Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence disavowed “birther” conspiracy theories about whether President Obama was born in the United States on Wednesday.In an astonishing coincidence, Ben Carson, a Trump surrogate, also addressed the issue of Trump's birtherism this week,
“I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, I accept his birthplace,” Pence told reporters aboard his campaign plane in San Diego....
The Indiana governor declined to answer whether he believed running mate Donald Trump, who before running for president championed birther accusations in 2011, should apologize.
and he called for an apology:
... top Trump surrogate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson went that extra mile.Trump, of course, will not disavow birtherism or apologize, as we saw when the subject came up on Bill O'Reilly's show last night:
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, the onetime 2016 Republican presidential hopeful said it would be smart for Trump to apologize for his birther comments.
"I think that would be a good idea, absolutely," he said. "I suggest that on all sides. Let's get all of the hate and rancor out of the way so that we can actually discuss the issues."
BILL OREILLY (HOST): Do you think your birther position has hurt you among African Americans?I could be wrong, but I don't think Trump could bring himself to walk back birtherism, not even if Kellyanne and Ivanka and Jared got on their knees and begged him to. It's what made him as a political figure. And most of the voters in his base are birthers.
DONALD TRUMP: I don't know. I have no idea. I don't even talk about it anymore Bill because I don’t bother talking about it.
O’REILLY: Yea I know, but it’s there, it’s on the record.
TRUMP: I guess with maybe some, I don't know, I really don't know why, you're the first one who brought that up in a while. I don't think so.
But Republicans get away with these surrogate head-fakes. Remember 2004, when Dick Cheney, father of a gay daughter, told the country a few days before the Republican convention that he supported same-sex marriage? That melted some moderates' hearts -- and then the guy at the top of the ticket, George W. Bush, went on to campaign on a call for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, while Bush's chief strategist worked to get anti-gay-marriage referendums on the ballot in eleven states, including Ohio, all of which passed, as a way to drive up Christian conservative turnout in the presidential election.
That worked -- and the birtherism double-message trick might work as well.