Billionaire businessman Donald Trump, whose comments about Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president have stirred up another media firestorm this week, says he doesn’t talk to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney about the issue.
“I actually think it’s a very good issue for Mitt Romney. I actually do. Now, I may be different. And again, I’m not a politician. I’m somebody that’s done very well in business. I understand what life is all about,” he told Greta Van Susteren during her “On the Record” show last night.
“I actually think it’s a great issue for Mitt Romney, but he might not think that way. And we certainly can disagree on that. We don’t even talk about that issue, by the way. We talk about jobs. We talk about lots of other things.
“One of the reasons I support him, I think he’s a fine person who also understands China, understands OPEC and understands what it’s going to take to bring this country back. That’s really what we talk about. We don’t talk about this particular issue. I don’t like to use the word ‘birther,’ because I think it’s very condescending to a very important issue. … But we don’t talk about that.”
The issue has erupted since Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that if his network reported accurately on the questions about Obama’s eligibility, its ratings might be better.
“Obama does not like the issue of where he was born,” he told Blitzer in the interview. “There’s something that bothers Obama very much. I will tell you: It’s not an issue that he likes talking about, so what he does is use reverse psychology on people like you … He does not like that issue because it’s hitting very close to home. You know it, and he knows it – but you don’t report it accurately.”
The heated exchange between Blitzer and Trump can be seen here.
Trump then became the target of a conversation between former New York Gov. David Paterson, now a talk radio host, and NBC Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd.
Paterson suggested it’s possible Obama is ineligible and “got away” with it.
Paterson also linked the idea of treason with Obama’s actions.
The two were discussing how Romney should have distanced himself more from Trump and his view of Obama’s eligibility.
“Even if he wasn’t born in the United States at this point,” Paterson said. “It’s kind of like he got away with it.”
He continued, “A lot of people get away with a lot of things.”
He compared Obama’s actions to those of Richard Nixon.
“We learned later that Nixon spied on Johnson’s Paris peace talks,” Paterson said. “That was actually an act of … uh .. I mean it was against the interests of the U.S. government. You’ve got to say that before you would say it’s treason. But he got away with it. Decided it wasn’t a good thing to bring up at that particular time. Not only did he get away with it, he won the election.”
See Trump’s comments to Van Susteren:
Trump, whose publicly expressed doubts about Obama likely were part of the reason that the White House released the online image of a Hawaiian birth certificate for Obama in April 2011, said it was the report of the 1991 Obama bio stating he was born in Kenya that revived the issue.
“It was brought up by somebody releasing a statement from the 1990s by Barack Obama, when he was not even thinking in terms of the presidency, and strongly stated that he was born in Kenya and that he was raised in Indonesia,” Trump told Van Susteren.
Trump said he started getting calls.
“I gave my 2 cents. I mean, I’ve always felt that there were a lot of holes in this whole situation,” he said.
He said it appears Obama himself made the Kenyan claim.
“He made that statement himself. And the publisher wrote it, and he wrote it down, and he – it was – it was going to be part of a brochure to sell a book. That’s a pretty strong statement. And that was made by somebody that wasn’t running for president and probably had no intention of ever running for president. So I think it probably a very honest statement.”
He said, “I can tell you that this is not an issue, despite what he says, that President Obama likes. This is hitting very close to home. This is not something that he enjoys.”
But Trump said it’s much more important to talk about the economy, OPEC, China and “what’s going on with virtually every country in the world that is just ripping the United States and making it to a point where we can in many cases not properly function.”
“We have $16 trillion in debt soon to be, and we have to do something about it. And I would much prefer – and you know this because I’ve told you this many times. I would much prefer discussing that than discussing anything else. And that’s also my expertise.”
He told Van Susteren that she was the one who brought up the issue, and “frankly, if you would have not brought up the birth certificate or the place of birth, I wouldn’t be discussing it with you.”
“I would much prefer talking about jobs, because I’m really good at that. I’d much prefer talking about the economy. I’d much prefer talking about other nations and what they’re doing to us and how they’re hurting us and how we can solve that problem. But in all fairness, Greta, you brought it up, I didn’t bring it up.”
Trump said that Obama’s college records – which he has kept private by going to court – “may have some good information” about his place of birth.
“It would be very interesting to see what happened,” Trump said.
Some mainstream media outlets claim Trump’s comments have put Romney in an awkward position. Romney has said he believes Obama was born in the U.S., but Democrats have criticized him for not distancing himself from Trump.
Even Obama took aim at the pair by releasing a video “highlighting Mitt Romney’s failure to condemn Donald Trump’s over-the-line rhetoric.”
“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,” the Obama campaign said, “what does that say about the kind of president he would be?”
Romney has refused to condemn Trump, saying, “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me. My guess is they don’t agree with everything I believe in. But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”
For more than a year, Trump has consistently maintained he has doubts the Obama birth certificate released by the White House is genuine.
As WND reported in March 2011, Trump suggested Obama’s presidency could be “illegal” if legitimate proof is not provided demonstrating he is indeed a “natural born citizen” of the U.S.
Trump also wondered why no doctors or nurses have come forward to announce their presence at Obama’s birth.
In March and April of 2011, Trump staged a weeks-long public campaign questioning Obama’s eligibility to be president – and he rose to the top of the pool of potential candidates for the 2012 GOP nomination then as a result – saying he believes the “birth certificate” released by the White House is forged.
“I always said I wanted to know if it was real,” Trump told WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi, author of the best-seller, “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President.”
During their conversation, Trump told Corsi his own computer expert told him that the image posted online was a computer-generated document.
Then, in March, the famous billionaire heaped praise on Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the Arizona lawman’s probe into the authenticity of Obama’s purported birth certificate and his eligibility for office. Arpaio’s preliminary conclusion is there’s probable cause to believe the White House document is a forgery.
Following the Maricopa County sheriff’s Cold Case Posse news conference March 1 in Phoenix, Trump personally penned a handwritten note of congratulations to Arpaio.
Having printed out an Associated Press report of the event that featured a photograph of Arpaio, Trump wrote diagonally in the upper left hand corner, “Joe – Great going – You are the only one with the ‘guts’ to do this – Keep up the good fight – Donald Trump.”