Trump visits early-voting states: savvy campaigning or 'a stunt'?
Donald Trump continues to fan the flames of the blogosphere rumor mill, even as GOP leaders (other than Sarah Palin) distance themselves from his 'birther' claims.
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The flying rumors do seem to keep people talking about him, though. A Pew Research survey released today put Trump far above any other name as the possible GOP candidate Americans have heard the most about lately. Over a quarter of respondents named Trump, compared with nine percent who cited Mitt Romney, the next name on the list. That said, over half the respondents couldn't name anyone.Skip to next paragraph
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And in the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, Trump was tied with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for first place, when Republicans were asked who they would support for a presidential bid.
But while Sarah Palin continues to defend Trump and his obsession with President Obama's birth certificate, telling Fox News Tuesday night that he is being "treated unfairly," other prominent Republicans are quickly distancing themselves from the birther question, seeing it as an issue that appeals only to the right-wing fringe and may alienate independent voters. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a tea party leader, was the latest Republican to say she had no concerns about where Obama was born, telling ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday that she accepted the Hawaii birth record the president has released.
Other GOP leaders – including Karl Rove, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a likely presidential candidate – have also rejected the birther claims (which have also been disproven by several fact-finding organizations). On Monday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a "birther bill" that would have required future presidential candidates to produce a long-form birth certificate or other proof in order to appear on the state ballot.