Tribune Washington Bureau
POSTED: 04:28 a.m. HST, Oct 25, 2011
WASHINGTON » Resuscitating an issue that flared earlier this year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a new interview that he isn’t sure that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is real.
The GOP presidential candidate was asked by Parade magazine whether he believed that Obama was born in the United States.
“I have no reason to think otherwise,” he said.
Pressed for a “definitive” answer, Perry continued: “Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.”
“But you’ve seen his,” the interviewer replied.
“I don’t know. Have I?” Perry said.
Obama released a certificate of live birth during his 2008 campaign, showing that he was born in Hawaii. But that failed to stem accusations from opponents who insisted that the document was not real, and that Obama had been born in Africa, like his father.
After businessman Donald Trump flirted with a presidential bid while questioning Obama’s birthplace, the White House released the long-form version of his Hawaii birth certificate. Government officials, both Democratic and Republican, have attested to his birth in the state, as have newspaper announcements placed in Hawaiian newspapers in the days after his birth.
But some in the “birther” movement, including Trump, still aren’t convinced. Perry said the two discussed the issue and that Trump told him he doesn’t trust Obama’s documents.
“I don’t know,” Perry said when asked if he believed the birth certificate was real. “I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night. ... He doesn’t think it’s real. ... I don’t have any idea. It doesn’t matter. (Obama is) the President of the United States. He’s elected. It’s a distractive issue.”
In the interview, Perry also took aim at Al Gore, whose presidential campaign the Texan aided in 1988, when he was still a Democrat. Asked whether he had seen the film “An Inconvenient Truth,” or Gore’s book on global warming, on which the film was based, Perry replied: “No, I generally don’t watch or read a lot of fiction.”
He added that he did not blame global warming for the spate of fires that have erupted in Texas this year.
“I truly believe the science is not settled on the issue of man-made global warming,” he said.