Like Mr. Favre, who was back on the gridiron playing for a different team just months after his teary farewell from football three years ago, Mr. Trump also appears to be considering suiting up to get back in the game – only this time as an independent.
“It was not an easy decision for me [to drop out of the Republican primary race in May], but I think that it will be an easy decision [to return to the campaign] if the Republicans choose the wrong candidate and if the economy is bad. I think it will be a really easy decision for me to make,” Trump told the Monitor in an interview in Panama City, shortly after inaugurating the Trump Ocean Club, the first Trump hotel and tower outside the United States.
If “The Donald” feels the time is right to get back in the race, look for him to make the announcement on the next season of his reality TV show The Apprentice – his primetime soapbox.
Podcast: Congressional Pay, Debra Medina & Glenn Beck, Tea Party Convention, DC Snow, Guests: Valerie Meyers & Luke Brady
Podcast: Scott Brown, SCOTUS, Citizens United, Air America, “Birther” Bill, Guests: Eric von Haessler & Mike Hassinger
This weekend, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus complained that the media is taking Mitt Romney’s “birther” joke far too seriously, saying, “Nobody seems to have a sense of humor anymore.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will speak tonight at the Republican National Covention, also says that the joke isn’t a big deal.
Romney himself has said that the joke wasn’t intended to be a shot at President Barack Obama, but the defense is falling on deaf ears. Romney and Republicans have essentially asked for criticism over the issue any by associating themselves with Donald Trump, the billion real estate mogul who has championed this absurd conspriacy theory.
During a press conference on Sunday, Trump, who backs Romney and was supposed to have a role at the RNC before Tropical Storm Isaac altered the schedule, again pushed the birther issue:
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Sarasota, Fla., Donald Trump said Mitt Romney’s birth certificate quip in Michigan last week may have been a lighthearted joke, but that the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate is far from settled.
According to Politico, it appears that Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul who flirted with a presidential bid last year, will be included in the opening day events at the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, Florida:
Convention organizers won’t say what he’ll be doing in Tampa or whether he’ll address the delegates there. But they promise the controversial billionaire and prominent anti-President Barack Obama provocateur will be part of their opening day schedule.
Mitt Romney has embraced Trump this campaign season, including attending a Las Vegas fundraiser in May thrown by the reality TV star.
Trump has generated some buzz with recent posts on Twitter saying he was planning a “big surprise” at the convention next week. But for the first time sources are confirming Republicans will indeed enlist Trump to be part of their opening day act.
Trump’s appearance will come on a day with a theme titled, “We Can Do Better,” which appears likely to amount to a coordinated attack on Obama’s time in office.
“We are going after Obama,” said Kyle Downey, a convention spokesman. “If he doesn’t want to talk about his failed record, we will. The American people expect and deserve better.”
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made unsubstantiated accusations that the reason Mitt Romney only disclosed tax returns dating back to 2010 is because he didn’t pay taxes in years leading up to that point. Despite having no evidence to prove this charge, Reid said the burden on proof was on Romney.
Romney has denied Reid’s claim, saying that the Democratic leader should “put up or shut up.” While the Obama campaign denies that Reid is doing their bidding, they are certainly taking the opportunity to call on Romney to release more tax returns. During an interview on State of the Union, Robert Gibbs told Cindy Crowley, “I’ve never seen anybody jump through more hoops to say…that somebody’s lying, but also to not put out a document that would prove what the real truth is.”
Those of us concerned with the Fast and Furious scandal could make the same point presented by Gibbs, especially after President Obama used executive privilege to keep information from Congress. But I digress.
While some Republicans are hinting that Romney should release more tax returns to put the controversy to rest, others are beginning to fight back against Reid’s frivolous claim:
Yesterday, I noted the absurdity of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s suggestion that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid income taxes in 10 years, which he says is the reason why the soon-to-be-coronated GOP nominee hasn’t released tax returns before 2010. Reid has absolutely no proof of this, mind you. It’s heresay — gossip, if you will.
