Orly Taitz and Joseph Farah tell Salon they're thrilled with the attention the mogul has brought to their theory
There are many theories about why Mitt Romney is embracing Donald Trump, especially after Trump reaffirmed his conviction to CNN this afternoon that President Obama was not born in the United States. But what do the real birthers think of the sudden, renewed attention? We spoke to some of the theory’s top advocates to find out.
Orly Taitz, the dentist cum lawyer cum California Senate candidate who has filed numerous colorful lawsuits challenging Obama’s birth certificate, is thrilled. “Romney is correct, this is long overdue,” Taitz told Salon. “I do believe that the Romney campaign is sending a message that they are questioning Obama’s eligibility.”
Joseph Farah, the publisher of the conservative news outfit WorldNetDaily, which devotes the vast majority of its time to advancing new grist for the birth certificate mill, agrees. Farah sees the campaign’s use of Trump as a subtle way to appease what he sees as a surprisingly large voting bloc who still have doubts about Obama’s birth, all without making the candidate actually say it himself.
“Trump, whether he’s out there publicly talking about eligibility or not during the campaign, because of what he’s previously said and done on the subject, has already won the hearts and minds of people out there who are suspicious about this, so they associate Trump with suspicions about Obama’s story,” Farah told Salon.
“So that will help Romney solidify a base that he desperately needs to carry overwhelmingly, and Romney doesn’t need to say anything,” he said. In a sense, they’re “doing each others’ bidding” — Romney gets to associate with the issue while Trump gets to be Trump.
Farah said as many as 50 percent of Americans have doubts about Obama’s story, while Taitz pointed to a dubious online poll which found that 99 percent of Tea Party supporters do not believe that Obama was born in Hawaii.
Though a recent YouGov poll found the number of doubters to be about 25 percent, Farah may have a point about Romney’s need to appeal to skeptical arch-conservatives who really hate Obama. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) strongly repudiated the birthers in 2008, but as Trump himself tweeted today, “@BarackObama is practically begging @MittRomney to disavow the place of birth movement, he is afraid of it and for good reason. He keeps using @SenJohnMcCain as an example, however, @SenJohnMcCain lost the election. Don’t let it happen again.”
Still, Trump may not be an ideal advocate for the cause, Farah acknowledged, saying his characteristically flamboyant and self-centered approach to pursuing the issue is not always the most informed. “Does Donald Trump know all that stuff? I don’t know,” he said.
Though neither said they’ve been contacted by the Romney campaign, Taitz said she has been invited to two Romney fundraisers by their hosts, including one who was a Bush-era ambassador to Spain.
Meanwhile, Taitz called on Romney to release his birth certificate as well (he has not, so far), and she has said both vice presidential candidates should, too. “We have to be consistent,” she explained.
More Related Stories
- A progressive defense of drones
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
- Murkowski: Palin too disengaged to run for Senate
- In IRS scandal, new GOP tactic is ignorance
- Code Pink activist berates Obama at national security speech
- Cuomo: "Shame on us" if New York City elects Weiner
- Coburn calls questions about tornado aid "typical Washington B.S."
- Conspiracy theorists clash over London attack
- Voting is not a right
- Destroying the planet for record profits
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Pic of the day: Barack Obama at prom
- Anti-Islam backlash in London after machete attack
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Obama’s drone speech will probably be maddening
- Boehner: "Inconceivable" Obama didn't know about IRS targeting
- Obama to announce new effort to close Guantanamo Bay
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11