Conservatives are starting to question the Romney campaign’s association with Donald Trump, the reality TV star who in recent days has ramped up his claims that President Obama was born in Kenya. Mitt Romney is holding a fundraiser with Trump later this month, and his advisers have defended the event by insisting that “a candidate can’t be responsible for everything that their supporters say.” They insist that the former Massachusetts governor “accepts the fact that [Obama] was born in Hawaii.”
But the campaign’s wink and nod to the birther crowd is unmistakable and this morning, during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, columnist George Will slammed Romney for sharing a stage with the self-promoting businessman. Describing Trump as a ”bloviating ignoramus,” Will said, “I do not understand the cost benefit here. 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”:
WILL: Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics. Again, I don’t understand the benefit. What is Romney seeking?
Trump endorsed Romney at an event in February and has since been used extensively in primary states to bash Romney’s opponents. In March, Ann Romney called him an “honorary Buckeye” after the campaign’s victory in Ohio.
On Friday, Romney adviser Kevin Madden said Romney will “stand up next to Donald Trump and he’ll talk about why he wants to be president.” “Anytime the subject goes off of that, or if something where …Governor Romney would disagree, he’s going to make that very clear,” Madden claimed, but did not say if Romney would rebuke the birther conspiracy in front of Trump. Given his resistance to confronting the right, however, that appears more than a little unlikely.