‘Birther’ charade went on for far too long
Donald Trump has finally acknowledged that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
It took long enough for Donald Trump to finally acknowledge that President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.
Congratulations. But the Republican nominee, while apparently ending his repugnant practice of casting doubt on the 44th President’s citizenship, nonetheless managed to falsely blame Democrat Hillary Clinton for stoking the controversy in the first place.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean,” Trump said Friday, according to The Washington Post. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.”
That’s a lie — and Trump knows it.
The claim that Clinton or her campaign was responsible in 2008 for the rise of the so-called “birther movement” has long since been debunked, and no credible person subscribes to that specious yarn.
And it is equally true that no serious person hangs onto the false belief that Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii in August of 1961.
Thus it’s clear that Trump is hanging onto the Clinton claim for one reason and one reason only: Political advantage. In the past week, Clinton’s lead in national polls has evaporated and some voter canvasses now show Trump either running even with, or ahead of, Clinton in such key battleground states as Ohio and Florida.
Clinton was sharply criticized last week for inartfully saying that half of Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables,” because they were racist, xenophobic homophobic, or worse.
Clinton has said she regrets her remarks. But that does not mean she was incorrect.
It’s incontestable that Trump’s rise has been partially fueled by the angriest and most nativist elements of the American farright.
It’s in that shadowy and fetid netherworld, given voice by Breitbart News (whose former executive, Steve Bannon, Trump now employs) that frankly racist speculation about Obama’s parentage, citizenship and religious beliefs rose and flourished.
Thus, there is zero incentive for Trump, who has profited by playing into his supporters’ worst fears about Muslims, immigrants and others, to stop blowing that particular dog whistle by falsely blaming Clinton for starting such hateful rumors.
We would remind Trump that he is running for president of the entire United States — not that just that aging, largely white population that makes up the broadest part of his base.
So, Mr. Trump, if you would presume to lead an entire nation, drop this unseemly charade.
In the past week, Clinton’s lead in national polls has evaporated and some voter canvasses now show Trump either running even with, or ahead of, Clinton in such key battleground states as Ohio and Florida.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Wednesday in Toledo, Ohio.