This is what “personal responsibility” looks like now from the leader of the Republican Party. Devoted “birther” Donald Trump tried to duck responsibility for leading charge of the birther movement against President Obama by blaming Hillary Clinton.
Trump did that by relying on yet another debunked Republican conspiracy theory that most helpfully blames Clinton for a movement stoked by Republicans since 2008.
Here's video of Donald Trump's brief comment about the "birther controversy" just now: https://t.co/2XbuKNvs1X
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) September 16, 2016
Speaking at his new Trump International Hotel (more free publicity!), Trump falsely accused Hillary Clinton of having first raised questions about Mr. Obama’s birthplace during the 2008 Democratic primary.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy,” Mr. Trump said. “I finished it.”
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now, we all want to get back to making America strong and great again,” Trump said.
Trump started off his “accountability” with blaming Hillary Clinton for starting the birther movement in 2008. However, this is a lie. Hillary Clinton never suggested that Barack Obama didn’t have a valid birth certificate.
Hillary Clinton is not and never has been a “birther”, so says FactCheck.Org, though FactCheck says some of her supporters certainly stoked the fires that he might be a Muslim.
“He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one, but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that,” Donald Trump said in a 2011 interview with Fox News, long after Obama had released his birth certificate.
Trump is wrong. Hillary Clinton is not to blame for his birtherism, Hillary Clinton didn’t start the birther movement and she certainly didn’t force Donald Trump to run around making a fool of himself trying to delegitimize the first black president by claiming the birth certificate Obama released wasn’t valid.
In June of 2016, while running for President, Trump told CNN’s Brian Stelter that while he would love to keep talking about where Obama was born, he refrains because it’s distracting. “Trump suggested the reason why he doesn’t engage in ‘birther’ speculation anymore is because it gets too much attention, crowding out other issues.” These are not the words of a statesman.
Just Thursday night, Donald Trump refused to say that Barack Obama was born in the United States.
The bottom line is that Donald Trump has been peddling birtherism to stoke racial resentment, playing the Republican Southern Strategy game of conning white people into voting against their own best interest by pointing fingers at black people.
Donald Trump has fed the horrible beast of the Republican birther game for years. He has stoked racial animus and tried to delegitimize the president of the United States.
Instead of taking personal responsibility for it, instead of apologizing to President Obama and the public for the ugly racism he helped inflame over years, Donald Trump blamed his opponent — who has never once suggested that Barack Obama wasn’t born here.
Donald Trump just fed the public a debunked conspiracy as a Get Out of Jail free card for his own behavior, and while this has worked in the past, the media is not buying it today. There are some places decent people do not go, and the birther conspiracy is one of them. Another is the conspiracy that blames Clinton for it. Has Donald Trump ever been held accountable for his actions in his entire adult life? Does he even know how to be a semi-decent person?
Enough with the relentless lies.
Donald Trump isn’t fit to wipe President Obama’s shoes. Donald Trump is an embarrassment to this country and to our values. He should not be running for president on a major party’s ticket. He must be shut down hard in November.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.