Donald Trump rekindles ‘birther’ debate; Romney sticks with Trump

Politics

Donald Trump, Entrepreneur

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(CNN) — Donald Trump did not back down on Tuesday from his questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace, keeping the issue alive on the day he is to fund-raise alongside presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“I’ve never really changed. Nothing’s changed my mind,” he said on CNBC of his skepticism toward Obama’s birthplace.

In April 2011, Obama released the long-form version of his birth certificate, which showed he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Natural born American citizenship is one of the Constitutional requirements for the presidency.

“Is it the most important thing?” Trump asked in the interview. “In a way it is. You’re not allowed to be the president if you’re not born in the country.”

Obama’s campaign released a web video on Tuesday that said the 2008 GOP nominee “John McCain stood up to the voices of extremism in his party… Why won’t Mitt Romney do the same?” In the video, McCain is seen addressing a woman who called Obama an “Arab,” saying, “He’s a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday the White House was forced to address the issue last year, “but not because we chose to, but because it was such a ridiculous distraction from the important business that we should be doing here that the president is committed to doing and Congress should be doing to help the economy grow and help it create jobs.”

“We can revisit that but I think the American people are pretty fed up with this kind of nonsense,” he said.

Although Romney and Trump are to fund-raise in Las Vegas on Tuesday, the candidate on Monday chose not to rebuff Trump’s suggestions.

“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 when asked about the issue. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email on Tuesday, “Governor Romney has said repeatedly that he believes President Obama was born in the United States. The Democrats can talk about Donald Trump all they want — Mitt Romney is going to talk about jobs and how we can get our economy moving again.”

In his television interview, the wealthy real estate mogul said, “I walk down the street, and people are screaming, please don’t give that up.”

“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,” he continued.

The literary agent apologized earlier for the mistake, which appeared in a promotional catalogue.

Despite his views and the investigation into Obama’s birth records, Trump maintained on Tuesday, “I don’t consider myself birther or not birther” and said he is “not fanning flames.”

He also acknowledged interest in creating his own super PAC, saying, “we’re looking into it right now.”

“We’re thinking about five or ten million dollars,” he said. “I haven’t thought about it too much. We haven’t given it a lot of energy but we’re starting to think about it very strongly.”

The Tuesday fundraiser is scheduled take place at Trump’s Las Vegas hotel.

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