Karl Rove speaks out against them, saying Donald Trump is “off there in the nutty right” and a “joke candidate.” Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes a birther bill. The saner voices in the party are working to distance themselves from the crazies.
The renewed effort to tamp down birtherism underscores a view held by many establishment Republicans that the conspiracy theorists make up a small subset of the party base and risk turning off swing voters more interested in jobs and economic concerns.
The new chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, Ryan Call, said Tuesday that “getting distracted” with questions about Obama’s birth certificate “does a great disservice to the real challenges that our country faces.”
But there is a wide swath of the right-wing constituency that buys into the hype.
Surveys suggest the issue could have resonance. A Fox News poll this month found that about one-quarter of all voters, including more than a third of Republicans, believe Obama was not born in the United States. A slim majority view the idea as “nutty,” but four in 10 voters said there was cause to wonder.”
Cause fed by cynical politicians feeding a poisonous beast.