After bragging he could produce his own birth certificate in one hour, Donald Trump sent a digital image of a document to Newsmax, a clearing-house for the crypto-racist birther conspiracy cabal.
Upon inspection, however, New York City officials told right-leaning Poltico.com, that the document was not the Donald’s actual birth certificate:
The paper that Trump released says “Jamaica Hospital” on top and lists the date and time of what he says was his birth to “Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Trump.” The piece of paper has a seal at the bottom.
But after several New York City-based readers contacted POLITICO’s Maggie Haberman, her call to city officials revealed that an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency’s seal and also a signature of the city registrar – neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the “sole issuing authority” of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and “city officials said it’s not an official document.”
It appears instead to be a hospital “certificate of birth,” meaning the piece of paper the hospital gave to his family saying he was born. Such a document typically has the signature of the hospital administrator and the attending physician…
The Smoking Gun, a subsidiary site of TruTV, weighs in:
the document is not an official New York City birth certificate, but rather a document generated by Jamaica Hospital, where Trump’s mother Mary reportedly gave birth in June 1946. Official birth certificates are issued (and maintained) by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Vital Records.
So, what is Trump trying to conceal?
On a possibly related note, Jamaica Hospital has been the recipient of significant financial largess from the Trump family. In fact, the Queens institution includes the Trump Pavilion, a nursing and rehabilitation facility that was named for Mary Trump.
Now that Trump has upped the ante, Dave Weigel at Slate has some demands — fair is fair, after all:
Trump can obviously clear this up if he provides everything Barack Obama’s provided to the press, and everything he’s demanded from Obama. This would be:
- Two (or more) contemporary newspaper announcements confirming that Donald Trump was born in the United States. (Two of these exist for Barack Obama.)
- A certification of live birth produced by the state Trump was born, verified by hand by reporters. (FactCheck.org verified Obama’s certification in 2008.)
- A picture of the young Donald Trump and or/interviews with people who knew him.
Hey, I didn’t dig this rabbit hole. Trump decided to jump down it.
As to witnesses, Trump besmirched the credibility of Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, who attended the University of Hawaii with both of Pres. Obama’s parents and knew Barack Jr. as a child. “You know,” Trump said, “what I get a kick out of the governor of Hawaii says, ‘Oh I remember when he was born 50 years ago.’ I doubt it. I think this guy should be investigated. I doubt he remembers when Obama was born give me a break.” So let’s assume any witnesses Trump should provide who claim to have known him as a child will have no association with the Republican Party.
Ben Smith at Politico adds:
Trump’s mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States. His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern — along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate — raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as president of the United States.
Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, which is known for its socialist health-care and pension systems.
One of the few real surprises here in the preliminaries for the 2012 presidential campaign is how willing, even eager, Trump the uber self-promoter has been to trash his own brand.
Trump’s only chance to win the presidency would be to run as a centrist-libertarian, fiscally conservative, socially moderate tycoon-turned politician. Like eBay executive Meg Whitman, who ran for governor of California and lost last year, and Rick Scott, the corrupt health-care CEO who ran for governor of Florida and won, Trump is ideally suited to run on the GOP’s favorite canard — that government should be run like a business.
Trump has higher name recognition than a lot of pols, in part because he is such a tireless and shameless self-promoter. It’s theoretically possible that he could have used fans of his television show as a base upon which to build a grassroots campaign.
Instead, apparently in an attempt to appeal to the GOP’s tea party-evangelical-former Bush-lovers base, Trump has made news by trashing gay rights and joining the birther brigades.
But these mostly Southern and predominantly Protestant fundamentalist Republican primary voters are no more likely to go for the thrice-married, irreligious Trump with his pronounced New York accent than they were for New York’s “Mayor of 9/11” Rudolph Giuliani, a Catholic with a similar accent and the same number of wives. Giuliani spent $50 million running for president in 2008 and all he had to show for it in the end was one lousy delegate at the Republican convention.
What this birth-certificate gaffe shows is that the Trump campaign, such as it is, is similar to the mistake-a-thon campaigns of his possible 2012 competitors, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Alaska celebrity Sarah Palin, who have surrounded themselves with amateur advisers and/or pros whose input they ignore.
The main difference is Trump’s hubris. He seems to believe he can get away with aligning himself with racists now, but then transition back to being a popular reality-show star after he drops out of the campaign. In real reality, however, it’s more likely his extreme-right views on gay civil rights and his sudden alignment with racist conspiracists will destroy his appeal among normal Americans who are fans of his show.
Donald Trump will never be president — he must know that. So why is he putting his carefully crafted image and his television franchise at risk in pursuit of a goal that is so clearly out of his reach?
Why is he risking becoming the very thing he hates: A loser.