Republican strategist Karl Rove says President Barack Obama is taking delight in the fact that Donald Trump is pressing so hard for him to produce his birth certificate, “because that’s exactly what Obama wants conservatives to do.” Speaking to Sean Hannity Thursday on his radio show, Rove also questioned Trump’s conservative credentials.
Hannity started the interview by asking Rove why he was going after Trump.
“Well, I think Trump’s got a thin skin — I don’t think I’m going after Trump,” Rove said. “A guy who says that he doesn’t know what Ronald Reagan is hiding behind his smile, and calls George W. Bush an evil president, comes out for Canadian-style universal healthcare in his book, he calls for raising taxes on millionaires and the wealthy — I mean, not exactly a strong conservative.
“Well, look, I thought he had a shot if he came out as a successful businessman, and said I am worried about jobs, the economy, the deficit, debt, spending,” Rove continued. “But he came out and said: I think Obama was born in the United States [but] began review of his birth certificate — and then he became more paranoid and obsessive since then.
“Now he has sent his private investigators to Honolulu, and says he doesn’t think Obama was born in the United States of America — that’s exactly what Obama wants conservatives to do,” he added. “The constitutional requirement is that you have to be a United States citizen, and by implying, saying, suggesting Obama is not a United States citizen, he is suggesting he was born somewhere else.”
Hannity noted that Trump is saying Obama might be reluctant to show his birth certificate because there is something the president may not want people to see.
“I get the thing that there may be a reason why Obama wants to hide the birth certificate, but let’s be candid — he is a U.S. citizen — and he loves this, that conservatives,” are questioning his place of birth, Rove said. “As conservatives and Republicans we ought not to be wasting our time on a side issue — we ought to be going at this guy straight on the big issues that people care about.”
Hannity asked whether Rove found anything odd in the fact that Obama has not produced his birth certificate.
“I think it is deliberate on his part,” Rove said. “I think he sat there and said: ‘You know what, if they [fall] into this trap, let’s just make it worse for them’ — if he didn’t want this issue out there, he could easily settle it, the fact that he doesn’t should tell us he wants it out there — he wants us to waste time and discredit ourselves. We’re better than this — we’re about our country, and about taking him to task about his policies.”
Rove and Trump recently have engaged in a televised war of words, with the potential presidential candidate criticizing President George W. Bush’s key adviser — and the president himself — of moribund actions that led to Obama’s election. Rove has called Trump a “joke candidate.”
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