Trump Claims Credit for Release of Obama Long-Form Birth Certificate

He says the nation can now finally move on.

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AFP/Getty Images

    New York's own Donald Trump is taking credit for the White House's decision to release the long form of President Barack Obama's birth certificate on Wednesday.

    "I feel I've accomplished something really, really important, and I feel honored by it," the Manhattan real estate mogul and billionaire reality television star told reporters in New Hampshire.

    The certificate released Wednesday says Obama was born in Hawaii, which makes him eligible to hold the office of president. Obama had years ago released a standard short form, but requested copies of his original birth certificate from Hawaii officials this week in hopes of quieting the controversy that has simmered since the early stages of Obama's presidential candidacy.

    White House officials have said the issue was settled long ago. But so-called "birthers" opposed to Obama have kept the issue alive, and the issue has recently gained new attention after Trump, who was born at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, recently began pushing for the long form.

    "I am really proud that I was able to bring this to a point -- nobody else was," said Trump. "And now experts will check it and everybody will go over it and I hope everything's going to be perfect."

    Trump then insisted he wants to move on and not let the birth certificate issue cloud the 2012 presidential campaign.

    Trump was in New Hampshire on Wednesday as he decides whether to seek the Republican nomination for president.

    Jennifer Horn, a 2008 Republican congressional nominee from New Hampshire, said in an op-ed column that Trump has flip-flopped on major issues and is not a credible candidate. If Republicans allow him to "hijack the primary process then they deserve exactly what they get," she wrote.

    Over the years, Trump has given thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates, including New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

    Trump talked of running for president as a third-party candidate in 2000, and he made a brief splash with a 1988 New Hampshire speech that some took as a preliminary Republican candidacy.

    On Wednesday, Trump breezily dismissed his critics.

    "I think I'm quite conservative as a Republican," he told reporters in Portsmouth. In at least two instances, he said, "I'm leading the polls." Forcing Obama "to finally come out and issue a birth certificate can only help," he said.

    Trump said he has given campaign money to "many Republicans, many Democrats. And I think there's something nice about that," because it promotes bipartisanship.

    As for switching his stand on issues, he said, "My views change. ... I tell people, you have to remain flexible because the world changes."

    He also turned the conversation to Obama.

    "Nobody even knows what's going on in Libya," Trump said. He said Obama claims to have little control over gasoline prices, but "he does if he gets on the phone or gets off his basketball court or whatever he is doing at the time."

    After holding court before reporters, Trump traveled to several other stops, all within a nine-mile radius of the Portsmouth airport.

    He spent a few minutes shaking hands at a Portsmouth diner but spent little time in conversation. Passing by a table of older men, he waved and said, "Why aren't you at work?"

    "We're retired!" answered the group of former workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

    "Don't touch Medicare, right?" Trump said, moving on without waiting for an answer.

    Joe Lovell, of Somersworth, said seeing Trump arrive by limo was a surprise in this state that values close contact with presidential hopefuls.

    Asked what he thought of Trump, he said, "Nice hair."