(CBS News) Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is making a mistake to prolong the "freakshow" that was the Republican primary season by attending a Las Vegas fundraiser with reality television host Donald Trump, conservative columnist Peggy Noonan said Tuesday.
"There was a certain freakshow atmosphere to the Republican primaries of the past six months or so. Now that is kind of over. The show is over," Noonan said in an interview with "CBS This Morning."
"My view is that the Romney campaign made a mistake," Noonan said of Romney's decision to meet with Trump later Tuesday, "this is a good time for him to differentiate himself from the stranger aspects of the Republican race."
Asked by co-host Charlie Rose how the former Massachusetts governor should do that now that he is on the verge of obtaining enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for president, Noonan said "one way you don't do it I think is do a fundraiser with Donald Trump, who was part of the freakshow aspect, so it's a little surprising that he did this."
Trump as recently as this month continued to push the notion that President Obama was not born in the United States. In an interview, the publicity hungry businessman pointed to a recent report that Mr. Obama's literary agency listed him in a 1991 booklet as having been born in Kenya.
"He didn't know he was running for president, so he told the truth," Trump told The Daily Beast. "Now they're saying it was a mistake. Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, 'Oh, I mean Hawaii.' Give me a break."
Asked about those views by reporters traveling with him on the airplane Monday night, Romney said Trump is entitled to his opinions.
"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 am appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people," Romney said.