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Trump's 'birther' battle on CNN steals spotlight from Romney

By Associated Press & Star-Advertiser


LAS VEGAS >> Mitt Romney's presidential campaign collided with Donald Trump's "birther" rhetoric today as the reality television star hosted a fundraiser for the Republican while claiming again that President Barack Obama is foreign-born.
The debunked conspiracy theory among conservative activists dubbed "birthers" charges that Obama is not constitutionally qualified to serve in the White House. Romney has said he believes Obama was born in America, but he has not condemned Trump's comments. 
Democrats contend it's the latest example of Romney's reluctance to confront the more extreme elements in his party. 
"A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate," Trump told CNN of Obama's birth certificate, just hours before he was set to host Romney's finance event at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer told a combative Trump he was "starting to sound a little ridiculous" by continuing to bring up the birther issue.
Trump retorted that Blitzer was "ridiculous" and demanded that he ask a question "and let me answer it."
"Here's the question," Blitzer responded. "Did the conspiracy start in 1961 where the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser contemporaneously published announcements that he was born in Hawaii?"
"That's right," Trump responded. "And many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefits of being so-called born in this country. Many people did it. It was something that was done by many people even though they weren't born in the country. You know and so do I. And so do a lot of your viewers, although you don't have many viewers, Wolf."
The real estate mogul went onto mention Hawaii's "Democratic governor" when Blitzer asked if he believed the state of Hawaii was also involved in the alleged conspiracy.
The birther allegations have been repeatedly proven false. The state of Hawaii recently re-affirmed that Obama was born there.
Trump's comments, repeated in several media interviews today, overshadowed Romney's visit to Nevada, one of a handful of swing states expected to decide the presidential contest in November. Trump also upstaged news from Texas that Romney had collected enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.
Romney did not address the issue directly at separate events in Colorado and Nevada, but on Monday night he told reporters aboard his campaign plane that Trump is entitled to his opinion. Even as Trump-related criticism from Democrats and Republicans intensified in recent days, Romney showed no sign of distancing himself from the polarizing figure.
"I don't agree with all the people who support me. And my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in," Romney said. "But I need to get 50.1 percent or more. And I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."
Trump remains popular among the conservative base and boasts ties to deep-pocketed donors. The Las Vegas event was expected to raise $2 million, but Romney's ties to Trump extend beyond that single fundraiser. He has recorded automated phone calls for Romney, hosted a fundraiser for his wife, Ann, in New York, and pressed the candidate's case as a television surrogate.
When Romney's campaign plan arrived at the Las Vegas airport today, it parked within sight of Trump's plane — the businessman's name emblazoned on the side in large gold letters.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, once a rival for the GOP nomination and now a Romney supporter, suggested that the Trump issue will not derail Romney's campaign.
"Gov. Romney's not distracted. The Republican Party's not distracted," said Gingrich, who attended the Trump fundraiser. "We believe that this is an American-born job-killing president. Other people may believe that he was born somewhere else and still kills jobs."
The Obama campaign released a video today criticizing what it considers Romney's unwillingness to stand up to Trump and the more extreme elements in his party. There have been other examples in recent weeks that underscore Romney's delicate push to win over skeptical conservatives while appealing to moderates and independents who generally deliver general election victories.
"Mitt Romney's continued embrace of Donald Trump and refusal to condemn his disgraceful conspiracy theories demonstrates his complete lack of moral leadership," Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, said in a statement. "If Mitt Romney lacks the backbone to stand up to a charlatan like Donald Trump because he's so concerned about lining his campaign's pockets, what does that say about the kind of president he would be?"
While Trump asserts that the matter of Obama's birth is a "good issue" for Romney, conservative commentator George Will questioned the "cost benefit" of Romney appearing with Trump.
"The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious, it seems to me," Will said Sunday. "Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics. ... Again, I don't understand the benefit. What is Romney seeking?"
Trump revived the false claims about Obama's birthplace late last week, citing a story about a literary agency that mistakenly listed that Obama was born in Kenya.
While Romney briefly addressed the issue Monday, senior aide Eric Fehrnstrom declined to condemn Trump's remarks in a recent interview.
"I can't speak for Donald Trump ... but I can tell you that Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States," Fehrnstrom said. "He doesn't view the place of his birth as an issue in this campaign."

