Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Wednesday that he has no doubt that President Barack Obama was born in the United States and is an American citizen, Adam Smith at the St. Petersburg Times reports.
"I have no doubt about it," Perry says in an interview with local station Bay News 9 scheduled to air this weekend.
When asked if he believes the president was born in the United States, the Texas governor said, "I have no reason to think otherwise." Pressed on the nature of his answer, Perry added, "Well, I don't have a definitive answer, because he's never seen my birth certificate."
In expressing doubt over the authenticity of the president's birth certificate -- which was released by the White House earlier this year -- Perry said, "I don't know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night."
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However, in the interview with Bay News 9, Perry says, "I don't think I was expressing doubts. I was just having some fun with Donald Trump."
During an interview that aired on CNBC on Tuesday, Perry said he believes the birther issue is a good one to "keep alive."
The AP reports that Perry offered to release his own birth records on Tuesday.
"If somebody wants to see my birth certificate, I'd be happy to show it to them," said the Texas governor. "But the fact is that this is a distraction, and Americans really don't care about that, if you want to know the truth of the matter."
HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:
Sure enough, on Tuesday morning, one of the senior statesmen within the GOP, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, warned Perry and others to cut out the birther talk.
"Look, if this election is about Barack Obama's policies and the results of those policies, Barack Obama is going to lose," Barbour said after an appearance with the American Action Forum at the National Press Club. "Any other issue that gets injected to the campaign is not good for the Republicans. Republicans should want this election to be what American presidential elections have always been: a referendum on the incumbent's record. Barack Obama cannot win a second term running on his record. Zero chance. So anybody who talks about anything else is off-subject."
Karl Rove offered a critical assessment on how the birther issue has infiltrated the political debate during an appearance on Fox News earlier this week.
"You associate yourself with a nutty view like that, and you damage yourself," he said. "And I know he went and he's trying to cultivate -- as all of them are -- Donald Trump, in order to get his endorsement, but this is not the way to go about doing it, because it starts to marginalize you in the minds of some of the people whom you need in order to get the election."
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