Last Thursday night, during a question and answer session at one of his campaign rallies, Donald Trump was asked about how he planned to get rid of Muslims in the United States. The question also resurrected the idea that President Barack Obama is a secret follower of the Islamic faith and is not a citizen of the United States.
Most GOP candidates have condemned Trump for his refusal to publicly rebuke the man who asked this question. But Trump has doubled down.
“Am I morally obligated to defend the President every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him?” Trump said on Twitter. “I don’t think so!” On Monday, in an interview on The Today Show, Trump again suggested that Obama might be a Muslim.
What explains Trump’s stubborn insistence on letting the Muslim canard thrive? Perhaps the answer resides in a recent CNN poll that found that 54 percent of Trump’s supporters and 43 percent of all Republicans still believe that Obama is a Muslim.