*Like they say, “don’t start none, won’t be none.”
Well, actually we substituted “none” for a certain “s” word, but you get our drift.
That leads us to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who wonders why he gets zero love from African Americans.
Today, at a campaign stop in Commerce, Michigan, Romney came right out and made an appeal to birthers in the crowd.
“No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate,” he said to their delight.
Days after MSNBC’s Touré pointedly refused to include Romney in his apology for using the n-word to describe the campaign’s tactics, it appears the commentator’s critics owe him an apology, points out Tommy Christopher writing for Mediaite.
“I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised,” Romney told the crowd, “where both of us were born. Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital, I was born in Harper Hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
The crowd ate it up, and Romney’s remark is simply an extension of the years-long campaign that Touré described, to racially marginalize the President, reminded Christopher in his article.
*President Obama was indeed prophetic when he said at a press conference a year ago that his release of his long form birth certificate would not convince countless numbers of anti-Obama skeptics that he was a bona fide American. Nearly a year after the president called it right on the bogus issue, the Public Policy Polling survey of GOP voters in Georgia, Tennessee, and more troubling, Ohio, because it’s the key battleground state, found that more than one third of GOP voters still didn’t believe he was born in the U.S. The same high degree of doubt about Obama’s birth likely would be found among GOP voters in other states. Billionaire professional Obama basher Donald Trump almost certainly knew that, and that he spoke for untold millions when he calculatingly lashed out at Obama again with the phony birther charge.
Before Trump shoved the issue back into public debate, the hope was that despite the president’s warning and fear, and the negative poll findings, that birtherism had become a non election issue. This seemed even more the case when GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and the top GOP presidential contenders during the GOP primary campaign, all publicly rejected the birther claim about Obama.
But their public rejection of it as Trump has amply shown won’t put the issue to rest simply because birtherism is a serviceable political chip for the GOP. In the months immediately before and after the president released his long form certificate, bills were introduced in fourteen states that required presidential candidates to show iron clad proof of their U.S. birth. None of the bills passed. However, the mere fact of introducing the birth certificate requirement legislation in these states was just enough to continue to fan the flames of anti-Obama sentiment. There’s even more to this apparent crackpot stuff.
The scurrilous ultraconservative attack line against Obama from the moment that he announced his presidential candidacy in 2007 is that he’s unpatriotic, a closet socialist and Islamic radical. This fit in with a tact that the GOP has honed over four decades and that’s to assault Democratic presidential candidates and presidents, and that’s character attack, character attack, and character attack some more. This ploy sows public seeds of doubt about Democrats even deeper, deflects attention from the real issues of the economy, health care education, and foreign policy concerns. In the case of Obama the birther issue has an added pay-off; it reinforces the latent and overt bigotry among many GOP voters, and more than a few Democrats. That’s was sadly apparent in polls that show some Democrats still won’t back Obama solely because of race. White Democrats in a recent Democratic primary in West Virginia went much further than anti-Obama racial talk and gave a white Texas felon running against Obama a significant number of their votes.
Add to that the legion of websites, bloggers, and the conservative site WorldNetDaily, and the pack of right-wing talk show hosts, including Fox’s Sean Hannity, that relentlessly pound on the issue. They are read, watched and listened to, and believed, by millions of Americans. The birther issue is and always will be alive and well with them. It’s driven in part by naked racism, and in part by the GOP’s loathing of Obama’s economic policies, and moderate political views.
The emergence of massively funded Super Pacs may give yet another potential potent push to the birther issue as a weapon against Obama. A few GOP connected Super Pac bankrollers have floated straw man issues such as Obama’s long severed tie with his former pastor Jeremiah Wright and the non-revelation that Obama once smoked pot to test whether these slurs would touch a public nerve. They didn’t. But it’s still early in the stretch drive of the 2012 presidential campaign. There’s little doubt that the search is on with a vengeance to scrounge up any piece of political muck that can be funded and pounded into a video hit against the president. The birther issue almost certainly will fit into the dirty attack campaign somewhere.
Obama hit Romney hard for his schmooze with Trump at the very moment that Trump blathered out again the zany birther line. The aim was to link Romney by association with birtherism despite Romney’s public disavowal of it. The president was right to go on the attack against him on this. But no matter, birtherism is just too juicy and too battle tested an issue not to revive in some way especially given the fact as Obama sadly noted when he released his certificate that so many want to believe the worst about him. Trump certainly knew that. That’s why neither he nor the birthers will go away.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour heard weekly on the nationally network broadcast Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.
