Romney Surrogate Donald Trump Doubles Down On Birther Nonsense

Just hours before he’s scheduled to co-host a gala fundraiser in Las Vegas, Romney supporter and apparent campaign surrogate Donald Trump appeared on CNN and doubled down on the Birther nonsense he’s been pushing since April of last year:

(CNN) - Donald Trump did not back down Tuesday from his questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace, instead arguing heatedly with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “a lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate,” though he declined to offer names of experts who agree with him.

(…)

On CNN’s “The Situation Room” Tuesday, Trump maintained that Obama’s birthplace is a matter of opinion, rather than fact.

“Everybody’s entitled to your opinion,” he said. “You know my opinion and you know his opinion and that’s fine. We’re entitled – as he said yesterday in the airplane – we’re all entitled to our opinions and he’s entitled to have his opinion. I don’t happen to share that opinion, it’s wonderful.”

Blitzer presented Trump with newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth from 1961.

Trump interrupted, “Can you stop defending Obama?”

“Donald, you’re beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you,” Blitzer replied.

“You are, Wolf,” Trump fired back. “Let me tell you something, I think you sound ridiculous.”

Trump then alleged that the practice of filing U.S. birth announcements for an overseas birth was commonplace, though he offered no evidence.

“Many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefits of being so-called born in this country,” Trump said. “Many people did it.”

Obama’s longform birth certificate showed he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 and was acknowledged as authentic by state officials. Natural born American citizenship is one of the Constitutional requirements for the presidency.

“Is it the most important thing?” Trump asked in an interview earlier on Tuesday. “In a way it is. You’re not allowed to be the president if you’re not born in the country.”

Here’s the video of the interview, in which Trump appeared via telephone:

Notwithstanding the argument I made this morning that this would not be an issue that would matter in November, I have to wonder how much longer the Romney campaign can afford to let itself be associated with nonsense like this. At least until the jobs numbers come out on Friday morning, this is going to be a very slow news week and the Trump/Birther story is likely to dominate media coverage for the next several days, if not longer. There is no good that can come of this for Romney. Even leaving aside the crazy that Trump brings to the party, the closer Romney associates himself with a guy like Trump,  the more he reinforces the “rich guy” meme that the Obama campaign keeps pushing, and the more he undermines his own argument about being a man with the right judgment to lead the nation. Perhaps I will end up being proved wrong, but I don’t think this will end well for the Romney campaign.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. bk says:

    Between this and the ongoing wingnut explosion over two people (Kimberlin and Walker) that no one has heard of, I fear for my brain cells.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    What next? A fundraiser with Glenn Beck!

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    I am a care giver for my 90 year old mother. She watches FOX all day. I don’t watch it but I can usually hear it. Very little coverage of Trump’s birtherness.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    As I said on an earlier thread: Romney just looks weak.

    This is actually the surprise to me. I knew — we all knew — he was a man with no core, that’s been obvious. And of course he’s an utterly shameless liar and people like him less the more they come to know him. But that he’s actually just weak? Not tactically spineless but weak? Wow. The American people do not like weak.

    Nice candidate the GOP has there.

  5. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I think you have the equation backwards, Doug. The question isn’t how long can he permit this nonsense to continue it’s how can he hold his constituency without pandering to this kind of nonsense. Remember, Romney’s constituency is the people who booed John McCain when he said that he thought that Barack Obama was a good man who loved the country.

    If he splits the center with Obama and his constituency stays home because he’s not a rabid enough wing nut, does he win? My guess would be no. On the other hand, if guys like Donald Trump are carrying his water with the birthers and Grover Nordquist and the House carry his water for him on taxes, he may be able to take enough off the center to win on the Ron Paul factor–a fair number of people that I have met who support Paul but are not Paulbots support him because “he can’t do any of the crazy things he want to do.” As long as people believe that Romney “isn’t really like those guys,” this stuff may help him.

  6. ernieyeball says:

    Of all all the Crackpots Romney could latch on to he chooses Trump. Is this on the advice of his campaign staff?
    According to most counts Mittens will have enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot after today’s Texas Primary. If this is so then he may not need Trump after the polls close tonight in The Lone Star State.
    Now he can look for another Crackpot for VP (RonLove Paul, Michelle my Belle, Ricky Dink, et. al.) that will pander to the RepubliCrackerPot Base that he will need to win this fall.

