May 29, 2012

Mitt Romney is a coward. In his zeal to collect 50.1 percent of the vote, which may or may not yield the electoral college votes he would need to be elected President, he's bear-hugging the likes of Donald Trump. In gratitude, Mr. Trump launched into a three-minute rant about Barack Obama's birth certificate on CNBC this morning, and when that wasn't enough, Trump switched to the question of Barack Obama's college transcripts, claiming that they would reveal the President's true place of birth.

Yeah, the college transcripts are the new "thing we cannot get" to conservatives and their fearful base. Not because they want to see grades, but because they want to know his place of birth. Unfortunately, even if they had the transcripts they would prove nothing, because no college I know of investigates the veracity of information like birthplace on a college application. Further, college transcripts are protected by privacy laws so Trump knows he can go on and on about this without consequence or ever actually seeing them.

In other words, raise doubt based on documents one knows can only be made public by the person the documents concern. If I were to ask whether Mitt Romney was really born in the United States or whether he was born in Mexico, would anyone care? Of course not, because everyone knows Mitt was born in the United States. Right? But have we ever seen his birth certificate? His college transcripts? Do we know as fact that he was born here? Have we seen hospital records?

As surrogates come forward trying to make excuses for Mitt Romney's defense and embrace of Donald Trump's irrational, hate-filled birther rants, a picture emerges of a man who is terrified of his conservative base, who is so amoral and wanton that he will sell his support to the highest bidder, and who is not fit to step into any elected office, much less the Oval Office.

It's funny how Mitt Romney likes firing people until it comes to the guy who gets to say "You're fired" on television every week.

Steve Benen lists Romney's leadership failures since he emerged as the frontrunner. If Romney can't stand up to Trump, he's not likely to stand up to any other bully on the national or international stage either. Then again, maybe he doesn't have to, since Grover Norquist just wants a guy who can hold a pen to sign legislation Norquist wants.

Mitt fits that description perfectly. No ideas. No character. No leadership. But he can hold a pen. And bow to Donald Trump.

Transcript after the jump:

TRUMP: Nothing's changed my mind. You have a huge group of people. I walk down the street and people are screaming. Please. A publisher came out last week and had a statement about a young man doing a book, born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia.

The publisher came out and said we made a mistake. What do we do? Oh, we made a mistake. That's not the way life works. He's a young man doing a book and he said what he believed to be the truth. So there's a whole lot of things. His mother was never in the hospital, they don't know which hospital it was, his grandmother said he was born in Kenya. It all wouldn't matter except if you're born in a foreign country, you're not allowed to be President so this is a minor detail.

So the publisher comes out last week and made this statement and said we made a mistake. Is it an important thing? In a way it is because it says you're not allowed to be president if you're not born in the country.

I'm not fanning flames. This is something that came out last week, a lot of people are questioning his birth certificate, questioning the authenticity of his birth certificate. I've been known as being a very smart guy for a long time. I don't consider myself birther or not birther but there are some major questions here and the press just refuses to cover it.

Now, if that were somebody else, they'd be covering it and throwing people out of office but they don't want to cover it. So it's interesting. There is a weird -- in that same report that was on some of the conservative web sites and I haven't even confirmed it, Donald, but there was a quote from one of his debates when he was running for state senator, I believe and one of his opponents said, well, this was at the time when the Kenya thing was still on some of his biographies or something and the guy said you went money born here, he said it doesn't matter if I'm born here, I wasn't running for president at the time -- there was a quote. From him.

But the question is whether there was a time in his life where he thought it was more attractive to be a more national type guy and maybe didn't change the impression that he wasn't.

I don't know. Joe, just to finish off, a lot of people want to see his college transcripts. They're not looking at his marks, his grade, was he a good student. They want to see what they say about place of birth. Those transcripts have disappeared. Nobody seems to be able to get them. I was able to get him to produce a birth certificate, if it was a correct birth certificate.

A lot of people have very serious doubts. They want to see his college transcripts because they want to see what is he saying about place of birth. What did he say? Well, he is really stone walling it, to use an old nixon term, he is really stone walling it when it comes to -- he just doesn't want to give those transcripts. What does he say at Columbia and Harvard and his other college where he supposedly did not get good marks and got into Columbia. What does he say about place of birth?

One other thing, the hospital. The mother was never in the hospital. These are minor details but they can't find any records that the mother was in the hospital. So it's a tough situation.

Can you help us out?

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