Entries in Donald Trump (114)


Trump's Birther Claim Likely Undermines Romney, Say Strategists

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump has become so unrelentingly fixated on his theory about President Obama's birthplace that he was called "ridiculous" by Wolf Blitzer Tuesday.

It's hard to see how Trump's repeated claims that Obama was born in Kenya help Mitt Romney, say strategists on both sides, as a Trump fundraiser for the candidate gets underway in Las Vegas Tuesday night. Their newfound association has spurred a barrage of attacks from the Obama campaign, as it ties Romney to the birther movement's most prominent spokesman.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina tweeted on Twitter, "Two words define Mitt Romney today: Donald Trump."

That was right after Trump completed his second TV interview of the day, not backing down on his unfounded birther theory in an exchange with Blitzer on CNN.

"Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you," Blitzer said.

"You are, Wolf," the Donald shot back. "Let me tell you something. I think you sound ridiculous."

It didn't get much better. Trump said that "everyone is entitled to their own opinion," and that many people have questioned the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate. When he was asked to say who, Trump replied, "I don't give names."

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Romney's charter flight landed in Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon right next to Trump's plane.

Trump might be happy to be grabbing so many headlines, but some might say there was another winner Tuesday: President Obama -- because the day after Memorial Day Trump has made the narrative not about jobs or the economy but about the president's birthplace, and the Obama campaign has taken full advantage of this.

Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said in a statement Tuesday that "Mitt Romney's continued embrace of Donald Trump and refusal to condemn his disgraceful conspiracy theories demonstrates his complete lack of moral leadership."

"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?" she said.

While Romney has said he believes Obama was born in the United States, he has not distanced himself from Trump.

"You know, 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 told reporters on Monday. "But I need to get 50.1 percent or more, and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."

The Obama campaign has drawn a contrast between Romney and John McCain, who in 2008 corrected a woman at a rally when she called Obama an Arab. McCain said Obama was "a decent family man" with whom he just happened to disagree.

Earlier in the day, Trump said on CNBC that "nothing's changed my mind" about where Obama was born.

"Is it the most important thing?" Trump asked himself. "In a way, it is."

S.E. Cupp, a Republican strategist, said that Trump's "conspiracy" theory wasn't the real problem -- but rather that he's not backing down even as he chips away at his candidate's armor.

"Romney is now leaning on someone who clearly isn't bothered by the fact that he's putting Romney in a precarious position," Cupp said. "Surrogates should truly want to help and support their candidates, and it appears that's not Trump's primary concern. If I'm an adviser to Gov. Romney, that would give me some pause about Mr. Trump's endorsement and support."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Confidantes Welcome Mitt Romney’s Loyalty

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an interview on ABC’s This Week over the weekend, conservative commentator George Will called Donald Trump a “bloviating ignoramus.”

On Tuesday morning, in a new web video, the Obama campaign labeled the reality television and real estate mogul one of the Republican Party’s “voices of extremism.”

But on one of the most symbolic days of the election — the day Romney will almost certainly clinch the Republican nomination — the former Massachusetts governor is counting him as a friend. Romney plans to stand shoulder to shoulder with Trump at a high-dollar Las Vegas fundraiser Tuesday night.

For their part, Team Trump welcomes Romney’s loyalty.

“Despite negative statements made by George Will and the Democratic machine, it’s telling that the standard bearer of the Republican Party continues to consider Donald Trump an important surrogate,” Trump’s special counsel, Michael Cohen, said in an interview with ABC News from Las Vegas.

The joint appearance has left critics scratching their heads after Trump, in recent interviews, has continued to question whether President Obama was born in the United States.

“You know, 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 in a brief interview on his campaign plane on Monday. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

One again, Team Trump agrees.

“No two individuals in the history of the world agreed on everything all the time, starting with Adam and Eve all the way to President Obama and Vice President Biden,” Cohen, a top political aide to Trump, noted.

