By firmly planting his flag on the right-wing birther conspiracy, real estate mogul Donald Trump is single-handedly driving a deep wedge into the Republican party. His improbable popularity in the polls has motivated some high-profile Republicans to jump on the birther bandwagon while leaving others fighting to deny him any future relevance. President Bush’s former adviser Karl Rove let Fox News On The Record host Greta Van Susteren know last Friday that he falls squarely into the second camp. Utterly aghast at his full-time peddling of the birther conspiracy, Rove labeled him the “joke candidate” of “the nutty right” who will never be elected by Republicans or the American people:
VAN SUSTEREN: I don’t agree with Donald Trump on this. I’ll say it right from the get-go. But does this hurt the Republican Party?
ROVE: Well, it hurts Donald Trump and it removes — he was an interesting candidate who had a business background and could have contributed to the dialogue. But his full embrace of the birther issue means that he’s off there in the nutty right and is now an inconsequential candidate. I’m shocked. The guy’s smarter than this. And you know, the idea that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, being — you know, making that the centerpiece of his campaign, means that he’s just a joke candidate. Let him go ahead and announce for election on “The Apprentice.” The American people aren’t going to be hiring him, and certainly, the Republicans are not going to be hiring him in the Republican primary.
Rove then took down Trump’s “weird conspiracy theories” point-by-point, noting that not only does his family indeed know he was born in Hawaii, but that even one of Rove’s advisers was familiar with President Obama at Harvard and “helped get him elected to the Law Review editor.” He deemed the idea that his parents would arrange birth notices to ensure his presidential eligibility “full-throated..nuttiness.”
And whatever Rove’s Republican bona fides, it isn’t enough to quell Trump’s increasing popularity with the right-wing. The Tea Party Nation, a formidable thorn in the GOP’s side, slammed the “noted RINO” Rove this weekend. “The GOP establishment cringes every time Trump mentions Obama’s birth certificate. Good, let them,” it said in a release. “While country club Karl holds his nose up at Trump, what Trump is saying is resonating with a large section of the American people.”