

    June 3, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  19. Dumbpolitics

    Mr Trump is a moral person? It would be good to start a war with Iran? He's probably going to buy a weapon manufacturing company. He's ready to pay any politician who will vote his way. Just like the rest of them in this great country of ours. It's time to stop business people like Donald from continuing this type of practice in our government.
    But our government representatives love money more. Besides if they do what Donald wants soon they could be CEO of Trump weapons corp.

    June 3, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  20. TheTraveler

    Trump is good for Trump. I'd say right now, he's trying to impress Mitt Romney like Sarah Palin tried to impress John McCain, with senseless and inflammatory rhetoric directed at Obama. Trumps wants to show Mittens that he's a wonderful choice for the Veep, a trustworthy sidekick that will keep media attention focused on absurd, insipid, and senseless garbage, not actual issues.

    June 3, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  21. Russ in Maryland

    The big question is whether Obama is a foreign national and lied about where he was born or he scammed his way into getting in a college of high pedigree like Harvard by lying about his birth place and receiving foreign tuition aide. One way or another, I am seeing a pattern here. I believe he was born in the US so in my opinion all you lemmings that voted for hope and change got scammed by the biggest con artist around. If he wants to prove he’s not a con man then open up your college records. I want to see what you wrote in your application to Harvard, I want to see what you wrote in your thesis. I want to see what your GPA was. If there is nothing to hide then why not make it puplic?

    June 3, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  22. Much sooner then later iran will cuddle with you ( OIL = Parsa GULF )

    There is allot of talk and B.S from all sides but the importance that every one should be focus on is that USA is printing the Dollar that is being used as a global currency.

    Further has USA and its allies in the western Europe especially the UK a lot of knowledge in different fields that is being admired in the rest of the world.
    More important then this issue is the issue of dept yes the Banking USA especially the UK has a lot of dept to the Parsa people and much sooner then later shall our Parsa nation in chain the Banking USA in order to explore the finance and the knowledge that they have created and in some cases has even stolen.

    This action on behalf of our nation will be in similarity to the Banking USA and its allies in relation to what they have done to the rest of the world.
    its truly simple let the banking USA and its allies rule over the rest of the world while the Parsa nation will rule over the banking USA

    June 3, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  23. James Hendricks

    Here's a thought: Since the Donald has intentionally insulted the press, and since the man is no longer running for office, maybe the press could *stop reporting everything he says*. While they're at it, maybe the press could do the same thing regarding the Palin family. The only reason these folks have any political relevance at all is because of the voice given them by the media. Even if you carry their words and give them weight, which is what you are doing now, they will never like you... so do the world a favor, and stop reporting on them already!

    June 3, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  24. chuck weidemann

    The press loves Trump and vice versa! Otherwise we would not have to see so much of him....not news worthy!!!

    June 3, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. don in albuquerque

    America's favorite butt pimple needs scratched again. Feeling forgotten Donnie? Why not declare a new bankrupcy-that will make you feel better. Morals Doug? Are you insane?

    June 3, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6