Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rick Perry winks at the birthers

Maybe it was his lunch with America's richest birther, Donald Trump. Or maybe Rick Perry is already at the point of grabbing at any opportunity to revive his presidential campaign. But the Texas governor is pandering to the conservative fringe about President Barack Obama's birthplace, and he's doing himself and his party a disservice.

Perry, in an interview published in Sunday's Parade Magazine, declined to say that he was sure Obama was born in the United States. "I have no reason to think otherwise," he said, but when pressed, he said, "Well, I don't have a definitive answer."

The White House, of course, released Obama's long-form Hawaii birth certificate in April after Donald Trump brought new energy to speculation the president was born elsewhere. Trump's skepticism helped him enjoy a brief stay at the top of the polls before everyone remembered he was Donald Trump, and Perry, who said he had lunch with Trump recently, now seems to like the possibilities of dabbling in that strategy.

Yes, Perry distanced himself from the birth certificate speculation by calling it "a distractive issue" in his interview. That's the smart play - you frown soberly about our not spending time talking about substantial issues, and you wink at the birthers by saying that, well, Obama kinda seems to be one of us, maybe.

It's a tactic his fellow Republicans should condemn, not only because it steals from the real, legitimate criticisms to be made about the Obama presidency, but because each time a serious candidate takes a turn on the dance floor with birthers, the extreme becomes more of the party's brand. That might briefly help a Rick Perry this October and November, but it won't help the GOP a year from now.

Peter St. Onge

8 comments:

txeng said...

Peter is right. We need a good socialist like Howard Dean to lead our country. And, as the Charlotte Observer believes, we need tens of millions more illegals to flood into or country to take the jobs of Americans.

sanitizer said...

Perry is not smart enough to think about a year down the road.

Raf said...

*wink *wink

Garth Vader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garth Vader said...

Peter,

First I want to commend you on being (apparently) the only member of the Editorial Board who takes time to read and respond to comments posted to O-Pinion.

Rather than comment on the desperate and shallow Haircut Twins Romney and Perry, I would like for you to address the origins of the very obvious and coordinated blackout of the candidacy of Ron Paul in the Observer and in other mainstream media outlets. This blackout was confirmed and documented by the Pew Center, and is so pervasive that the Paul campaign promoted their latest "moneybomb" using the catchphrase "Black THIS Out" (it raised 2.3 million dollars in 36 hours, getting donations from more individuals in one day than Rick Perry got in the entire third quarter).

Last Monday Paul released a comprehensive and specific plan to immediately reduce federal spending by $1 trillion and to balance the budget within 2015, both goals that a vast majority of Republicans would welcome. Yet the Observer did not print a single word regarding the Paul plan, in contrast to its extensive stories on "9/9/9" which is a tax plan that only addresses revenue, rather than the actual spending cuts which - again - most rank and file Republicans support.

So please answer the simple question Peter: What is the origin of the Ron Paul blackout? Thanks.

BLACKSPEAK said...

Have Birther Will Travel... Forget about Obama. He'll be questioning Citizen Cain's birth records next.

Idlewild said...

Ron Paul is just a smarter Rick Perry.

Skippy said...

Google this - Philip Berg filed the first lawuit against President Mistake on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Pesky facts.