Perry: Fun to Poke at Obama with Birther Issue

The birther issue is back in the spotlight, thanks to a media outlet that decided to revive the topic and a presidential candidate unwilling to take it off the table.

"It's a good issue to keep alive," Gov. Rick Perry told CNBC Tuesday. "You know, Donald [Trump] has got to have some fun. It's fun to poke him a little bit and say ‘Hey, let's see your grades and your birth certificate.' I don't have a clue about where the president -- and what this birth certificate says. But it's also a great distraction. I'm not distracted by it."

The topic of Obama's birth certificate was revived after Parade Magazine published an interview in which the Texas governor, asked whether he believed President Obama was born in the United States, noted Donald Trump didn't believe President Obama's birth certificate is real. The exchange is below:

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.

Perry's press secretary Mark Miner told Fox News Tuesday that he considered the renewed birther talk a "non-issue."

"The governor is clearly focused on his economic speech," Miner said, referring to the flat tax plan Perry unveiled in South Carolina Tuesday morning. "This is all an attempt to detract attention from that."

Donald Trump gained approval in the polls when he made a big to-do about President Obama's birth certificate, which prompted the White House to release the long form of his Hawaii birth certificate in April.