Mitt Romney Stands By Birther King

This evening in Las Vegas, birther king Donald Trump will host a $2 MILLION fundraiser for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. This comes on top of $600,000 raised at a “birthday party” for Ann Romney that Trump held last month at his New York City home.

It was just last week that Trump renewed his vitriolic, racially-tinged attacks on the president, saying “the truth” was that President Obama was born in Kenya:

“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.”

Did this deter the Romney campaign from standing with Trump? Nope. Not even a little bit.

In yet another complete failure to stand up to the most extreme elements of right wing, Romney refused to repudiate Trump on the birther issue. In comments to reporters last night, Romney even implied that he’d be willing to associate himself with nearly anyone so long as it would help him win:

“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 appearances 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.”

For his part, Trump tweeted today that he was “very excited” to be hosting tonight’s fundraiser. But that’s not all Trump had to say today. This morning, he launched into yet another unhinged birther rant:

“I never really changed — nothing’s changed my mind,” Trump told CNBC, reassuring that his birtherism is as rock solid as it was last year when he briefly led Republican primary polling. “And by the way, you know, you have a huge group of people. I walk down the street and people are screaming, ‘Please don’t give that up.’ Look, a publisher came out last week and had a statement about Obama given to them by Obama when he was doing a book as a young man a number of years ago in the ’90s: ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia.’”[…]

“I’ve been known as being a very smart guy for a long time,” he said. “I don’t consider myself birther or not birther, but there are some major questions here that the press doesn’t want to cover. Now, if that were somebody else they’d be covering it and they’d be throwing people out of office, but they don’t want to cover it.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Trump then took to Twitter to rant some more:

.@BarackObama is practically begging @MittRomney to disavow the place of birth movement, he is afraid of it and for good reason. He keeps using @SenJohnMcCain as an example, however, @SenJohnMcCain lost the election. Don’t let it happen again.

Romney’s embrace of the birther-in-chief is not only offensive and indicative of a lack of moral courage, it’s also hypocritical. When a prominent supporter of Gov. Rick Perry denounced Romney’s Mormon faith as a “cult,” Romney himself called on Perry to “repudiate” his supporters’ comments.

The Romney campaign is also trying to rewrite history by claiming that it ignored Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney, which it very much did not ignore and which consumed the media for weeks. Maggie Haberman and Reid Epstein of the Politico point out the important facts that distinguish Romney’s embrace of Trump from other “psuedo-surrogate”-related controversies:

Trump is an actual Romney surrogate — one who has recorded robocalls for the presumptive GOP nominee, hosted a fundraiser for his wife Ann in his Fifth Avenue home, and pressed the candidate’s case on Fox News and elsewhere.

IN ONE SENTENCE: It appears that Mitt Romney is far more interested in raising $2.6 MILLION for his campaign and cozying up to those who traffic in conspiracy theories than he is in providing the leadership necessary to stand up to extremists within his own party.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed

Tony Perkins has accepted a dinner invitation at the home of LGBT activist Jennifer Chrisler after Perkins said during an interview last week that he had never visited the home of a gay or lesbian couple.

Charts show how last year’s debt ceiling stand-off hurt the nation’s economy — a gamble Republicans are eager to take again.

Rush Limbaugh thinks he’s created more jobs than Obama and Romney put together.

Income inequality can be seen from space.

Alyssa on the issue of race in Hollywood.

A New Orleans women’s clinic becomes the latest target of arson attacks.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) seeks to avoid any Wisconsin voter who is not already a supporter.

ProgressMass debunks Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) dishonest new TV ad.

Mitt Romney’s latest attacks on clean energy “wave the white flag of surrender” to China.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Advocacy Team