Rick Perry Flirting With Birthers?
Rick Perry’s comments during an interview with Parade Magazine have raised some questions about where he stands on the issue of the President’s birth certificate:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he is not sure President Obama was born in the United States, but it should not matter because he was elected president and the issue is a distraction.
Perry was asked if he is convinced Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, as his birth certificate released earlier this year says.
“I have no reason to think otherwise,” Perry said in an interview with Parade Magazine published Sunday.
The interviewer pointed out that is not a definitive yes, and Perry said he can not know for certain.
“I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate,” Perry said, without explaining why he referenced his own birth certificate when he was asked about Mr. Obama’s.
Parade writer Lynn Sherr asked “but you’ve seen his?”
“I don’t know, have I?” Perry responded.
Perry then mentioned his recent dinner with Donald Trump and said the reality TV host told him he still does not think Obama’s birth certificate is authentic.
Asked what he told Trump in response, Perry said “I don’t have any idea. It doesn’t matter. He’s the president of the United States. He’s elected. It’s a distractive issue.”
For clarification’s sake, here’s the full interview:
Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?
I have no reason to think otherwise.
That’s not a definitive, “Yes, I believe he”—
Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.
But you’ve seen his.
I don’t know. Have I?
You don’t believe what’s been released?
I don’t know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night.
That came up.
And he said?
He doesn’t think it’s real.
And you said?
I don’t have any idea. It doesn’t matter. He’s the president of the United States. He’s elected. It’s a distractive issue.
If anything, I tend to thing that this is more an example of a Perry’s own muddled thinking than any dog whistle to the birther fringe. However, Perry has nonetheless managed to create the impression that he’s trying to appeal to the crazies, mostly because he failed to answer the question clearly and, for some bizarre reason, met with Donald Trump. In any event we can now expect a birth certificate question at the next debate thanks to Perry since this is, obviously, the most important issue facing the Republic.