WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS Washington) — Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate hopeful Rick Perry added fuel to the previously dwindling fires of the birther movement with comments made during an interview with ‘Parade’ magazine.
In the transcript, Perry makes several comments that allude to his skepticism of President Barack Obama’s released birth certificate.
The interviewer asked if Perry believes Obama to be born in the United States. He replied that he had no reason to think otherwise, but when the issue of his birth certificate arose, he was unable to give a concrete answer.
“Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate,” Perry said, prompting the interviewer to state that Perry has seen Obama’s. Perry replied, “I don’t know. Have I?”
Perry’s doubts were brought to the surface after a recent dinner with Donald Trump, during which the business tycoon reportedly stated his disbelief in the validity of the certificate released by the White House.
Added Perry, “It doesn’t matter. He’s the president of the United States. He’s elected. It’s a distractive issue.”
The birther movement is a conspiracy theory that has followed the Obama administration since before the 2008 election.
Though the reasoning and claims behind it differ, the main point is to prove that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and, as such, is not eligible to be president.
Earlier this year, the White House requested that an exception be made in regards to the release of his long-form birth certificate. The hospital acquiesced, based partially on “the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting.”
A PDF of the long-form certificate can be seen on the same page as the linked release.
“At a time of great consequence for this country – when we should be debating how we win the future, reduce our deficit, deal with high gas prices, and bring stability to the Middle East,Washington,D.C., was once again distracted by a fake issue,” the release concludes. “The president’s hope is that with this step, we can move on to debating the bigger issues that matter to the American people and the future of the country.”
CBS Washington has reached out to the Perry campaign for further comment. So far, campaign officials have not replied.