    Click to edit!!! A timer!!!!! Let’s see if this works…

  7. ernieyeball says:

    Well I got all excited about the click to edit and the timer and tried to use it. Don’t know where my changes went!!

  8. ernieyeball says:

    There they are…

  9. ernieyeball says:

    Now if we could only request deletion of other posters comments…

  10. al-Ameda says:

    Romney and Trump, soul brothers, together forever (I hope).

    Remember the 2011 White House Correspondents Association Dinner, when Obama said this of Trump’s Birtherism:

    After a week when Obama released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate, he said Trump could now focus on the serious issues, from whether the moon landing actually happened to “where are Biggie and Tupac?”

    (excerpt from FoxNews)

  11. Jeremy R says:

    Perhaps I will end up being proved wrong, but I don’t think this will end well for the Romney campaign.

    How could you be proven wrong? Isn’t it already too late now that Romney has told the press the reason he’s associated with Trump’s particular brand of bottom feeding is the sort of coalitions he needs to build to get to 50.1%? It’s not just the Birther conspiracy theory stuff Trump peddles, he also claims Obama was a terrible student and somehow undeservingly gamed his way into Columbia and Harvard and claims Ayers wrote Dreams from my Father because Obama is too stupid to have written at that level.

    Even if Romney repudiated him tonight it’s too late for Romney to come out of this with his dignity / honor intact.

  12. @bk:

    Don’t even get me started over that whole Kimberlan-Walker nonsense.

  13. MBunge says:

    The Romney-Trump business only matters to the extent it threatens the polite fiction that our political elite wish to believe in, namely that entrusting Romney and the GOP with political power once again won’t turn into yet another epic clusterflock.

    Mike

  14. Jeremy R says:

    Romney dogwhistles to the Birther’s by releasing a photocopy of his own birth certificate to Reuters just before his fundraising with Birther-in-chief Trump:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/29/us-usa-campaign-romney-birth-certificate-idUSBRE84S1GF20120529?irpc=932

    Keep in mind there’s no standard of Presidential candidate’s publicly releasing their birth records (doing it at all is nearly unheard of) and certainly not hours before going on stage to fund-raise with a conspiracist (about their opponents birth).

  15. Jenos Idanian says:

    “a lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate…”

    Absolutely correct.

    A lot of people think George W. Bush “stole” the 2000 election.

    A lot of people think the Bush administration faked evidence to bolster the case for war with Iraq.

    A lot of people think Dan Rather’s fake Texas Air National Guard memo was legit.

    A lot of people think the government brought down the Twin Towers.

    A lot of people think Anthony Weiner was set up, and the photo was faked.

    Doesn’t make any of it true. But that doesn’t change that a lot of people think it.

  16. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “A lot of people think George W. Bush “stole” the 2000 election.”

    Well, there was the little matter of his brother and his brother’s secretary of state purging several tens of thousands of legal voters from the voting rolls on the excuse that their names were vaguely similar to those of felons. But don’t worry your little head about that. You keep telling yourself how Saddam had tons and tons of really scary weapons all ready to load on those balsa wood model airplanes and send out after you if Daddy W didn’t tuck you in at night. Oh, and don’t worry about all the people who died because of the war. You weren’t one of them. You were safe cheerleading from behind your keyboard.

  17. Scott O. says:

    @Jeremy R: That “birth certificate” Romney put out isn’t going to fool anybody. It says void!

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    @WR: Dance, little puppet, dance!

  19. DRS says:

    I think Jenos has hijacked enough threads on this site. Please stop feeding the troll.

  20. PJ says:

    Mitt Romney was born in Amercia.

    Amercia? Is that in Mexico?

  21. Jenos Idanian says:

    @PJ: You never heard of Amercia? It’s the 57th state.

