Republican political strategist Karl Rove has dismissed Donald Trump as a potential Republican presidential candidate. Rove, a former adviser to George W. Bush, said that the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star could have been an interesting candidate because of his business experience, but had become "inconsequential" after embracing "the birther issue."
"I’m shocked," he told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren on Friday. "The guy’s smarter than this. And you know, the idea that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, making that the centerpiece of his campaign, means that he’s just a joke candidate."
"Let him go ahead and announce for election on 'The Apprentice.' The American people aren’t going to be hiring him, and certainly, the Republicans are not going to be hiring him in the Republican primary."
Many so-called "birthers" believe there is persuasive evidence that Obama was born in Kenya in 1961 and that his birth certificate was faked in order to make him eligible for the Presidency.
Trump has been courting the media's attention by questioning Obama's eligibility for president. He first revealed he had some doubts that Obama was a U.S. citizen during an interview with ABC News' Ashleigh Banfield in March.
The president was born in the state of Hawaii and released a certificate of live birth to prove it in June 2008.
Rove has previously said that the Obama administration was more than happy to see the "birther" controversy continue because it marginalized conservatives.
Trump said on Fox & Friends Monday that Rove made the "disgraceful" comments about him because the Republican strategist was upset that Mitt Romney was not campaigning well.
"But really, probably, what bothers Karl," Trump added. "And I understand this. I fully understand this. I am very upset at Bush, because Bush had a really bad period of time, and he gave us Obama, and Karl Rove was Bush, and a lot people say Karl Rove was Bush."