Former Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell speaks during a ceremony inducting him as an honorary member of South Carolina State University's Army ROTC Hall of Fame Friday, May 6, 2011, on the school's campus in Orangeburg, S.C.
*Colin Powell told graduates of South Carolina’s premier historically black university that they were graduating during a tumultuous week that saw a royal wedding, a pope’s beatification and a U.S. military assault that killed Osama bin Laden, “the worst person on earth.”
But the former secretary of state and Joint Chiefs chairman told South Carolina State University’s 400 graduates on Friday that he particularly enjoyed another recent event: “That was when President Obama took out his birth certificate and blew away Donald Trump and all the birthers!”
According to the AP, the stadium roared in approval of Powell’s comments on the president’s move earlier this month to quell the doubts of those who don’t believe he was born in Hawaii. The retired Army four-star general endorsed Obama’s 2008 presidential bid.
Earlier Friday, Powell was made an honorary member of the school’s ROTC hall of fame.
*After weeks of allegations, led by Donald Trump, that he was not born in the U.S. and, as a result, not legally able to serve in the nation’s highest office, President Obama released his long-form birth certificate to the public. According to the official document, the President was born in the U.S., Hawaii to be exact, and not in Kenya or Indonesia, as his critics would have you believe.
Fringe groups have been alleging that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. since he announced his run for the presidency three years ago. At the time, he submitted an official record of birth, a document most states give to anyone seeking a copy of their birth certificate, as proof of his citizenship. But the birthers-those who maintain Obama was not born in the U.S. – didn’t accept that document; they wanted to see his original birth certificate.
The President, who chose to rise above the foolishness, said it was finally time to dispel the rumors because the media was giving more attention to this non-controversy than it was to important national issues, such as the economy and public safety. When Obama released the document, he pointedly compared those who were making an issue out of where he was born to side shows and carnival barkers…and he was right; that is exactly what Trump has become. No one outside of the fringe is taking Trump seriously as a presidential candidate. Instead, people tune in to see what shocking thing he’ll say next. Americans aren’t looking to Trump to leadership – they are looking to him for laughs.
Now, Trump wants to see the President’s school transcripts, saying he doesn’t know how the President, who admitted to not being the most studious youngster, was accepted into Harvard Law. Trump maintains the President got into Harvard because of affirmative action. We don’t know how Obama got into Harvard Law…but he did. And he went on to edit the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year and became president of the journal in his second year. Even if affirmative action opened the doors of Harvard to Obama, he made the most of the opportunity given to him and excelled. And that is all that matters.
The President should not bow to these latest demands…he should treat Trump like the clown he is: trapped in a big media circus of his own making.
Judge Greg Mathis
Donald Trump speaks to several GOP women's group at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino April 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
*Donald Trump has been getting an earful since being skewered in person by President Obama during Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington.
And now that Obama has orchestrated the death of Osama bin Laden, Trump has become the butt of even more jokes – mostly via Twitter.
The most prevalent and obvious joke retweeted last night: “BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump demands Osama Bin Laden’s death certificate.”
But there were also these:
“Fri – Obama gives order to kill Osama Bin Laden, Sat Obama rejoices by kicking Donald Trump’s ass” — James Duncan
“Donald Trump is the GOP front runner and Osama bin Laden is dead. 2012 looking pretty good for President Obama tonight.” — Danny Howard
“Osama dies and obama announces it. sorry donald trump, obama has another 4 years.” — Adrian Sado
“Osama is dead under the Obama Administration and he roasted the hell out of Donald Trump the other night. How is he NOT the man right now?” — John McCray
“First Donald Trump and now Osama Bin Laden? If I were on Obama’s sh*t list I’d be pretty f*king worried this week.” — Kieran Healy
And then there were tweets noting the irony that Obama’s speech kicked Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” off the air with 15 minutes left in the episode (on the East coast).
Late Night host Jimmy Fallon (@jimmyfallon): “Got Bin Laden AND interrupted Celebrity Apprentice? Win for Obama all around.”
“Sunday May 1st ~ Barack Obama announces that he has had Osama Bin Laden killed. Donald Trump announces he is firing the playboy bunny.” — Andrea Tappen, in reference to Celebrity Apprentice contestant and Playmate Hope Dworaczyk.
