Romney releases birth certificate

Trump goes on another birther rant, and Mitt misspells "America." Wednesday's top political stories

Published May 30, 2012 12:46PM (EDT)

- Mitt Romney may just win this thing: Surprising no one, the candidate officially captured the last of the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the GOP nomination last night in Texas, despite months of punditry about the possibility that the race could go all the way to the GOP convention.

But maybe Romney shouldn’t even bother. As Reuters reports, astrologists foresee that Obama will be reelected. Still, it may not be easy: "The ingress of Saturn into Scorpio may trouble him," one said. "It won't cost him the election, but it may indicate difficulties in the first half of his second term."

- In case there was any doubt that Romney’s embrace of Donald Trump was a nod to birthers: The candidate released his birth certificate just minutes before a joint appearance with the reality TV star in Las Vegas last night. “Birther queen” Orly Taitz will be pleased, as she told me yesterday that Romney should disclose the document.

Most pundits assume Trump, acting as Romney's surrogate and fundraiser, is “off message,” but the timing of the birth certificate release seems to add further evidence to the alertnate theory that the candidate is quietly trying to appeal to Republican voters who are still not convinced that Obama was born in the United States, without having to actually say a word about Obama’s birth certificate himself. Why else would Romney unexpectedly release the document last night when no one had been demanding to see it?

Still, budding Romney birthers may point out that it’s not actually a birth certificate but a “certificate of live birth.” Someone call Sheriff Joe Arpaio!

- Donald Trump went on his third televised birther rant in 24 hours last night: After taking his message to CNBC in the morning and CNN in the afternoon, he stopped by Fox News to tell host Greta Van Susteren that he wants “good solid proof” that Obama was born in the U.S. Asked what kind of proof might satisfy him, Trump replied, “Let’s get back to jobs.” And while many speculate the Obama campaign is liking all this birther talk, Trump insisted, “I actually semi-know for a fact that they hate this subject." At least “semi-know” is closer to a fact than Trump usually gets.

But the Christian Science Monitor’s Liz Marlantes argues the focus on Trump has obscured the “most important meeting” Romney had in Vegas yesterday -- with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who single-handedly kept Newt Gingrich’s campaign afloat for several months in the GOP primary and could send big money Romney’s way.

- The $1 billion plan: Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei are out with a big story today about the “loose network of prominent conservatives” who plan to spend about $1 billion attacking Obama and congressional Democrats this year. The network includes the usual suspects -- Karl Rove’s groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch brothers, among others:

That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections - twice what they had been expected to commit.

Restore Our Future, the super PAC backing Romney, plans to spend another $100 million, while Rove’s American Crossroads and its dark-money sister group Crossroads GPS will spend a combined $300 billion. Thank you Citizens United.

Last week, Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickenson profiled of some of the biggest donors to the Romney campaign proper.

- What would Mitt Romney’s foreign policy look like? Foreign Policy magazine’s Daniel Drezner sketches out the first year of a Romney administration if the candidate “had to implement every foreign policy campaign promise he's ever made in every foreign-policy white paper, op-ed, campaign statement, or random utterance that came from his campaign.”

Meanwhile, ThinkProgress’s Ali Gharib points out that while Romney is slamming Barack Obama’s approach to Syria, the Republican has adopted one based on … Barack Obama’s foreign policy approach to Syria.

- Mitt Romney loves “A-M-E-R-C-I-A”: The Romney campaign rolled out a nifty little iPhone app last night with one big embarrassing glitch: It doesn’t know how to spell America. “Here’s how the free app works: You take a photo, then are able to lay one of 14 ‘I’m With Mitt’ banners over the image ... The problem? One of the 14 options reads, in fact, ‘A Better Amercia.’ Yes, Amercia,” Mashable reports.

I’m just a kid that wants to make a difference for America,” Romney weirdly told Fox News in an interview to be aired later this week. I think he means “Amercia.”

- Tea Party victory in Texas: Tea Party-favorite Ted Cruz was able to force a runoff in last night’s Texas GOP Senate primary against lieutenant governor David Dewhurst. Experts who spoke with Salon think the July runoff will favor Cruz, who has more dedicated supporters willing to go to the polls on a hot Texas summer day when turnout will likely be extremely low.

Noting that Dewhurst is no moderate, Steve Kornacki explains the new Tea Party modus operandi:

The Tea Party movement isn’t about purging moderates; that happened a long time ago. It’s about forcing the entire GOP to embrace a partisan warfare style of governance. When it comes to the Senate and House, that means electing candidates who will shun compromise with Democrats and exploit every possible legislative tool to advance their own agenda and stall the other party’s. It is about absolutism.

- Dirty tricks in Wisconsin recall: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's (D) gubernatorial campaign was inundated with calls that clogged phone lines and caused headaches yesterday after a mysterious text message went out to thousands of Wisconsinites calling Barrett a “union puppet” and urging people to call his office. The campaign blamed allies of Republican Governor Scott Walker, whom Barrett will face in a recall election next week.

By Alex Seitz-Wald

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2012 Elections Donald Trump Mitt Romney