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frontman wrote:
The only hold obama has on Hawaii is the dope smoking bunch he taught to get high with. Nothing more.
on May 29,2012 | 05:18PM
kainalu wrote:
... which was nearly 70% of the voting electorate, the highest margin of victory for Obama than any other state. More than half the voting adults in this state "dope smoking'" according to you. LOL
on May 29,2012 | 07:10PM
Wazdat wrote:
on May 30,2012 | 03:39AM
kailuabred wrote:
If this is your brightest comment, you smoked more than pakalolo.
on May 30,2012 | 04:31AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Donald Chump is not even human. His hair has a life of its own and if you stare at it too long, you will turn to stone.
on May 30,2012 | 06:49AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Romney, if anyone, should be the first to stand up to Donald Chump's ridiculous posturing but he's too greedy and will kiss Don's behind as long as Don keeps the cash flowing. Romney's own father, George, was born in Mexico and while running against Richard Nixon, this very birther issue was leveled against HIS OWN FATHER. I would think that Romney would and should immediately denounce Donald Chump and put as much distance between himself and that clown. Of course, money talks while morals walk.
on May 30,2012 | 08:11AM
Mr. Trump Please visit the Library to read about Hawaii's history of becoming a state 52 years ago. FACT: 1898....Hawaii became annexed to the United States as a Territory 1959...Hawaii became an official STATE of the United States.
on May 29,2012 | 05:29PM
Since Hawaii was a State, officially, in 1959, President Obama's birth in 1961, makes him an automatic CITIZEN of the U.S.!!!!!
on May 29,2012 | 05:34PM
Smiling wrote:
How can people be so STUPID??? I'm an educator and use the word 'stupid' very rarely, but this is un-freaking believable.....Trump is a foolhardy jerk!! He actually refutes the 1961 birth announcementas in both Honolulu papers!!! How can anyone with half a brain play into this idiocy??? If Romney knows what's good for him (and I'm NOT a Romney fan), he must distance himself from this jerk. Total powderkeg.
on May 29,2012 | 05:43PM
kahuku01 wrote:
Donald Trump is a good example of how most people with a lot of money conducts themselves.....arrogant and no class. A lot of money makes a person feel important, create attention and thinks he's smart and the heck with anybody else because their mentality is, my friends (example Romney) will always be kissing my okole. Romney will never be a good president because he already portrays his weaknesses even if he believes that Obama was born in Hawaii and Trump is hurting his campaign by mouthing off about the birth certificate that was authenticated by the Hawaii State Health Dept. You're fired Donald Trump!!! You need to learn what being humble means.
on May 29,2012 | 06:06PM
Changalang wrote:
This is the play. The applications for college and details of all things involved cannot be released to the press. It is easily withheld because birther-mania gives Axelrod and Obama all the cover not to comply as needed. Let them spin their wheels and create a segment that GOP level heads won't associate with as Party branding. Birthers look crazier than a 5h!house Rat. The crazier they look, the stronger the Obamanation gets, and more minorities, fearing similar crazed persecution, will rally to our Democratic folds. :) FORWARD !
on May 29,2012 | 07:31PM
Changalang wrote:
P.S. Yes, the GOP has figured out why the legal efforts to suppress birth data. So what, we give them the finger the day after the election to give them something to sit on and rotate.
on May 29,2012 | 07:35PM
tsushimama wrote:
Trump is a prime example of "you can't fix stupid"! Born into money and bankrupting his own companies a few times has shown his lack of "ability". Lucky he has what he has or he would be on the streets. What an idiot.
on May 29,2012 | 09:43PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Donald Trump is always good for a laugh and is as fake as the rug he wears.
on May 30,2012 | 06:14AM
jtamura69 wrote:
Trump should be a comedian, he's very funny and I would go see his stand up comedy show. Maybe someone should look up Donald Trump's past maybe he was born in "dreamland"
on May 29,2012 | 07:48PM
manoa808 wrote:
The Governor of Hawaii in 1961 was William Quinn, a Republican. Was he in on the conspiracy too?
on May 29,2012 | 08:01PM
Changalang wrote:
No, he was too busy keeping the people down.
on May 29,2012 | 08:04PM
primowarrior wrote:
Why do Republicans continue to put up with buffoons like Trump and Limbaugh? Money? Power? Laughs?
on May 29,2012 | 09:57PM
IAmSane wrote:
Obama was born in Keynesia. WAKE UP SHEEEEEPLEEEE@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
on May 29,2012 | 11:02PM
kailuabred wrote:
Your screen name doesn't match up with your comment.
on May 30,2012 | 04:33AM
Changalang wrote:
Actually, it kind of does. " A supporter of Keynesian economics believes it is the government's job to smooth out the bumps in business cycles. Intervention would come in the form of government spending and tax breaks in order to stimulate the economy, and government spending cuts and tax hikes in good times, in order to curb inflation. " However, the benefits of having the world's currency in our printing press, insures that Europe's fall gives the U.S. something softer to land on. The outcome of global Keynesian failure means that all nations must pull the trading radius in. It will prompt global competition and a return to Trilateralist boundaries. So, the U.S. benefits by having Canada's banking superiority in our Hemisphere and Mexico's drug trade capital flow insuring currency trade markets will not freeze via black market cash flows. The Bilderberg is having an emergency agenda change in their meeting in Dulles tomorrow. One world order breaking back into three pieces is good for the individual. There is an army of private security surrounding the Hotel.
on May 30,2012 | 07:23AM
Changalang wrote:
Tell more people. Remember to where your GOP baseball hat and git ur done.
on May 30,2012 | 05:58AM
Changalang wrote:
I got your joke, did you get mine?
on May 30,2012 | 07:24AM
Changalang wrote:
Darn sensor software. This was supposed to be in direct response to IAMSane. Notice how the Cable Guy driving the Chevy doesn't see his wool. LOL. "Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full" :)
on May 30,2012 | 07:29AM
RTH wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 30,2012 | 12:20AM
Wazdat wrote:
wow that is funny, since my birth certificate looks just like President Obama's. As I too was born in Hawaii in the early 60's. You birthers / IDIOTS are wacky and its crazy you think he was not born in Hawaii.
on May 30,2012 | 03:44AM
nomakeshame wrote:
Wazdat, do not waste your breath.. these people will not be happy until Obama is out of office. Their constant whining and crying about non-issues, but nary a word about unemployment, etc truly shows what they are after, even after 4 years have already gone by. He got one thing right though, people are p-o'd, especially at this three ring circus that the birthers are running. They talk about and shout pride of country, it really looks stupid when the rest of the world thinks we are idiots for putting up with the "birthers". Maybe its about time the Presidents legal staff should look into legal avenues to get these people to go away.
on May 30,2012 | 06:27AM
hawaiikone wrote:
That's right, lefty, let's "restrict" their ability to speak. Let's silence the wacko's. After all, freedom of speech is really only for the "smart" ones, right? You should be happy with these guys, not trying to shut them up. They're diverting attention from the glaring fact that this president is simply just lousy. Has nothing to do with where he was born, or what color he is, he's just a crummy leader.
on May 30,2012 | 07:35AM
nomakeshame wrote:
That's right, ASSume I am a lefty, name calling much? I am left-handed, but my politics are nowhere near left or right. Got another name for me? Would you rather have another Bush, back in office, keep wishing, there's one in Florida raring to go, and oh yeah, be on the look out for another "patriotic' war in another country. BTW, I don't vote anyones party line BLINDLY, do you? I vote for whom I think is the best possible person for the job. And since you brought it up, what makes Obama a crummy leader compared to say Bush, Clinton, Bush I. Along with freedom of speech comes responsibility, read about it sometimes, it might enlighten you.
on May 30,2012 | 08:53AM
hawaiikone wrote:
You're gonna enlighten me? lol! I have no clue who you are, as you have no idea about me either. But if you're going to encourage legal attempts to quell voices opposed to your position, then you open yourself up for criticism. I could care less how you vote, and actually I agree with your take on the clowns pushing the birth issue, but you go down a dangerous path when you put forth the idea of silencing them. Bush? Whose ASSuming now? You need to realize when you put something out there that needs challenging, it just might come.
on May 30,2012 | 12:48PM
kailuabred wrote:
I started to read your long winded diatribe but quickly became bored. Please tell me you are neutered and have no children. It would make all of the sane people feel a bit more comfortable with your rantings.
on May 30,2012 | 04:36AM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 30,2012 | 06:16AM
Changalang wrote:
Git Ur Done.
on May 30,2012 | 07:29AM
motoxdad wrote:
You're watching FOX news way to much
on May 30,2012 | 06:18AM
alohakims wrote:
Let's be a bit more rational here please. There is no "silent majority of Americans" that are suddenly going to emerge on election day and vote against Obama in mass numbers. That is a fantasy. We all know where things stand more or less: the country is divided, with close to 50 percent on each side, as it has been in the last few elections as well. This will again be a close election, and regardless of the outcome, Americans will need to grow up a bit more so that we can unify enough (which requires real listening and consideration of positions that differ from our own) to achieve positive gains moving forward in education, the economy, in education, in health care, etc. RTH, I hope if your dream does not occur, and Obama is re-elected, that you are prepared emotionally to accept the election results. Real Americans ultimately support the democratic process regardless of whether their candidate wins or loses.
on May 30,2012 | 07:34AM
kahuku01 wrote:
My my my, hew, I thought I was reading the "Ask Me Almanac." If all these statements are true, and the list goes on and on, it sounds like you did a lot of research and I know that most of it came from the RTH encyclopedia (fiction). I hope everybody won't forget come election day and vote with their heart and not by what they read.
on May 30,2012 | 01:11PM
RTH wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 30,2012 | 01:54PM
kahuku01 wrote:
Your thinking anticipation will only turn into disappointment and yes, your multiple jokes should continue so we may be able to enjoy a lot of laughter and happiness. People like you make this world a challenging place to live.
