Romney on Trump’s birtherism: I don’t agree with all of my supporters, and they don’t always agree with me

posted at 12:01 pm on May 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When Donald Trump surprised everyone by endorsing Mitt Romney rather than Newt Gingrich, many wondered whether that would do more to hurt Romney in the long run rather than help him.  Trump had briefly declared his intention to run and had spent most of his effort indulging the birthers, only to run aground when the White House released a certified copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate a year ago.  (The State of Hawaii also officially reaffirmed the accuracy of that record earlier this month to the State of Arizona, making it at least the third such public affirmation in the last four years.)   The expectation was that Romney would hold Trump at arm’s length and that Trump would dial down the birther arguments for the election.  Unfortunately for Romney, Trump has not backed down at all, which resulted in this moment over the weekend on the campaign plane with reporters:

The Obama campaign hit Romney over his connection to Trump, who will host a fundraiser this week in Las Vegas that is expected to raise more than $2 million for Romney and the RNC.  Trump pled his case with the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, and as Grove and Jake Tapper report, managed to mangle the facts even further:

“A book publisher came out three days ago and said that in his written synopsis of his book, he said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. His mother never spent a day in the hospital,” Trump told The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove.

As Grove pointed out, that’s not even an accurate re-telling of the latest birther “evidence,” in which Obama’s literary agency two decades ago published a catalogue of clients that included the false information that he had been born in Kenya. A woman named Miriam Goderich has since come forward and said the error was hers.

The Obama campaign is loving it, reports BuzzFeed:

But there is one group that can hardly contain its joy: Democrats, who see Romney’s forced embrace of the reality TV star as easy attack fodder.

The Obama campaign released a video early Tuesday showing some of Trump’s more outlandish comments set to circus music. The core of the Democrats’ attack is to raise questions about Romney’s character, contrasting his silence on Trump’s birther charges to John McCain’s rebuke to extremists in his party during the 2008 campaign.

The campaign has branded Trump “the birther-in-chief,” and Democrats have flooded reporters’ inboxes with clip after clip about Trump’s wild accusations.

But beyond simply mocking Romney and Trump, Democrats see the relationship as supporting a character attack on the presumptive Republican nominee.

Of course they’re delighted.  It takes attention away from the economy and jobs, which plays directly into their distraction strategy.  It’s the reason many had qualms about Trump’s involvement at all.

Team Romney has tried to make it clear that Romney himself isn’t challenging Obama’s eligibility, and Tapper notes that the campaign is also pointing out a double standard on supporters:

Senior Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said, “I can’t speak for Donald Trump, Gloria, but I can tell you that Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States. He doesn’t view the place of his birth as an issue in this campaign. We have many serious challenges facing this country dealing with jobs and the economy. That’s where we should center our- the discussion. And as I said, you know, Mitt Romney has made it clear that this is not an issue for him.

Fehrnstrom, asked about the campaign’s association with Trump, said, “Well, you know, not too long ago, Jay Carney, the spokesman for the White House made a statement which I think is correct, and that statement was that a candidate can’t be responsible for everything that their supporters say.”

That’s a reference to the “Hoffa Standard,” from Labor Day 2011, when White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to condemn incendiary remarks made by a labor leader attacking members of the Tea Party at an event where the president spoke.

Mitt Romney needs to practice a better response, because this is going to keep coming up.  Whenever asked, he should respond, “President Obama was born in Hawaii and is eligible to be President.  He’s just really lousy at it.”

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Comment pages: 1 2

I just voted for Mitt Romney in Texas.

Feels good, man.

the new aesthetic on May 29, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Whenever asked, he should respond, “President Obama was born in Hawaii and is eligible to be President. He’s just really lousy at it.”

Well said!

bluegill on May 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Mitt Romney needs to practice a better response, because this is going to keep coming up. Whenever asked, he should respond, “President Obama was born in Hawaii and is eligible to be President. He’s just really lousy at it.”

The Romney campaign’s answer is better. The fact that Obama has really not provided the kind of proof that most people would be able to produce is reason enough to leave a shade of doubt. If Obama wants to nail this issue dead, he has the ability to do so. Instead, for whatever reason, he has continued to allow only facsimiles and short form certificates to be published.

The Romney statement gives backhanded assent to Obama’s assertions. That’s good enough. As far as having to dispute or excoriate one of his supporter’s positions, I agree Romney should do so relative to Trump’s statements when a) Obama publicly excoriates the New Black Panther party for voter intimidation and his AG Holder for failing to prosecute, b) publicly condemns the statements from Van Jones, and c) publicly condemns the mayhem caused by the Wall Street Occupiers.

AZfederalist on May 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM

If Romney’s father and mother were not both citizens at the time of his birth he’s NOT ELIGIBLE! Show me the fricken proof.

It’s The Truth, Stupid! Pledge

Are both Party’s trying to undermine the Law?

Call upon Mitt Romney now to either post Gaskell Romney’s US naturaliztion documents (or repatriated record) or George Romney‘s US naturaliztion documents that he would have filled out and signed when he was 21 years of age, or withdraw from the presidential race as Constitutionally unqualified to take the oath of office of the presidency of the United States.

If Mitt’s parents were citizens and Mitt was born in the US then he is most assuredly a Natural Born Citizen per Minor vs. Happersett.

Now his dad on the other hand not so much.

Between 1790 and 1795 he would have been due the Immigration and Naturalization law of 1790 which was reworded in 1795 to exclude children born outside the US from being named NBC.

They are still citizens but not NBC.

Is that it?

Romney is ineligible to hold the office of the President.

You must be born of 2 citizens (not one) and born on US soil to be eligible.

His father is not a citizen.

If He was a naturalized citizen Before Mitts Birth IF THAT. Big diff.

We need to Know!

People.. We have a One Party System…

Capt-Dax on May 30, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Comment pages: 1 2