Non-Toxic Trump

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 24 2012 4:05 PM

Non-Toxic Trump

Mitt Romney's campaign rips a page out the Obama playbook and auctions off a meal with a celebrity. More accurately, I guess we should call him a celebrity who allows other famous people to compete for his money.

The Obama-George Clooney klatsch raised $15 million, so why wouldn't you want to copy it? A difference: Clooney holds fairly standard liberal political views, with a focus on "awareness" about the bloodthirty regime in Sudan. Donald Trump, who talked about running for president last year, is probably the most famous adherent of the constantly-debunked conspiracy theory that puts Barack Obama's birthplace outside of Hawaii.

How does the Romney campaign explain it? Below, I have printed the entirety of their explanation:

...

Just like the campaign refused to say or do anything when Arizona co-chair and Secretary of State Ken Bennett embarrassed himself on a birther quest, it is staying monklike about Trump's conspiracy theories. (There're the most coherent views he has!) I get it -- it's an old story, and maybe the media will move on. But how does this fit into the current craze of Rejecting and Denouncing things that people say on behalf of campaigns? Before announcing the Trump play, the Romney campaign blasted out these demands to Obama.

President Obama should disavow the endorsement of the daughter of Cuban dictator Raul Castro. It is galling that an envoy from a Communist regime would come to our country and lecture the American people on who to vote for while the regime refuses to hold free and fair elections and systematically violates the human rights of its people.

Does anyone want to argue that Raul Castro's daughter speaks for the Obama campaign, but Trump doesn't speak for Romney?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.