September 16, 2016/News

Donald Trump’s Birtherism. Where Do Republicans Stand?

Donald Trump’s ascendance in the political arena was fueled by his prominent birtherism – widely considered racist – before the 2012 election. Over the past several weeks his campaign has attempted to backtrack, claiming that Trump now believes that President Obama was born in the United States, and today – after five years – he finally acknowledged that fact. He did not apologize, express regret for peddling this ridiculous lie, or offer any explanation for changing his mind less than two months before Election Day.

In an interview with the Washington Post just this past Wednesday, however, Trump continued to promulgate birtherism, refusing to say whether he accepted the fact that the President was born in Hawaii. It was far from the first time he has brought the birther issue up in the 2016 campaign.

While Connecticut Republicans have in recent days distanced themselves from Trump, they remain inextricably linked. The vast majority of GOP legislators in the state support his campaign, and the House minority leader, as well as several prominent Republican leaders, attended the Republican National Convention as a Trump delegate.

Democrats believe that Connecticut Republicans must be clear about whether they agree with Trump’s birtherism. Polls have shown that as many as 61 percent of Trump supporters believe that President Obama was born in another country. GOP candidates and elected officials need to make clear whether they stand with Trump and his supporters on this politically charged issue.

“President Obama was born in the United States. Donald Trump’s continued willingness to stoke the flames of racism that have defined the birther movement is yet another reminder of the GOP nominee’s penchant for playing the politics of hatred and fear. Donald Trump is, quite simply, unfit to serve as president and commander-in-chief.

“As they have done throughout this campaign – when Trump insulted prisoners of war, threatened to ban Muslims from entering the country, attacked a Gold Star family, and countless other transgressions – Connecticut Republicans will, I’m sure, remain silent, hoping not to answer for their nominee. It is up to the Connecticut media to hold these GOP candidates and officeholders accountable for their party’s standard bearer. To accept Trump’s racism and bigotry as a common occurrence of this campaign and to fail to ask tough questions of his supporters is to normalize it.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby