In an April 3 article about Donald Trump, the New York Post reported that Fox News contributor Dick Morris said that Trump's recent "birther talk" is "within the foul lines," while "everyone else who spoke with The Post thinks it's a major tactical mistake." Further, the Post quoted Morris as saying that Trump "has a good shot" at the GOP presidential nomination.
From the Post article:
Perhaps this is why few people in politics -- despite the speech at CPAC, despite his numerous talk-show appearances, despite his booking at Iowa's Lincoln Day Dinner in June -- can agree on the level of Trump's seriousness about a run for the Republican nomination. Is he really considering the cost he'll bear, financially, physically and mentally? Or is this just another publicity stunt from the man who's compared himself to P.T. Barnum?
"He's made these feints before," says Pat Choate, the economist who ran with Ross Perot in 1996. "He's an interesting character. I hope he's not running."
"I think he has a good shot at the nomination," says former Clinton adviser Dick Morris. "Ten or 12 years ago, when he flirted with it, he wasn't that serious. I'm hearing from people in the business that he's serious."
"I think it's just ego- and fame-driven, which is fine," says James Joyner, founder and editor-in-chief of the online journal Outside the Beltway. "It wouldn't make him the first in this town."
Aside from the hyper-inflated persona and repeated flirtations with a run, the difficulty in taking this Trump bid seriously can be boiled down to one thing: the birther stuff.
It's been going on for weeks now, Trump hitting every talk show he can to discuss his serious doubts about where Obama was really born and is he really a Muslim, why can't anyone remember knowing him as a child. The GOP establishment isn't happy about it. Even Bill O'Reilly mocked Trump's assertions, and aside from Morris -- who thinks the birther talk "is within the foul lines" -- everyone else who spoke with The Post thinks it's a major tactical mistake.
"Politically, it's truly dumb to do that," says Choate, "because Barack Obama was born in the United States."
"His attempt to appeal to the hard right with this birther nonsense that I can't imagine he believes -- he just comes across as such as clown, such a phony," says Joyner.