On Sunday's "This Week" on ABC, Washington Post columnist George Will criticized real estate mogul Donald Trump for his role in Mitt Romney's campaign and the birther controversy, calling him a "bloviating ignoramus."
According to The Huffington Post, Trump recently, once again, stated his views on the birther controversy, saying he does not believe Obama was born in the U.S. With Trump scheduled to appear with Romney at a May 29 fundraiser in Las Vegas, Romney campaign has been struggling to distance itself from Trump's view about Obama's birth place.
According to NY Post, Trump's birther statement came after Hawaii's Health Department responded to Arizona's Secretary of State demand for evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii, and just days before the Romney fundraiser.
Trump cited the story of the literary agency that wrote in a catalog of clients that Obama was born in Kenya. According to The Daily Beast, Trump argued, "that's what he [Obama] told the literary agent. That's the way life works... he didn't know he was running for president, so he told the truth." Trump added: "His [Obama's] mother never spent a day in the hospital."
ABC News reports Trump told the Daily Beast: “Look, it’s very simple. He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia... Now they’re saying it was a mistake. Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, ‘Oh, I mean Hawaii.’ Give me a break.”
Later on Friday, Romney's adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, seeking to distance Romney from Trump's statement, told CNN that Romney "accepts that President Obama was born in the United States."
The Huffington Post reports that on Sunday's "This Week," Jake Trapper wondered if Trump was hurting Romney's efforts to convince voters to "take him seriously."
Will responded with harsh criticism that caused laughter among panel members: “I do not understand the cost benefit here. The costs are clear. The benefit — what voter is gonna vote for [Romney] because he is seen with Donald Trump. The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious it seems to me." Will added: “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?”
According to ABC News, Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman, agreed with Will that Trump is likely to hurt Romney's campaign efforts, saying, “It’s a dangerous game that Mitt Romney is playing here because Donald Trump doesn’t have a lot to lose by keeping this birther conversation alive. Mitt Romney and his people have to decide whether standing next to Donald Trump means more votes or fewer votes.”
NY Post reports that Will was apparently retaliating Trump's statement in a March interview on "Fox and Friends" that Will is a "hack" and a "totally overrated fool with the little glasses and the hair slicked to the side." Trump's attack on Will came after Will said that the GOP should give up the race for the White House and focus instead on controlling the Congress.
NY Post reports that Trump responded on Sunday evening to Will's "bloviating ignoramus" attack, tweeting: "George Will may be the dumbest (and most overrated) political commentator of all time. If the Republicans listen to him, they will lose."
ABC News notes that National Journal's Ron Brownstein said that Romney has been doing a delicate balancing act to avoid alienating the conservative base of the Republican party that is the stronghold of the birther movement. Brownstein said: “Mitt Romney throughout the entire primary season has shown very little willingness to confront the right... Romney has just seemed to be spooked throughout the whole process at the thought that the right will mobilize against him.”