The Ticket

No more birther talk for Perry

Chris Moody
The Ticket

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Perry (Richard Shiro/AP)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry found himself in some trouble after he dabbled in conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama's birthplace in two recent interviews, but now it appears the Republican presidential candidate is putting his birther days behind him.

At a news conference in South Carolina Tuesday, Perry signaled that he wouldn't entertain questions on the subject when a reporter asked him directly about his thoughts on whether Obama was born in the United States. An Associated Press reporter caught the exchange:

"I'll cut you off right there," Perry said when asked about Obama's birth certificate. "That is one of the biggest distractions that there is going. We need to be talking about jobs."

But Perry wouldn't answer a reporter's direct question about whether he believed the president was born in the United States. Obama's birth certificate shows he was born in Hawaii.

Questions about Perry's beliefs on Obama's birth certificate arose after an article in Parade Magazine quoted him questioning the authenticity of the president's birth records. On Tuesday, Perry fanned the flames again when he told CNBC that it was "a good issue to keep alive" and that it was "fun to poke at" the president over his documents.

Several prominent Republicans, including GOP strategist Karl Rove and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, publicly denounced candidates who make the birth certificate an issue this week.

Despite Perry's glib responses about the document, he has been careful to insist in each interview that the issue is a "distraction." Perhaps now he's following his own advice.

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