In fact, Cohen said all the agitating about Trump was “a clear signal” that Romney’s opponents were concerned about Trump’s “massive popularity and his ability to raise substantial funds” for the GOP nominee between now and November.

What’s also clear, according to Cohen?

“It clear that no one is listening or cares about what the George Wills of the country are saying,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Video Knocks Romney for Ties to Donald Trump

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- As Mitt Romney and Donald Trump reunite in Las Vegas on Tuesday for a glitzy campaign fundraiser, President Obama’s re-election team is knocking the presumptive GOP nominee for not condemning Trump’s so-called “birtherism.”

The real estate mogul, who endorsed Romney in February and is a top surrogate, recently reiterated the fact-challenged claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. and, by implication, that he is a constitutionally illegitimate president. Romney says he disagrees with Trump, but won’t condemn him for his views.

A new web video by the Obama campaign contrasts Romney’s reaction to Trump with Sen. John McCain’s response to similar rhetoric during the 2008 campaign.

“As the Republican nominee, John McCain stood up to the voices of extremism in his party,” the video says. McCain appears in two video clips from town hall meetings when he publicly disavowed statements from audience members questioning Obama’s character and birthplace.

“I have to tell you. He is a decent person,” McCain said of then-Sen. Obama in one clip. “And a person that you do not need to be sacred [of] as president of the United States.”

When one woman calls Obama an Arab, McCain says, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with.”

The tagline of the video: “McCain and Romney: Two Republican nominees. Only one willing to lead.”

Asked Monday about Trump’s claims, Romney told reporters he doesn’t agree with everything his supporters say, but needs their support.

“You know 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,” he 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.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Says He Needs Donald Trump’s Support Despite Birther Views

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney did not distance himself from Donald Trump on Monday, despite the reality TV and real estate mogul’s continued skepticism about President Obama’s birth certificate.

A top Romney adviser said recently that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee believes Obama was born in the United States and the validity of his birth certificate, which has been released by the White House, should not be a campaign issue.

When asked about Trump’s remarks last week questioning whether Obama was born in the United States, Romney said he doesn’t agree with everything his supporters believe, but in the coming election he’ll need their support.

“You know 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 told reporters on an airplane before taking off for a campaign appearance Tuesday in Colorado and Las Vegas.  “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

In an interview with The Daily Beast last week, Trump pointed to old promotional material for Obama’s publisher that listed the president as being born in Kenya.

“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.

Romney is scheduled to appear with Trump in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'This Week' Roundtable Questions Benefits of Romney-Trump Association

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sunday morning on This Week, ABC News’ George Will called Donald Trump a ”bloviating ignoramus,” questioning why presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is associating with the real estate mogul, who once again questioned President Obama’s birthplace this week.

“I do not understand the cost benefit here,” Will said on the This Week roundtable. “The costs are clear. The benefit what voter is gonna vote for [Romney] because he is seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious it seems to me.”

“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,” Will added. “Again, I don’t understand the benefit. What is Romney seeking?” he said.

Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman agreed, adding “it’s a dangerous game that Mitt Romney is playing here because Donald Trump doesn’t have a lot to lose by keeping this birther conversation alive … Mitt Romney and his people have to decide whether standing next to Donald Trump means more votes or fewer votes.”

Trump revived the claims about Obama’s birthplace on Thursday, citing a discredited story about a literary agency that mistakenly listed that Obama was born in Kenya in a recently discovered catalog of clients that included the president.

“Look, it’s very simple,” Trump told The Daily Beast. “He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia … Now they’re saying it was a mistake. Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, ‘Oh, I mean Hawaii.’ Give me a break.”

The real estate mogul endorsed Mitt Romney in February. The pair will appear together on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Trump himself repeatedly flirted with his own presidential run, regularly pushing the “birtherism” claim that President Obama was not born in the United States.

The National Journal’s Ron Brownstein argued that Romney’s embrace of Trump is just part of a pattern we have seen throughout the entire primary season.

