"President Barack Obama was born in the United States," confirmed Donald Trump earlier today. This marks a major reversal within the Trump campaign, seeing that the real estate tycoon kicked off his political career five years ago with claims that President Obama was not an American citizen. "I have people that have been studying (Obama's birth certificate) and they cannot believe what they're finding ... I would like to have him show his birth certificate, and can I be honest with you, I hope he can," Trump said back in 2011. "Because if he can't, if he can't, if he wasn't born in this country, which is a real possibility ... then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics."
The “birther” movement has been regarded as a thinly veiled attempt to delegitimize the nation’s first black president. With heavily racist undertones, those within the movement have been branded as bigots with white supremacist sentiment coursing through their blood. As such, one can understand why it might be tough for a birther to win over minority voters. And that’s likely why Trump has come around on this bizarrely crucial election issue.
Despite the fact that Trump has admitted he believes Obama was born in the country, this does not mean the hatchet is buried. Many, understandably, are outraged by the fact that it took so long for the candidate to make the statement he delivered this morning and believe that the timing of the announcement indicates entirely political motives. "For five years he has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president," Hillary Clinton said. "His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie."
According to CNN, “Trump's statement appeared steeped in political motivations, just over 50 days before the presidential election and with Trump moving into a margin of error race with the Democratic nominee in national polls and in some swing states.”
Trump has been trying to gain support among minority voters for months now. He attempted to secure black votes by visiting an African American church in Detroit and by telling America’s black voters that they have nothing to lose by trying something new (i.e. a Trump presidency). However, a recent Public Policy Polling survey finds that Trump has a nearly 0% favorability rating among African Americans. As such, his statement regarding Obama’s birthplace is likely a political maneuver to better position Trump among this crucial voting bloc.
Do you think Trump’s reversal on the birther claims will make an impact on his campaign?