Bernie Sanders wanted to offer a quick history lesson about Donald Trump to supporters here Thursday evening, so he asked them to think back a few years.
“Not so many years ago, before he was a candidate, he was involved in a so-called birther movement,” Sanders said about Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. “The birther movement was delegitmizing President Obama by claiming that he was not born in the United States.”
Indeed, Trump was among a vocal group of Republicans who early on in Obama’s first term questioned whether he was born in the United States. (Trump, in his quest for the GOP nomination, also questioned the citizenship of rival Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.)
Eventually, in 2011, Obama made his birth certificate public to quiet his detractors. But as early as last year, Trump was still expressing unease about Obama’s citizenship.
“That was very ugly effort to delegitimize the presidency of the first African American president in our history -- not acceptable,” Sanders said to applause from supporters huddled on the football field of Ganesha High School, the same place where former President Bill Clinton campaigned last weekend on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
Sanders did not mention Hillary Clinton, who is outpacing him in delegates, but instead focused on Trump.