“I mean, Mitt Romney throughout the entire primary season has shown very little willingness to confront the right.  And there is a big portion of the conservative base of the party that does believe that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S.,” he said. “And Romney has just seemed to be spooked throughout the whole process at the thought that the right will mobilize against him.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Doubles-Down on Birther Issue; Romney Campaign Stays Mum

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In an interview with The Daily Beast Friday, real estate mogul and Mitt Romney surrogate Donald Trump doubled-down on his fact-challenged claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S. -- a claim that the Romney presidential campaign, currently raffling off a dinner with Trump and Romney to raise money for the campaign, made no effort to condemn.

“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.

“That’s what he told the literary agent,” Trump told Grove. “That’s the way life works … He didn’t know he was running for president, so he told the truth. The literary agent wrote down what he said … He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia … Now they’re saying it was a mistake. Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, ‘Oh, I mean Hawaii.’ Give me a break.”

One might think, given the ample evidence that the president was born in Hawaii -- long-form birth certificate, contemporaneous newspaper accounts -- and the ugly side of the zeitgeist that “birther” claims uncover, that the Romney campaign would be quick to distance the candidate from Mr. Trump -- especially given how quickly the Romney campaign jumped on the remarks of Democratic activist Hilary Rosen when she seemed to belittle stay-at-home mothers. But one would be wrong.

In addition to the dinner with Romney and Trump later in June, Romney will appear on Tuesday with Trump at his hotel in Las Vegas. And the campaign made no effort to distance itself from Trump when asked if the association wasn’t “embarrassing” for Romney by CNN’s Gloria Borger on Friday afternoon.

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.

“Donald Trump has become the birther-in-chief,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said on MSNBC. “I could put the President’s birth certificate on my forehead and Mr. Trump wouldn’t accept that the President was born here in the United States. And it raises a question that’s come up before during this campaign as to whether Governor Romney will embrace the extreme voices in his party or stand up to them.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Campaign Raffles Trump Meeting to Campaign Donors

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- They’re not your every-day lunch companions, but you too could have the chance to break bread with Donald Trump and Mitt Romney -- for a small price.

The Romney campaign launched a “Dine with the Donald” fundraising promotion on Thursday. In exchange for a contribution to Romney for president, the campaign is offering one lucky person the chance to win a fantasy day with Trump:

  • Airport transportation in a Trump vehicle
  • A stay at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York
  • A tour of The Celebrity Apprentice boardroom
  • Opportunity to dine with Donald Trump and Mitt Romney

The winner will be flown to New York City (coach class) for the big day. According to the promotional website, the entire trip has an approximate retail value of $1,035, including a $35 lunch with Trump and Romney.

“As a counter to the Obama-George Clooney event, Mitt Romney has yet again called upon Mr. Trump to provide a little bit of excitement and star power for supporters of Gov. Romney,” said Trump’s top political aide, Michael Cohen. (Cohen was referring to a recent star-studded fundraiser actor George Clooney threw at his Southern California home for President Obama.)

The “Dine with the Donald” day will take place on June 28. That night Trump and Romney will also team up for a high-dollar fundraiser at The Pierre, a swanky New York City hotel.

“Donald Trump has been the single most significant surrogate for Governor Romney and has pledged his continued assistance to ensure that Obama is limited to being a one-term president,” Cohen said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


VP Beat: Rubio on Divisive Politics, Trump Wants In?

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- PORTMAN ADMITS HE’S ‘BORING’  Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in an in depth Washington Post profile of the first term Ohio senator, admits, “I told my staff that I’m so boring that I didn’t even know I was boring.” Portman later added smiling, “However the press wants to characterize it is fine.”

RUBIO DECRIES DIVISIVE POLITICS: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., lamented the divisive state of politics Wednesday, accusing politicians of fostering a culture of ineffectiveness and division and placing the blame for much of this with a veiled swipe at President Obama. “Last three and a half years after our elections, irrespective of how you felt about how they turned out, we all had hope that this nation would embark at a new moment, where somehow we would rise above the petty politics of the moment and have a real honest societal wide conversation about what kind of country we want to be, what kind of role we want to play in the world, and what kind of role we want our government to play in our lives. Well any hope of that is now gone,” Rubio said during his keynote address at the Latino Coalition’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon. “What you have today is nothing less than a whole sale effort to pit one group of Americans against each other on issue after issue.”

