Surprise cameo at the Emmys: Jeb!
Trump’s ‘birther’ falsehoods continue to roil the presidential race
Donald Trump’s acknowledgment on Friday that President Obama was born in the United States has not made the controversy over Trump’s long advocacy of “birther” falsehoods go away.
The issue continued to ricochet across the campaign debate on Sunday, despite Republican efforts to insist that Trump had now put a close to that chapter. (Obama released his certificate of live birth from Hawaii in 2008 and his long-form birth certificate in 2011, but Trump continued for years to question his origins.)
Obama joked about Trump’s admission in a speech Saturday night: “In other breaking news, the world is round, not flat,” he said.
The Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, characterized Trump’s earlier questioning of Obama’s citizenship as a “bigoted lie.”
His Republican counterpart, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, however, followed Trump’s lead by pressing a new untrue statement — that the birther debate could be traced to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.
Pence maintained on “ABC This Week” that Trump had accepted Obama’s being born in the U.S. “without hesitation.”
ABC’s Martha Raddatz pointed out that as recently as last Wednesday, Trump had not been willing to say Obama was born in the U.S. Overall, ABC counted 67 tweets and retweets from Trump questioning where the president was born, she said.
“He has been a leader in this birther movement,” she said.
Pence responded by alluding to “news reports” tying the birther movement to the 2008 Clinton campaign.
“You believe that?” she asked.
“Look, I’ll let the facts speak for themselves,” Pence said.
There’s no evidence that Clinton ever questioned Obama’s birthplace during the 2008 campaign or after. As the Trump campaign recently noted, Clinton fired a staff member in Iowa during the 2008 campaign for circulating an email involving the subject.
A senior advisor, Mark Penn, the campaign pollster, wrote a memo at one point suggesting that Clinton should question Obama’s American values, but did not mention any question of his birthplace.
Kaine, speaking on “This Week,” said the birther allegations recalled a time when no African American, free or slave, could become a U.S. citizen.
“This isn’t just a semantical thing,” Kaine said. “This is so painful to so many Americans because they remember our history.”
He said he hoped someone would ask Trump whether he had been “gullible” or “conspiratorial” when “dragging us back to the most painful chapter in American life.”
“Who were you trying to appease by doing that?” he asked.
Asked why it took Trump five years to admit that he had promoted a false story, his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, demurred.
“You’re going to have to ask him,” she said, on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“I think this is a side show now the media seems obsessed with,” she added. “He does things on his terms, on his timeline.”
Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and veteran of the civil rights movement, called the matter “shameful.”
“Everybody, every reasonable person knew that he was born in America—in Hawaii, not in Kenya,” Lewis said on “Face the Nation.”
Trump “just wouldn’t give up on it,” he said.
“When you make mistakes, when you’re wrong, you should admit you’re wrong, and ask people to forgive you,” Lewis added.
Obama belittled Trump over the issue in his remarks Saturday night at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington.
“To think that with just 124 days to go, under the wire, we got that resolved,” Obama said. “I mean, that’s a boost for me in the home stretch. In other breaking news, the world is round, not flat.”
This post was updated with additional quotes from Conway and Rep. Lewis.
Trump is, at the least, ‘reckless about violence,’ Tim Kaine says
Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, said Sunday he was “stunned” by Donald Trump’s remark Friday that her security detail should disarm, and “let’s see what happens to her.”
At a rally Friday, the GOP nominee said that because of Clinton’s support for some gun control measures, her Secret Service bodyguards shouldn’t have guns.
Kaine, a Democratic senator from Virginia, said Trump “is using language that is an incitement to violence or an encouragement of violence ... or at least is being kind of cavalier and reckless about violence.”
“And that has no place in any election, especially an election to be commander in chief of this country,” he said.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Kaine said that he and Clinton support the 2nd Amendment and gun-safety rules.
Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, rushed to defend his candidate.
“I think what Donald Trump was saying is if Hillary Clinton didn’t have all that security she’d probably be a whole lot more supportive of the 2nd Amendment,” Pence said to Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
Raddatz said whether intended or not, Trump’s words sounded like a threat or an encouragement of violence.
“That’s absolute nonsense,” Pence replied.
Explosion near race course in New Jersey was terrorism, Gov. Christie says
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that a pipe bomb explosion before a Marine charity race in his state was “clearly an act of terrorism.”
Christie, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” said the blast “was done intentionally to terrorize the people of New Jersey.”
The FBI is leading the investigation, and it’s not known who was responsible for the blast, Christie said. There are promising leads but no one has been taken into custody, he added.
The race in Seaside Park, N.J., had not started when the bomb exploded, and there were no injuries.
Clinton maintains lead in Pennsylvania, new poll finds
Hillary Clinton has a 9-point lead among likely Pennsylvania voters as Donald Trump continues to struggle among groups key to winning the state, according to a Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll released Saturday.
The survey, conducted Sept. 12-16, found Clinton leading the presidential race in the key battleground state, with 47% of respondents saying they intend to vote for her or are leaning that way. Trump was at 38%, while 11% said they’d pick neither of the major-party choices, and 4% said they are not sure.
Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both candidates. Many analysts regard it as the key bellwether for this election.
In push for Hillary Clinton, Obama tells black voters, ‘You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote’
President Obama delivered a forceful call to black voters on Saturday, saying that both “hope” and “fear” are on the ballot this November, and that a vote for Hillary Clinton will continue his legacy.
“My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” a fiery Obama said in remarks before an annual gala hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington.
“I will consider it a personal insult -- an insult to my legacy -- if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote,” Obama said to thunderous applause.
Obama, who this week campaigned for Clinton in Philadelphia, dismissed Donald Trump‘s campaign as offering “fear” to a nation that has made progress over the last eight years.
“Hope is on the ballot and fear is on the ballot too,” he said, adding that Trump would set the country back by opposing, among other things, the Affordable Care Act, a key pillar of the president’s tenure in office.
A day earlier, Trump, for years a vocal leader in the “birther” movement questioning Obama’s citizenship, sought to end the discussion by delivering a terse statement, affirming that Obama was born in the United States. Many have viewed Trump’s birther comments, which date back to 2011, as racist attacks on the nation’s first African American president.
“I am so relieved the whole birther thing is over,” Obama quipped at the gala.
Clinton, who in most national and swing state polls, has a commanding lead when it comes to the support of blacks, received an award at the gala Saturday night. In her brief remarks, she did not mention Trump by name, but there was no need, everyone in the auditorium knew whose comments she was subtly denouncing.
“Mr. President, not only do we know you are an American, you’re a great American,” she said.