on May 30,2012 | 06:41PM
I wake up this morning and see the news.This birth thing just won't go away. It is kind of scary, not because the President was not born to a US citizen, but because this issue is shining a huge spotlight on Hawaii, and could easily spread all over USA. Think of this fact:There are millions of folks who are recognized as US Citizens..who are not. If we keep digging into all of this we are going to have huge problems...Here is an example-can you imagine an 50 year old being denied and cut off from benefits , say mortgage guaranteed loan, food stamps, or student loan, and finding after an "investigation of his documents" he was not really a citizen..they could immediately "call in" that loan., stop the food stamps,. government beaurocrats & prosecutors would have a turkey shoot going after these poor folks. There are lots of grey areas..things are not just black and white.So, leave well enough alone. Change the subject!
on May 30,2012 | 03:40AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Donald Duck Chump is not human. Evidence is his hair. It's alive and has a life of its own. If you stare at it too long, you will turn to stone.
on May 30,2012 | 03:45AM
Tanabe wrote:
Trump is an idiot and a hypocrite. I used to like watching his show, but as the years have gone by he's gotten even more arrogant and big headded (if that was possible). He refuses to say when he's wrong even though all the evidence in the world points to him being wrong. How someone so stuborn and pig-headed managed to make so much money I don't know. Then again I did wonder if all this idiocy is just a stunt to get more people to pay attention to him and ensure he is still relavant.
on May 30,2012 | 05:52AM
kimotherapy2 wrote:
Another Republican consider us in Hawaii as being foreigners when to President Obama. This is the reason that no one in Hawaii should be voting on the Republican Ticket since they continue to deny us our existence in the United States of America...not Amercia. Does this also mean that Trump will trump Miss Cazimero from winning the Beauty Pageant?
on May 30,2012 | 05:56AM
nomakeshame wrote:
In a backhanded way, I guess all Hawaii citizens holding State of Hawaii birth certificates are illegal, at least according to the criteria the "birthers" are going by.
on May 30,2012 | 06:21AM
wizard417 wrote:
these comment by trump and Romney are immature and full of ignorance, and almost childish. they would be an embaressment to the American people should they be voted to office, thiese are comments from a person who makes millions and paid, was it 25% or less in taxes? do we really want to vote for someone like this, i wouldn't. Romney is all for the rich and only for himself, think again if you think he will help the poor and middle class
on May 30,2012 | 06:07AM
wizard417 wrote:
go back to where you were born, you're probably illegal too
on May 30,2012 | 06:16AM
808Cindy wrote:
I find Trumps comments hurtful, and degrading for the citizens and our State of Hawaii. I pray that the youth in our Nation do not copy and think that what Trump says is right, because it isn't. He has NO Class!
on May 30,2012 | 07:49AM
Changalang wrote:
Trump is using similar fascist propaganda strategies of the early Hitler movement in pre-war Germany. We all must remember that America is founded in the strength of racial differences and an immigration policy designed to attract the best and the brightest of the world to come to the beckon of liberty to prosper. The Arizona Attorney General was trying to take Obama off the ballot secondary to Gubanatorial pressures. Their AG went through our legal process to attain documentation of Obama's proof of Birth as a U.S. citizen in the State of Hawaii by our own Attorney General. The Arizona State AG apologized and placed Obama on the ballot after seeing the proof. Lingle (R) herself found the proof definitive. Fight racism and fascism, vote GOBAMA and stand against White Power bigots shrinking into America's new minority !
on May 30,2012 | 08:01AM
Changalang wrote:
Addendum: "WASHINGTON - Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has apologized for any embarrassment he caused his state when he revived a widely discredited conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama’s birthplace by requesting verification that the president was born in Hawaii. The apology came on the same day that Hawaii officials finally responded to Bennett’s request for "verification in lieu of" the birth certificate, which he said last week could be a precondition for placing Obama’s name on the Arizona ballot. "If I embarrassed the state, I apologize, but that certainly wasn’t my intent," Bennett said Tuesday in an interview with a local radio station. Obama’s name will appear on the ballot "as long as he fills out the same paperwork and does the same things that everybody else has," Bennett said." (24MAY2012; Boston Herald) GO BAMA GO !
on May 30,2012 | 08:04AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Romney, if anyone, should be the first to stand up to Donald Chump's ridiculous posturing but he's too greedy and will kiss Don's behind as long as Don keeps the cash flowing. Romney's own father, George, was born in Mexico and while running against Richard Nixon, this very birther issue was leveled against HIS OWN FATHER. I would think that Romney would and should immediately denounce Donald Chump and put as much distance between himself and that clown. Of course, money talks while morals walk.
on May 30,2012 | 08:10AM
Notawannabe wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 30,2012 | 08:13AM
Changalang wrote:
The only thing missing in this thread is the background banjo music from "Deliverance".
on May 30,2012 | 08:27AM
jess wrote:
Another reality star saves the day!
on May 30,2012 | 08:13AM
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