Should Mitt Romney repudiate Donald Trump? (+video)(Read article summary)
Mitt Romney is joining Donald Trump Tuesday evening in Las Vegas for a fundraiser that should raise $2 million, even as Trump is renewing his questioning of Obama's birthplace.
Should Mitt Romney repudiate Donald Trump? This question arises because A) Romney joins Trump for a fundraiser in Las Vegas Tuesday night, and B) Trump continues to question whether President Obama was born in the United States.
It's true â€“ even though Obama has released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii, the Donald says he remains unconvinced of the citizenship of the nationâ€™s chief executive. In an interview with the Daily Beast last week, Mr. Trump pointed to an old Obama bio from a literary agency that listed him as a Kenyan native.
The literary folks in question quickly corrected what they said at the time was an error, and an employee admitted the mistake. Trump thinks thatâ€™s suspicious.
â€śHe didnâ€™t know he was running for president, so he told the truth,â€ť the developer/reality show host told the Beastâ€™s Lloyd Grove.
On Tuesday, Trump doubled down, writing on his Twitter feed that Mr. Obama is â€śpractically beggingâ€ť Mr. Romney â€śto disavow the place of birth movement, he is afraid of it and for good reason.â€ť
Unsurprisingly, the Obama campaign is all over this. The presidentâ€™s camp released an ad Tuesday that contrasts Sen. John McCain correcting votersâ€™ misinformation about Obama with Romneyâ€™s Trumpian embrace.
Mitt Romney, meanwhile, is waving the dispute aside. Asked about it on Monday, he said â€śI donâ€™t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they donâ€™t all agree with everything I believe in.â€ť
Even if Romney wanted to keep Trump at armâ€™s length, nowâ€™s a bad time. Tonightâ€™s Las Vegas dinner should raise $2 million for Romneyâ€™s coffers. The pair even raffled off a seat near them to raise extra dough.
And hereâ€™s our view: Romney doesnâ€™t have to repudiate Trump, because a political association with the â€śCelebrity Apprenticeâ€ť chief, however tenuous, is its own punishment.
Look at it in this context: surely youâ€™ve heard Trump rant about something or other on â€śFox & Friends,â€ť or â€śThe View.â€ť If you were as rich as Romney, wouldnâ€™t you pay $2 million to avoid having dinner with that person? Of course you would.
But Romneyâ€™s gritting his teeth and bearing up for the sake of party harmony. Or something â€“ conservative columnist George Will, for the life of him, canâ€™t understand why the presumptive GOP nominee started down this road at all.
â€śI do not understand the cost/benefit here.... The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious, it seems to me,â€ť said Will on Sunday during an appearance on ABC Newsâ€™ â€śThe Week.â€ť
Trump fired back in kind on his Twitter feed, writing that Will is the â€śdumbestâ€ť and â€śmost overratedâ€ť political commentator of â€śall time.â€ť
â€śIf the Republicans listen to him, they will lose,â€ť wrote Trump.