Donald Trump weighed in on the veepstakes race in an interview with Newsmax Wednesday.  “You have a lot of really good candidates,” Trump said to Newsmax. “Chris Christie’s a great guy. He’s a friend of mine. You really have someone really good there. Rob Portman, who I don’t know, but I hear fantastic things about. Certainly he’s been very well vetted over the years. He’s a professional who’s been there a long time. He’s been through it. He knows the game and he’s a very, very solid citizen… “On a younger side, you could look at Sen. Rubio, who I think could help with Hispanics. But he is young, and I think he sort of doesn’t want to go through it and doesn’t want to do it.”  But Trump joked about his own potential candidacy telling Newsmax with a smile. “They have a lot of very good people…Probably the best choice of all would be Donald Trump.”

Appearing on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal responded to a question about whether he would join Romney on the GOP ticket if asked.  “I’m not going to speculate on hypotheticals, but I’m going to do everything I can to support Romney and whoever he selects as vice president because we can’t afford another four years, but I’ve got a job that I want.”  When host Chuck Todd pointed out that it wasn’t a denial and asked “You know that right?” Jindal just chuckled and tried to change the topic to college football. You can watch that video here.

PAWLENTY CAMEO: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a former presidential candidate himself, makes a cameo in Romney’s latest general election TV ad entitled “Day 1, Part 2.”

DANIELS AND THE INDY 500: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will be the honorary starter at this weekend’s Indy500, WIBC reports.  “I really caught my breath first and I literally started to say, ‘Awww….. Jeff you want to get somebody else,” Daniels said of when he was asked to wave the green flag to start the race.  “There’s got to be a better idea but then I thought no, that’s a nice offer and besides, what kid that grew up in Indiana didn’t fantasize about being able to see the start from that vantage point?” Daniels said he will practice before the race on Sunday.

BUSH ABROAD: The China Post reports former Gov. Jeb Bush is traveling on a three-day trip to Taiwan this week.

CHRISTIE HITS THE SHORE: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie hits the Jersey Shore Thursday with a tour and press conference in Atlantic City ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe reports.  Christie famously warned shore-goers last summer to “Get the hell off the beach” last summer as Hurricane Irene barreled towards the shore.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her husband were not hurt after a private plane they were flying in late Wednesday night touched down without its landing gear deployed at Santa Fe Municipal Airport.  The couple was returning from a meet and greet campaign event for New Mexico Senate candidate Angie Spears in Tucumcari.

As part of a concerted effort by the RGA to boost Gov. Scott Walker’s standing in the state ahead of recall election, three GOP governors – Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, and Bob McDonnell – will head to the Badger State over the next two weeks to campaign with the embattled governor.  Jindal is on deck, McDonnell will help out on Tuesday, and Haley will be there next Friday.  They will join N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who have already traveled to the state to hit the trail with him.

LOOK AHEAD: Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush will address the NALEO conference in Orlando in late June.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Donald Trump a Vice Presidential Contender?

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- So far Donald Trump’s name hasn’t been in the mix as one of Mitt Romney’s potential vice presidential picks, but could he be a contender?

The real estate mogul and reality television star endorsed Romney relatively early -- back in early February -- and since then he’s been a tireless campaigner for the former Massachusetts governor, holding high-dollar fundraisers, pitching in with radio interviews and recording robo-calls in several key primary states.

“At the present time, Mr. Trump is committed to assisting Mitt Romney and ensuring that Barack Obama becomes a one-term president,” said Michael Cohen, special counsel at the Trump organization.  “In the future, if the opportunity presents itself where Mr. Trump is offered the position of vice president, I suspect he would seriously consider it.”

