On Monday, right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro made a head-turning claim: That President Donald Trump deserves respect because no Republicans ever questioned President Barack Obama’s legitimacy:
Confronted with the fact that Trump himself promulgated the “Birther” conspiracy theory that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, Shapiro pled No True Scotsman, insisting that Trump didn’t really count as a “Republican figure” back in the early 2010s when he was spreading Birther lies — and that Republican officeholders at the time didn’t agree with the delegitimization of the president.
Trump was a fringe character for nearly the entirety of the Obama presidency; he wasn’t a “Republican figure” until he ran. You can’t name a single major elected Republican official during Obama’s presidency who challenged the legitimacy of his presidency. https://t.co/jodrc7Pljf
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 19, 2019
Unfortunately for Shapiro, the internet was quick to pile on and point out that he was still wrong on both counts. Numerous elected Republican officials parroted Trump’s Birtherism, with dozens of GOP representatives cosponsoring a bill to force Obama to release his birth certificate in 2009. And far from being a “fringe figure,” a number of Republicans also expressed support for Trump running for president in 2012, including Shapiro himself.
among many others
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 19, 2019
Hi Ben. Here is you saying he would be the best challenger for Obama prior to 2012 and explaining how birtherism was the reason for that. You are bad at this. pic.twitter.com/11T2hZLI9G
— Collin Reischman (@CMReischman) August 19, 2019
Trump started hammering on it in 2011. Obama wasn't even done with his first term before Trump started grifting off it.
Let's not forget Mark Meadows Louie Gohmert, Sarah Palin and Blake Farenthold. All "major elected Republican officials during Obama's presidency."
— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) August 19, 2019
Mitt Romney went to Trump's Vegas casino in 2012 to kiss Trump's ass in order to get Trump's endorsement, dip-shit. https://t.co/sfBsboL29q
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) August 19, 2019
"Is Donald Trump the best Republican candidate for president out there? It would be tough to argue otherwise. He's got all the makings of a breakout star; he's got bravado and the cash to back it up." — Ben Shapiro, 2011. https://t.co/Faull1PGAC
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) August 19, 2019