Rick Perry called President Obama’s birthplace a “distractive issue” in an interview with Parade that was published this weekend, but refused to say that he was fully confident Obama was born in the U.S.:
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 met Trump for dinner in New York City in mid-September.
UPDATE: Asked if it’s accurate that Trump does not think the birth certificate is real, Michael Cohen, a senior adviser to Trump, e-mails, “Despite releasing what is alleged to be his birth certificate, serious questions remain. No independent evidence has been disclosed to Mr. Trump or the American people as to its authenticity.” He also sends along this statement from Trump:
Is it authentic? – I don’t know – but I am proud of the fact that I was able to get him to do something that nobody else was able to get him to do – release the “certificate”. While this issue remains unresolved, more important issues need to take center stage; such as our failing economy, unemployment and our unsustainable debt. We must bring our jobs back to the United States before it is too late!