A top Mitt Romney campaign adviser on Friday disavowed conspiracy theories pushed by Donald Trump, one of Romney's most high-profile supporters. The adviser said the campaign could not be held responsible for everything that Romney supporters say.
Trump is a birther. He clings to the notion that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not the United States, despite the fact that this theory has been proven to be baseless.
Next week, Romney will be holding an event with Trump. In a CNN interview on Friday, Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said the campaign was going ahead with the May 29 event despite Trump's birther views. He said the presumptive GOP nominee should not be held responsible for the opinions of his supporters:
FEHRNSTROM: I can't speak for Donald Trump, Gloria, but I can tell you that Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States. He doesn't view the place of his birth as an issue in this campaign. We have many serious challenges facing this country dealing with jobs in the economy. That's where we should center our discussion. And as I said, you know, Mitt Romney has made it clear that this is not an issue for him.
CNN HOST GLORIA BORGER: So why is Mitt Romney sort of throwing a party with Donald Trump to raise money?
FEHRNSTROM: Well, you know, not too long ago, Jay Carney, the spokesman for the White House, made a statement which I think is correct. That statement was that a candidate can't be responsible for everything that their supporters say. And in this case, Mitt Romney has made it clear that the place of the president's birth is not an issue for him. He accepts the fact that he was born in Hawaii. And we have many important challenges facing our country, and that's what we'd rather talk about.
Carney made that statement because the Romney campaign was trying to tie Obama to a comment made by one of the president's supporters. When Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen (who, in full disclosure, was once employed at this website) made controversial comments about stay-at-home mothers, Fehrnstrom quickly tried to link her to the president, calling her an "Obama adviser." Rosen, however, was employed neither by the Obama campaign nor by the Democratic National Committee.