Donald Trump released his birth certificate today. Upon doing so, he demanded that President Obama do the same.
“Now, this guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn’t,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. “And I didn’t think this was such a big deal, but I will tell you, it’s turning out to be a very big deal because people now are calling me from all over saying, please don’t give up on this issue….I’m starting to wonder myself whether or not [Obama] was born in this country.”
The politics of this are pretty straightforward. Roughly 40% of all Republicans either do not believe or have doubts that President Obama was born in the United States. By “validating” these suspicions, Trump is hoping to bump up his standing in GOP presidential polls in key early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Championing the “birther” movement is a low-cost ticket to double-digit poll ratings, he reasons.
But it’s not without risk. The downside, obviously, is that it makes Mr. Trump appear deranged.