In recent weeks, Donald Trump has rekindled the birther issue, questioning the natural-born American citizenship of President Barack Obama, as he tries to gain attention for his presidential bid. The mainstream media has been quick to question Republicans and their position on the birther issue.
In an editorial interview with the Sun Sentinel (video) Miami Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart called the birther issue a distraction from substantive critiques of the president. He said:
“I have no reason to believe that he was not born here…It’s just not an issue. What is an issue is that he’s been a dismal president. That’s the issue. I actually think that that kind of detracts from the real issues, but you know thank God we live in a free country.”
Many Republicans and Conservatives agree with Rep. Diaz-Balart, the birther issue is a distraction from the real issues. There are a million reasons why President Obama is a lousy President, none of which have to do with his place of birth…. Let’s take for instance Obamacare, the national debt, the economy, lack of jobs, gas prices, government spending, education, high taxes, immigration, to name a few….
Donald Trump’s birther talk is his opportunity to promote himself and dominate a Republican political field that has no front runner for likely Presidential nominee. Trump has garnered millions of dollars in free media, reporters are talking about him as a real presidential contender, and some Republican voters are taking notice, unexcited by their current options.
If Trump does move forward, and the media attention turns to scrutiny, it will be interesting to see how the campaign unfolds. Congressman Diaz-Balart’s analysis:
“Trump is an exciting guy. But you know I don’t know if he’s going to run. And if he does run, and then it gets real. And then you know all the issues, remember when you run for office, every issue, everything you’ve said, everything you’ve done, every business deal, every personal thing you’ve ever done now becomes an issue. Right now he’s riding the wave of being able to get all of the positives and none of the negatives. And you know if he runs and he’ll be scrutinized like everybody else.”
Ironically, while the main stream media has paid much attention to the Right’s focus on Obama’s birth place, few report that it was the Left who started and spread the Birther rumor. During the 2008 election Hilliary Clinton supporters started circulating the rumor that the Illinois Senator Barack Obama was not a natural-born American citizen and was lying when he said he was born in Hawaii. It was said that Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, was also born abroad, and there began the “Birther” issue. Conspiracy theorists have continued to talk about the issue, even after the Obama became President of the United States to try to discredit him.