Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) raised some eyebrows over the weekend by suggesting in Parade magazine that he's just not sure President Obama was born in the U.S. "I have no reason to believe otherwise," Perry tells Lynn Sherr in Sunday's Parade, but "I don't have a definitive answer." Perry also said he doesn't "have any idea" if the Hawaii birth certificate Obama released in April is real, and that Donald Trump told Perry at dinner recently that he thinks it's fake. Trump briefly rode the "birther" wagon to the top of the GOP presidential polls. Can flirting with birtherism help revive Perry's presidential fortunes?
Perry's not really flirting with birtherism: People are making way too much of Perry's "coy aside" in his "wide-ranging interview" with Parade, says Jennifer Harper at The Washington Times. From all the "goofy, damning press" he's getting, you'd never know that Perry actually ended his so-called birther riff by assuring us that "it doesn't matter. He's the President of the United States. He's elected. It's a distractive issue."
"Inside the Beltway"
Perry is risking campaign suicide: It seems he's trying to have it both ways, says Taylor Marsh at her blog, first floating the vile slur that Obama isn't a legitimate president to "hook the wackiest Tea Party types," then dismissing the issue as a distraction that doesn't matter. That won't work. Perry's "birther confession drives it home" that he's simply not presidential material. If "Perry is so desperate to prop up his flagging presidential bid that he's listening to the birther king," he might as well give up now.
"Trump meeting with Perry results in birther confession"
Why are we even still talking about this? The old "non-answer answer" dodge to the birther question won't fool anyone, says Karoli Kuns at Crooks and Liars. Perry is clearly willing to go "all-out birther" to pick up the fringe Republican vote. That's probably dumb politics, but "perhaps a better question to ask might be why interviewers insist on asking this question" about Obama's birth certificate. It just gives weight to a thoroughly debunked right-wing conspiracy theory.
"Desperate Rick Perry goes full-tilt birther"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- 10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2014
- Why the government should pay every American child an allowance
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- How foreign aid screwed up Liberia's ability to fight Ebola
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
Subscribe to the Week