Photo: Twitter/Steve Peoples
There’s Mitt Romney, in a great snapshot captured by AP reporter Steve Peoples, with Donald Trump’s plane over his shoulder. It is, perhaps, symbolic of Trump’s place in the Romney campaign for at least the near future.
On Monday, Mitt Romney refused to denounce the support of Donald Trump, with whom he is hosting a fundraiser in Las Vegas tonight. This, despite Trump’s status as “birther-in-chief,” as labelled by the Obama campaign, a term coined for his lead on the front of conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama’s birthplace.
Today, rewarding Romney’s support, Trump went birther tirades on CNBC and on his own personal Twitter account.
“I never really changed — nothing’s changed my mind,” Trump said on CNBC of his commitment to questioning Barack Obama’s birthplace. “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.'”
Then he took to his Twitter account:
With that, Trump brought Romney’s name into the “birther” — um, “place of birth” — movement.
How much longer can Romney go without distancing himself from this charade? Either way, he has backed himself into a losing corner. On one hand, the Trump mess detracts from the “real issues” that both sides have been pledging to talk about more. On the other, if Romney disavows Trump’s support now, it’s a loss in money, and another media-led charade for a few days.
The Obama campaign released this statement ahead of the Romney-Trump fundraiser, from campaign manager Stephanie Cutter:
“Mitt Romney’s continued embrace of Donald Trump and refusal to condemn his disgraceful conspiracy theories demonstrates his complete lack of moral leadership. Now he’s even standing by silently as Trump assails John McCain’s courage in standing up to the most extreme and hateful voices in the Republican Party — all in order to raise money for himself. 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?”
Mitt Romney and Donald Trump will undoubtedly be engulfed tonight by the “birther” story. It will be interesting to see how Romney handles it — and how he handles Trump.
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