“How pissed is Donald Trump that this Osama Bin Laden announcement interrupted ‘Celebrity Apprentice’?” — Travis David Suhr
Trump getting blasted by Seth Meyers at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 30, 2011.
As for Trump’s reaction to his verbal beat down by the president and “Saturday Night Live’s” Seth Meyers on Saturday, New York Magazine reports that the real estate mogul — who sat stone-faced throughout the crowd’s raucous laughter over attacks on his hair, credentials, racism and accent — had little to say immediately following the event.
When asked if he had enjoyed the jokes, he replied shortly, “Not really. Some were fun, but not the greatest.”
Speaking to “Fox and Friends” the morning after the gala, however, the Republican presidential candidate hopeful fought back against the blitz that had left him at a loss for words the night before. He admitted that he had not expected to be attacked in such an unrelenting manner.
“Well, I really understood what I was getting into — I didn’t know that I’d be virtually the sole focus,” he said, adding, “I had no idea it would be to that extent, where you know, it was just joke after joke after joke. It was almost like, is there anyone else they could talk about?”
Trump criticized the president for failing to address more serious matters during his speech.
“I was certainly in a certain way having a good time listening,” he said. “I don’t think the American people are having a good time with $5 gas … I was thinking to myself as they were doing this, you know, the American people are really suffering and we’re all” having fun.
Added Trump about Meyers’ turn, “I thought Seth Meyers —- his delivery frankly was not good. He’s a stutterer.”
*Seth Meyers (“Saturday Night Live”) is a comedian. And so apparently is Barak Obama. We’re tempted to call him a silver tongued devil. In fact if he wasn’t busy running the country he could easily have a successful career as a stand up.
If you saw him Saturday night at the 2011 White House Correspondents Association annual dinner, you know what we mean. If you haven’t seen his performance, er, speech, scroll down and get ready to laugh.
We suppose you could say that the president, with the help of Meyers, got some get-back after weeks of attacks from his probable 2012 Republican challenger Donald Trump, who was in attendance. He cracked that the billionaire businessman could bring change to the White House, transforming it from a stately mansion into a tacky casino with a whirlpool in the garden.
Oh yeah, he went there. The Prez used the annual dinner to mock the reality TV star’s presidential ambitions. He said Trump has shown the acumen of a future president, from firing Gary Busey on a recent episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” to focusing so much time on conspiracy theories about his birthplace.
After a week when Mr. Obama released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate, he said Trump could now focus on the serious issues, from whether the moon landing actually happened to “where are Biggie and Tupac?”
Two snaps up!
“No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than ‘the Donald,’” Obama said, referring to Trump’s claims the same day that he was responsible for solving the issue.
For Trump’s decision to fire actor Busey instead of rock singer Meat Loaf from his TV show earlier this month, President Obama snapped:
“These are the types of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir.”
Trump managed what we think was a smile or two at some of the earlier jokes, but was clearly not amused when Saturday Night Live comedian/actor Seth Meyers picked up where the president left off.
“Donald Trump often talks about running as a Republican, which is surprising,” said the Saturday Night Live actor, entrusted with providing some of the comedy for the evening. “I just assumed he was running as a joke.”
Ouch! That one had to hurt. (Scroll down to see it.)
And judging by some of the reaction from the public on messageboards around the Internet, it appears that Mr. Obama and Seth Meyers scored a 1,2 combination knockout punch against Trump:
“Wooooooo! Donald Trump learned tonight that you can’t get away with bullying President Obama, because President Obama uses his bully pulpit very effectively to take some well-aimed pokes right back.”
“I was laughing myself silly as the President roughed up Trump, who clearly was steaming rather than taking it in good humor. And I just gasped as the President pointedly described the level of decision making that Trump does on his fake reality show.”
“Three cheers for President Obama, for delivering an elegantly hilarious Presidential takedown.”
Finally, even though it was a night of hilarity, President Obama put a serious edge on the evening when he thanked the troops for their service overseas and noted that the people of the South, especially Alabama, have suffered losses.
“The devastation is unbelievable and it is heartbreaking,” he reminded. He encouraged the journalists in the room to help tell the stories of those who have been hurt by the storms and saluted those who lost their lives while covering the news.
Watch President Obama go in on Donald Trump and the Republicans:
Check out SNL’s Seth Meyers hilarious take on Donald Trump, President Obama and lots more: