Trump Skips Big GOP Event Amid Birther Flap

Campaign says it's unrelated as rivals pounce
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2015 5:45 AM CDT
Donald Trump arrives at a town hall event Thursday in Rochester, N.H.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

(Newser) – More trouble in camp Trump? After a debate performance seen as less-than-stellar, Trump's failure to correct a man's public assertion that President Obama is a non-American Muslim continues to resonate. Amid the backlash from both fellow Republicans and Democrats, Trump skipped a major forum for GOP candidates last night by excusing himself from the Heritage Action Presidential Forum. His campaign explained that it was because of a "significant business transaction" that required his attention, but not everyone was buying it. The Hill calls his absence "significant" given the stature of the event. Here's a sample of some of the criticism he's getting, via the Hill, Politico and the New York Times:

  • Bobby Jindal: After expressing mock sympathy that Trump canceled, he added, "Filing for bankruptcy again? Perhaps 5th time is the charm…”
  • Jeb Bush: “By the way, he’s an American, he’s a Christian,” he said of Obama during a speech. "His problem isn’t that he was born here or what his religion is.”
  • White House: “I don’t think anybody who’s been paying attention to Republican politics is at all surprised. ... The people who hold these offensive views are part of Mr. Trump’s base.”
  • Bernie Sanders: "I think it's a disgrace. ... I thought we were beyond that."
  • Lindsey Graham: “At the end of the day, this is a defining moment for Mr. Trump. The man in the audience who asked that question needs to be put in his place.”

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