Last night, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a fundraiser with leading birther advocate Donald Trump. In the days leading up to the event many people implored Romney to follow former Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) admirable example and forcefully counter false conspiracy theories about the President’s citizenship and legitimacy. Instead, as NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris noted, Romney weakly responded by saying that he does not agree with everyone who supports him. According to Harris, this constituted “an utter moral failure” by Romney.
However, as last night’s fundraiser approached, Romney remained silent even as Trump continued to spout off on television and the internet. First, Trump appeared on CNBC and kept pushing his birther nonsense. And, according to The Hill, Trump also took his message to twitter:
‘@BarackObama is practically begging @MittRomney to disavow the place of birth movement, he is afraid of it and for good reason,’ Trump tweeted on Tuesday. ‘He keeps using @SenJohnMcCain as an example, however, @SenJohnMcCain lost the election. Don’t let it happen again.’
Later, Trump appeared on CNN and attacked Wolf Blitzer for challenging Trump’s outrageous claims:
On CNN’s ‘The Situation Room’ Tuesday, Trump maintained that Obama’s birthplace is a matter of opinion, rather than fact.
‘Everybody’s entitled to your opinion,’ he said. ‘You know my opinion and you know his opinion and that’s fine. We’re entitled - as he said yesterday in the airplane - we’re all entitled to our opinions and he’s entitled to have his opinion. I don’t happen to share that opinion, it’s wonderful.’
Blitzer presented Trump with newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth from 1961.
Trump interrupted, ‘Can you stop defending Obama?’
‘Donald, you’re beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you,’ Blitzer replied.
‘You are, Wolf,’ Trump fired back. ‘Let me tell you something, I think you sound ridiculous.’
Trump’s behavior during the CNN interview was so outlandish that Republican strategist David Frum tweeted the following in disgust:
That was a big steaming plate of [expletive] spaghetti Trump just deposited on CNN for his supposed friend Romney
With all of Trump’s behavior throughout the day, Romney still chose to share the stage with Trump later in the evening. CBS reported that Romney stayed silent about Trump’s comments while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—who previously accused Obama of having “Kenyan, anti-colonial” views—insisted that Romney is “not distracted” by Trump’s behavior. In addition, anti-Israel Romney surrogate John Sununu attempted to pivot away from this issue and attacked CNN for pressing the matter.
CBS noted that Trump’s fundraiser was projected to raise at least $2 million for Romney’s campaign. If there is any connection between that and the silence from Romney, then Romney has just demonstrated to the American people that he is not only beholden to the extremist fringes of the Republican Party, but that his silence on their repugnant conspiracy theories and radical agenda is for sale.
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