What would Trump bring to the ticket?

Those close to him cite business experience, charisma, his fundraising rolodex and even his own personal wealth.  The recent Trump-hosted fundraiser held in honor of Mrs. Romney’s birthday reportedly raised more than $600,000. 

Trump often won praise from Mitt and Ann Romney during primary night speeches.  He has also emerged as a vocal critic of President Obama and proponent of Romney on Twitter.

Trump recently tweeted: “We must keep the pressure on @BarackObama‘s administration to make sure Chen comes to the US. It would be a tragedy to abandon him in China” and “Our economy is at a standstill. Some are even predicting a possible double dip. We need to elect @MittRomney in November.”

And Cohen, in an interview with ABC News, also indicated Team Trump is as ready as ever to take on an attack dog role.

“Irrespective of how much money Obama raises and how vicious the attacks against Mitt will be this time,” he said, “President Obama is running on his record, which irrefutably is a failure.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Rips Romney, Congress, and Own Presidency at Correspondents’ Dinner

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — With Congress continuing unprecedented levels of bitter partisan debate and the 2012 presidential campaign in full swing, President Obama struck back Saturday night at a town consumed by politics with a light-hearted roast of his critics and own administration.

To all the Congress “members who took a break from their exhausting schedule of not passing any laws to be here tonight,” he said. “Let’s give them a big round of applause.”

The White House Correspondent’s Dinner is an event where a huge gathering of journalists, politicians, and pop culture celebrities hit the nation’s capital each spring. It’s a time for Washington elite to hobnob with Hollywood stars and, traditionally, for presidents to respond to contemporary issues with a little humor.

The president began by reflecting briefly on last year’s gala; an evening when, unbeknownst to the public, the commander in chief had just given the order to put down “one of the world’s most notorious individuals.” Not Osama bin Laden, but Donald Trump.

And Obama delved quickly into his more immediate critics:

“It’s great to be here this evening in the vast, magnificent Hilton ballroom,” Obama told the audience. “Or what Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper.”

Recognizing it was going to be a tough campaign in the fall, the president digressed that he actually had a lot in common with the Republican candidate.

“We both think of our wives as our better halves and polls show, to an alarmingly insulting extent, the American people agree,” he said.

Both Romney and Obama pursued college degrees from Harvard. “I have one, he has two. What a snob.”

Even Dog-gate was not off the table, with the president showing a satirical Romney attack-ad against First Pooch Bo Obama. Could American dogs afford four more years of Obama? “For them, that’s 28 years.”

“That’s pretty rough, but I can take it,” he responded. “My stepfather always told me, ‘It’s a boy-eat-dog world out there.’”

Romney was not present for the riff, although Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were in attendance. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and a motley crew of lawmakers were also in the audience.

Obama did take a more serious tone toward the end of his remarks, thanking the assembled journalists for their work and recognizing the sacrifices of reporters Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin, who died “to shine a light on some of the most important stories of our time.” Obama told the correspondents he never forgets the dependence of freedom on an open press.

Before departing, he said he needed to get the Secret Service back in time for their new curfew.

Several journalists were presented awards for their coverage of the executive branch. A team from Politico was recognized for their analysis of the negotiations to raise the U.S. debt ceiling; and Associated Press journalists for their series on the New York Police Department’s surveillance program of minority communities under CIA guidance. The AP has also won a Pulitzer Prize for their investigation.

In the broadcast category ABC’s Tapper was awarded for his scoop that Standard and Poor’s would downgrade the U.S. credit rating over Washington gridlock. It is Tapper’s third consecutive year to be honored at the event.

Proceeds from the lavish dinner are divided among the awards and scholarships for journalism students, also given out that evening. But the president said between the tuxedos, gowns, and fine wine, he was just happy it wasn’t a GSA conference.

Following the dinner, the glitterati huddled under umbrellas to attend a number of after parties hosted by MSNBC at the Embassy of Italy, Vanity Fair at French ambassador's residence and Capitol File's soiree at the Newseum.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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