Donald Trump is nothing if not persistent. The controversial business tycoon, reality TV personality, and former GOP presidential hopeful is once again trumpeting the factually inaccurate claim that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and is therefore ineligible to be president. (Obama was born in Hawaii, and released a long-form version of his birth certificate in April 2011.) Trump's remarks could be problematic for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is speaking at a Trump-hosted fundraiser in Las Vegas Tuesday night. (Among the prizes: A dinner with Trump and Romney, together.) Asked about Trump's birtherism, Romney said, "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." Should Romney go further and just dump The Donald?
It's time to let Trump go: It doesn't make sense for Romney to associate himself with Trump, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. First of all, Trump's biggest concern is promoting himself, not Romney. "I'm not even sure he actually believes this birther nonsense" — he just enjoys the attention. But more importantly, Trump is a failure politically. A campaign surrogate is supposed to speak for the campaign, but Trump "goes off-message the second he opens his mouth." Why would Team Romney want someone like that around?
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Trump is actually an important asset: Having Trump around "gives Mitt Romney a way of being brash without being brash," says David Brody at CBN. Trump's bravado taps into the portion of the GOP that Romney struggles with. Buddying up to Trump "connects him to a flamethrower and his audience without having to throw the flames himself." Besides, Romney still needs to raise a daunting amount of money to keep up with Obama. "You think Trump might help a little bit with that?"
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For most Americans, Trump is a non-factor: Whether or not Romney embraces Trump really only matters to the "inside the beltway crowd," says Rick Moran at The American Thinker. As long as Romney continues to reiterate that he doesn't agree with Trump's views on Obama's birth certificate, "it will hardly matter to the rest of America." And the Obama campaign would be wise to back down on its criticism of who Romney associates with. Jeremiah Wright, anyone?
"Should Romney embrace birther Trump?"