  22. Hey Norm says:

    Romney refuses to stand up to the base and back Grennell.
    Romney refuses to correct a woman on a rope-line that accuses Obama of Treason.
    Romney refuses to stand up to the Birthers and the Birther in Chief.
    He abuses his dog.
    And the important thing about the Cranbrook bullying story…is that bully’s are the ultimate cowards.
    Every one of these stories reinforces the same image…that Romney is a spineless coward.
    And therein lies the danger of a Romney Presidency.
    A person like Romney who is willing to be anything or do anything in pursuit of his goal, who is unwilling to take any stand whatsoever, are the most corruptible of people…and corruptible by those with ignoble ends in mind. If Romney won’t stand up to Donald Trump…a second rate side-show barker…how will he ever stand up to anyone? Putin. The Koch Brothers. Iran. Neo-Cons. China.

  23. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Hey Norm: Shorter Norm: Romney won’t dance to our tune and get distracted by all these trivial side issues! He’s a big old meanie for keeping his eyes on the big picture!

  24. PJ says:

    I bet Romney is happy today, since he likes to fire people.

  25. Hey Norm says:

    For Jenos charachter is a side issue.
    Which makes perfect sense coming from someone who has been repeatedly proven to be a liar.

  26. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There is no good that can come of this for Romney. Even leaving aside the crazy that Trump brings to the party, the closer Romney associates himself with a guy like Trump, the more he reinforces the “rich guy” meme that the Obama campaign keeps pushing, and the more he undermines his own argument about being a man with the right judgment to lead the nation.

    By releasing his birth certificate, while Romney may not be birther himself, it is clear that he’s more than willing to fan the flames.
    It’s the Southern Strategy 2.0, the “Birther Strategy”.

  27. J-Dub says:

    I hope that Romney and his buddies hold down Trump at the fund raiser and shave his head!

  28. Jenos Idanian says:

    @J-Dub: That would take military-grade shears, chum…

  29. jukeboxgrad says:

    By releasing his birth certificate, while Romney may not be birther himself, it is clear that he’s more than willing to fan the flames.

    Exactly. Like Jeremy said, it’s a classic dog whistle. Mitt is sending this message: ‘Even though no major candidate or POTUS before Obama had ever released a BC, he was pressured to do so, by people who pretended that such a thing was necessary and routine, even though it had never been that way before. So I would like to validate what all those birthers did, by supporting the pretense that such a thing is necessary and routine.’

    As Jeremy said:

    Keep in mind there’s no standard of Presidential candidate’s publicly releasing their birth records (doing it at all is nearly unheard of) and certainly not hours before going on stage to fund-raise with a conspiracist (about their opponents birth).

    I highlighted a part I think is especially important. Doing this is all about promoting the fiction that such an act is routine, rather than “unheard of,” pre-Obama.

  30. mattb says:

    Great consipracy-tard question:

    Was it intentional that the Birth Certificate Romney released was… dum, dum dum… a Certificate of Live Birth?

    Was that a decision on the part of the Romney campaign to infurate liberals and tweak the Obama campaign into making a mistake and attacking a “Fine American” like Trump?

    Or did a crypto-Obamist infiltrate the Romney Camp in order to keep birtherism alive and therefore sway independents to the Obama Camp and allow Doug to keep posting that picture of Trump’s hair in the wind?

    Or might there be another explanation…? Only time will tell.

  31. labman57 says:

    The ethics, values, and decisions that a candidate makes during a national campaign is a reflection of the choices that he/she will make if elected.

    
The fact that Mitt can’t see the folly in embracing Trump — solely because he naively believes that The Donald can help him win in November — is indicative of the poor judgement that is at the core of Romney’s psyche.

  32. Jenos Idanian says:

    @labman57: And just what does it say about Obama’s character and judgment that two of his most prominent financial backers are the vile, mysogynistic Bill Maher and the criminally corrupt John Corzine? Why hasn’t he repudiated them? Why does Obama let them raise money — BIG money — in his name?

  33. Richard Aubrey says:

    The energy with which the anti-birthers fight the eligibility issue implies they think the eligibility issue is important.
    From which a question arises. Suppose, somehow, it turns out the birthers are right and O isn’t eligible due to birth issues. What do the opponents say then?
    My guess is to say it’s not important, the constitution is really old, isn’t suited to the modern world and who cares what a bunch of DWEM said, anyway.