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Trump: Romney Got A Laugh, But Birther 'Issue' Is No Joke

Donald Trump on Sunday in Sarasota, Fla., where local Republicans named him their Statesman of the Year.
Edward Linsmier
Getty Images
Donald Trump on Sunday in Sarasota, Fla., where local Republicans named him their Statesman of the Year.

The Donald isn't done yet with the "birther" conspiracy.

Developer/reality show star/sort-of politician Donald Trump brought his unique personality to Florida on Sunday and for at least a few minutes took some of the spotlight away from the Republican National Convention in Tampa and tropical storm Isaac out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rick Stone from South Florida's WLRN was in Sarasota to hear Trump say he wasn't necessarily amused last week when GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney got a few laughs by saying that "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate."

It wasn't that Trump was offended by Romney making a reference to the insistence by some of President Obama's harshest critics that the commander in chief hasn't proven he was born in Hawaii (the state of Hawaii, the president and others can offer all sorts of proof — and they have — but some won't accept it).

No, Trump said he just doesn't think it's a joke.

"It happens to be an issue that a lot of people believe in," he told reporters. "So, maybe I would have handled it differently."

Still, he isn't wavering about Romney. "I support him 100 percent," said Trump.

Politico adds that "Trump, who has focused on Obama's birth certificate in the past, said that whether he raises the issue again going forward is an open question. 'Let's just say this there's a huge group of people that are not believers in what [Obama] did, what he said and where he came from. We'll see what happens. Well see what happens over the coming weeks and months.' "

Trump was in Sarasota, by the way, to be honored by the local Republican Party as its "Statesman of the Year." According to Rick, local GOP Chairman Joe Gruters hailed Trump as a "champion of the people" who will do "everything it takes to take our country back."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.