Donald Trump: Will 'Birther' Issue Help in Possible Presidential Bid?

Donald Trump boosts publicity by questioning Obamas birth certificate.
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As real estate mogul Donald Trump mulls a possible run for the presidency in 2012, he continues to challenge President Obama's place of birth despite overwhelming evidence that he was born in the USA.

"I'm not saying it's a real possibility, but it's much greater than two or three weeks ago that he's pulled one of the greatest cons in the history of politics and beyond," Trump said on Thursday in an interview on NBC.

Trump has talked about the issue in interviews during the past several weeks and today he will meet with an Arizona state lawmaker sponsoring a so-called "birther" bill.

"The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him," Trump said on "Good Morning America" on March 17.

Trump claims he is so concerned about where President Obama was born; he has investigators on the ground in Hawaii.

Several non-partisan watchdog groups long ago determined a certificate provided by then-candidate Obama, definitively proves he was born in Hawaii in August 1961.

There were birth announcements in local papers and statements from officials in Hawaii.

While Trump's questioning of where Obama was born has many scratching their heads, some say there's a method to his madness as he decides whether to run for president.

Trump's Poll Numbers Increase

In the last three weeks, Trump's poll numbers have from nearly doubled.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll among Republican primary voters shows Trump behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and tied with ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

The website, ShouldTrumpRun.com,which has received more than 735,000 hits, and is hoping to convince Trump to run.

But while it may boost his visibility now, some analysts say it is bad long-term strategy.

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, said the birther issue trivializes Trump and damages his brand.

"Everybody knows Donald trump is entertaining but you cannot become president of the basis of being a good entertainer," said Fleischer. "You have to run for president on issues that make people say I can see that person being the president, he acts presidential and the birther movement will not be the cause that propels Donald Trump forward it actually will be the cause that holds him back."

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