Reid even admits that he doesn’t know if the accusation is true. As Jon Stewart said on Wednesday night, “If you have to follow your claim with the words ‘I don’t know if that’s true’; then shut up.” Stewart continued, “‘Cause otherwise you might as well put a dead cockerspaniel on your head and start railing about birth certificates”; a reference to Donald Trump, who made has fool of himself by claiming that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate isn’t real.
Sadly, he hasn’t taken Stewart’s free advice. Instead, Reid took his baseless conspiracy theory to the floor of the Senate yesterday:
At this point you have to wonder why Mitt Romney has allowed himself to be involved with Donald Trump. Or perhaps more importantly, why have his consultants allowed it? Romney was due to attend a fundraiser with Trump yesterday, but instead of discussing policy or his opponent the presumptive Republican nominee was asked about Trump’s Birtherism.
Between Ron and I, we’ve discussed this issue enough, but Obama’s campaign is milking it for all it’s worth with continued knocks against Romney for assocating with Trump. For instance, take a look at this new ad that was rolled out yesterday.
The ad shows Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Obama’s opponent in 2008, defended Obama from attacks, noting that though he had policy disagreements with him, that he is a decent family man. Then it contrasts with Trump’s idiocy on the Birther conspiracy, tying Romney to the billionaire real estate mogul:
It’s fair gamefor Obama’s team to attack. And it highlights the huge gamble that Romney and his consultants are taking by continuing to give Trump attention. I doubt that it’s going to matter much in November to voters, but associating with Trump doesn’t seem like much of a win either.
The important lesson I learned this weekend: when your blog is in need of a topic and maybe a dash of humor, you can always count on Donald Trump to provide both. You can see what I mean on this post about a spat between Donald Trump and George Will.
George Will said Trump was a “bloviating ignoramus” and then proceeded to say things about stupid rich people intruding on American politics. Trump’s reply via Twitter was the equivalent of him calling Will a “great big poopy head” on a schoolyard playground.
Despite the humor in this kindergarten style round of name calling, it’s worth considering Trump’s role in the American political scene. Some argue that his approach to, well, everything makes him toxic to a political campaign. To determine whether or not he’s toxic, we’ve got to look at the things that will matter this November: money, PR, and voters.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it, Romney needs the money. Whether it’s money from Trump or money from the people who listen to Trump (yes, they exist), Romney needs it. Obama’s campaign is expected to raise nearly a billion dollars this election. Romney needs every cent he can get, even if it comes with PR woes.
Donald Trump is a PR disaster waiting to happen. He’s a media whore who only cares about himself. There is absolutely no good PR that can come from Trump, unless there really is no such thing as bad press. Trump will say stupid things and do stupid things; count on it. Romney should be a good enough friend to get donations from the Trump crowd, but don’t expect a Romney/Trump bus tour anytime soon.
Last year, we often poked fun at Donald Trump, who was at the time seeking attention and ratings for his TV show as he supposedly pondered a run for president. Trump managed to get a lot of media in-part due to waving the banner for Birthers and playing up economic populism by promising to start a trade war with China.
Trump ended up being the butt of jokes after the White House put a copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate on display and after a debate he was going to moderate ended up being ignored by several Republican candidates.
But now Trump is getting attention from Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, and this is leaving some with a headache due. George Will, who writes at the Washington Post, made his feelings about engaging Trump known over the weekend on This Week, questioning Romney’s association with him:
This morning on “This Week,” ABC News’ George Will called Donald Trump a ”bloviating ignoramus,” questioning why presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is associating with the real estate mogul, who once again falsely questioned President Obama’s birthplace this week.
“I do not understand the cost benefit here,” Will said on the “This Week” roundtable. “The costs are clear. The benefit — what voter is gonna vote for him (Romney) because he is seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious it seems to me.