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Special Report

The Donald Trump factor

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," May 29, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than $16 billion have gone to companies like Solyndra that are linked to big Obama and Democrat donors. The inspector general said contracts were steered to friends and family. Obama is giving taxpayers money to big donors, and then watching them lose it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're scared of an Obama presidency.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R - AZ: I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared as President of the United States.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT AND CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Why doesn't he show his birth certificate. He doesn't have a birth certificate. Now he may have one, but there is something on that -- maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, two pretty long web videos out today, one from the Romney campaign, one from the Obama campaign. This is on the day that Romney will likely later tonight clinch the nomination to become the Republican nominee, reaching the magic number of 1,144. He is also holding a fundraiser with Donald Trump. Hence, Donald Trump under attack from the Obama campaign. And the Donald speaking out on that very issue -- about birth certificates -- earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP: There is a lot of questions as to the authenticity of the birth certificate. So you can believe it or you don't have to believe it. But certainly there are many, many questions.

ROMNEY: I don't agree with all the people who support me. And my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in. But I need to get 50.1 percent or more. And I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people. OK...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: All right, so where are we with this? Obviously the White House put out the long form birth certificate in April of last year. The state of Hawaii certified that. Bill?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I'm speechless. I sort of thought Donald Trump had gone away about a year ago and here he is back. The birth certificate, I thought had gone away a while ago. I guess nothing ever goes away in today's American politics.

At least look -- at least the Romney campaign is trying to focus on an actual, substantive public policy issue, which is President Obama's deep commitment, he talks about it all the time, to green energy, the programs that he set up, was proud to set up as part of the stimulus. And a lot of money has been wasted and some of it has been worse than wasted and gone to Democratic cronies. That is a legitimate issue to raise. I think it should be put in a broader context by the Romney campaign than just a kind of gotcha. He should explain why the president's whole understanding of how to stimulate the economy is wrong. But it's a legitimate policy issue.

BAIER: Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: I think that everybody just asked a question -- what is going on? Why would he have anything to do with Donald Trump? And I think the answer is that Mitt Romney wants to prove that he has appeal to people who have, in fact, embraced this fringe notion that -- birthers, that Obama was not born in the United States, not born in Hawaii. But it has, I think, split some people, the Bill Kristols, the George Wills. I think people are just thinking, what is the upside? Why would he be doing this?

BAIER: There has been or at least touted by the campaign some effect by Donald Trump, making calls, robo-calls in states where there are blue collar voters that perhaps the Romney campaign feels they need to reach out to in Michigan, Ohio, etc. not necessarily solely on this one issue.

WILLIAMS: No. To again reach out to people who are very conservative and who throughout the Republican primary process view Mitt Romney as too moderate and weren't convinced that they were going to support him.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Maybe this is Romney trying to, by his association with Trump, trying to show toughness. Obama shows it by killing terrorists by remote control. It's an odd day today in the news that these two things happened at once. I think Juan came nearer the truth here, rather than --

WILLIAMS: Me? Imagine!

KRAUTHAMMER: He came in proximity of the truth. I think there was -- there is some notion that this does associate him, but I don't think he wants to associate with the fringe about the birther stuff, because I think he knows that is toxic. I think he simply wants to appeal to the kind of -- the toughness that Trump does. He speaks bluntly and he has a following. And you're right, Bret, the robo-calls in Michigan helped Romney in the primary campaign. But this is toxic. I think it should be one shot deal, do the event, get out of there, and don't go back to it if you're Romney.

BAIER: But there is all this focus today Bill on this connection between Romney and Trump. But remember the lack of focus about President Obama and Bill Maher and the money he gave, $1 million to the super PAC. Bill Maher, of course, the comedian who has said some pretty extreme things from the left. You have Jon Corzine, the former Democratic governor of New Jersey who is still bundling money and lost a lot of money for M.F. Global. I guess the back and forth today, the focus on Trump, is pretty interesting.

KRISTOL: It is. But I don't believe any of this will move any actual voters on either side, honestly. President Obama has been President of the United States for three-and-a-half year. He has a record which people can either approve or disapprove. Mitt Romney is a serious guy who people are getting to know and almost everyone will know very, very well by the end of this campaign. He will have a platform, a policy platform, which people will either like or dislike. I don't think you can disqualify either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney because they are unfortunately supported by or even doing fundraisers with or even hanging around with people who are less than fully admirable.

WILLIAMS: You've got to be careful with independent voters who can get turned off by this. That's why I think both of you say get away from it.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for an update on a story we've been following.

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