The birther issue is dragging Trump down fast. A prime example of the sinking of Donald Trump under his own racist past came when Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway collapsed into babbling talking points when asked about birtherism on Meet The Press.
Transcript of part of the Todd/Conway exchange:
–hang on a minute. You guys, in a press release on Friday, called Birtherism a smear. You used the word “smear.” So for five years, and you were doing it to try to attack Hillary Clinton, does that mean for five years Donald Trump was perpetuating a smear? So if he was, why didn’t Donald Trump apologize to the president? Why didn’t Donald Trump apologize to the family of somebody who died in a plane crash where he tweeted out innuendo that this person somehow was involved in some cover-up with the birth certificate? If your campaign believes it’s a smear, shouldn’t Donald Trump apologize to the president?
We were reminding people where this started. It was used as a smear against Senator Obama by Clinton campaign associates. And by the way, not a bunch of summer interns who just got it all wrong and were a little bit too ambitious. These were chief strategists, pollsters, long-term confidence– confidantes, who were pushing this….
I respectfully disagree, it does matter where it started.
But Kellyanne, in– in 2012, when he was thinking about running for president, he tweeted things like this: “An extremely credible source has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” Also in 2012, “When I was 18, people called me Donald Trump. When he was 18, Barack Obama was Barry Soweto. Weird.” Those are just a number of examples, when he was running for president, where he was bringing up this issue. So how can you just totally dismiss this as part of his political identity?
Chuck, I think the only people less obsessed about this are those still covering it. Mr. Trump made very clear, and we hardly get any kind of clarity from the Clinton campaign on very much. And he took to the podium and took maybe a minute or less to state three very crisp things. And now he’s moved onto the issues people care about. I mean it just– I have to say it’s remarkable to me, to be out there with people and hear what they want covered, I’m looking at NBC’s poll this morning, Chuck, and I don’t see this issue anywhere in the top 40. So I mean top 20.
Is what I see, and you know–
I get what you’re deflecting. And if I were in your shoes, I understand why you’re deflecting.
I’m not deflecting.
You are deflecting.
Kellyanne Conway tried to lie about Trump’s birther past, blame Clinton for Trump’s birtherism, claim birtherism doesn’t matter, then finally, she tried to deflect and change the subject.
Her interview was almost as bad as Mike Pence’s collapse when he was confronted with Trump’s birtherism. The Trump campaign brought up the birther issue.
They suckered the media into covering a publicity stunt for Trump’s new hotel with a promise of a press conference that never happened. The Trump campaign continues to lie about the Republican nominee’s long history of birtherism, and now they are being suffocated by Donald Trump’s history of racism towards President Obama.
The campaign can’t escape Trump’s birtherism, and they have set the stage for Trump’s history of racist treatment of nation’s first African-American president to be an issue in the first presidential debate.
The September Trump bump has turned into a pit of quicksand that is sinking his entire campaign.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association