Trump Defiant, Won’t Say Obama Was Born in United States

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview in Canton, Ohio that he remains unwilling to say that President Obama is born in the United States, that he is more bullish than ever on his chances to win and that he is not exploring the launch of a new media company in case he loses the race.

Trump also made a far-from-subtle push — in the interview and in a letter from his doctor released Thursday — to be seen as vigorous and healthy as his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, returned to the campaign trail after being treated for mild pneumonia.

In the interview, conducted late Wednesday aboard his private plane as it idled on the tarmac here, Trump suggested he is not eager to change his pitch or his positions even as he works to reach out to minority voters, many of whom are deeply offended by his long-refuted suggestion that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.

“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

When asked whether his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was accurate when she said recently that he now believes Obama was born in this country, Trump responded: “It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things.”

He added: “I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”

In the interview, Trump defended his wife’s immigration history; attacked targets including CNN host Anderson Cooper and Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.); and said he had been “respectful” since Clinton fell ill but “that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stay there.”

Sitting in his plush, cream-and-gold cabin as his top aides looked on, Trump began by repeatedly recounting his poll numbers, which have ticked up nationally and in some key states.

Trump said a possible turning point in the race came last week when Clinton said that “half” of his supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables” — a remark she has since said she regrets.

“It’s the single biggest mistake in this political cycle, a massive comment, bigger than 47 percent,” Trump said, a reference to Mitt Romney’s controversial 2012 statement at a fundraiser about voters who receive government benefits or pay little in taxes. “When I first heard it, I couldn’t believe that she said it.”

Clinton and her campaign argue that some Trump backers are racist and misogynistic and have sought to link him to the “alt-right” movement of self-avowed white nationalists, many of whom have rallied around his candidacy.

Trump was a leading and vocal proponent of the debunked conspiracy theory that the nation’s first black president was born overseas and thus not eligible for the White House. Obama released his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate in 2011, but Trump has never disavowed his earlier claims.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump claimed, is pure fiction.

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