Rove issues 'birther' warning to Perry
October 24th, 2011
02:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Rove issues 'birther' warning to Perry

(CNN) - Karl Rove said Monday that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry may harm his campaign by stoking the "birther" controversy.

"You associate yourself with a nutty view like that, and you damage yourself," Rove said.

In an interview published Sunday in Parade magazine, Texas Gov. Perry said he believes the president was born in the United States, but was less confident that the birth certificate he released earlier this year was real.

"I don't know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night," Perry said. "He doesn't think it's real."

Real estate mogul Donald Trump championed the "birther" movement during his flirtation with a bid for the White House. President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii, eventually released the long form version of the document to seemingly combat the growing rumors.

But Rove, who was the chief campaign and message architect for former President George W. Bush, said Perry should not associate with the group.

"I know he went and he's trying to cultivate … Donald Trump, in order to get his endorsement, but this is not the way to go about doing it," Rove said on Fox News. "It starts to marginalize you in the minds of some of the people whom you need in order to get the election."

According to Rove, Perry should have said: "Yes, he [Obama] was born in the United States, yes, he is eligible to serve and don't associate yourself with this nutty fringe group."

Also see:

Cain 'flip-flops,' Bachmann says

Obama heads West to campaign, push jobs bill

Biden makes his 2012 pitch

Filed under: 2012 • Karl Rove • Rick Perry
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. thomas

    Perry says slowing carbon emissions hurts economy !
    Texas Governor Rick Perry, struggling to regain his status as front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, expressed fresh doubt on Saturday about whether humans are causing climate change.

    Scientists at an annual meeting of U.S. agronomists last week in San Antonio said the focus was climate change.
    "Its impact on agriculture systems, impacts on crops, mitigation strategies with soil management - a whole range of questions was being asked about climate change," said Jerry Hatfield, Laboratory Director at the National Soil Tilth Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
    "The biggest thing is high night-time temperatures have a negative impact on yield," Hatfield added, noting that the heat affects evaporation and the life process of the crops.
    "One of the consequences of rising temperatures ... is to compress the life cycle of that plant. The other key consequence is that when the atmosphere gets warmer the atmospheric demand for water increases," Hatfield said.
    "These are simple things that can occur and have tremendous consequences on our ability to produce a stable supply of food or feed or fiber," he said.
    and 86 F at night, he said.

    October 24, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Herman Cain is NO Collin Powell, but He is a Teabagging Black token to BOOT

    Karl Rove is CONCERNED because he and the Koch Brothers hand-picked presidential candidate is NOT polling well with the birther crowd!!!

    Karl Rove and his GW Bush followers do not like Gov. Perry, and that's why they tried to draft other candidates...but now they are STUCK between a rock and a hard place trying to sell Mitt Romney as the "conservative" candidate!!!

    Everybody knows that Mitt Romney is known for giving free healthcare to illegals, letting houses go on foreclosures and he has a deep seated experience of exporting American jobs overseas @ Baines Capital as his "job creators" experience!!!

    October 24, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. nina

    I think the bigger concern is can the Republican Party distance itself from the tea bag birthers, it's not enough for just a candidate to do so anymore.

    October 24, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. MorePalin

    Hey everybody.......what did one nut say to the other nut??

    October 24, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Peace

    Is Perry thinking himself? Really???? Why didn't he ask Trump while they were together what findings he got, as he mentioned several times that he sent people to Hawaii to do the checking.

    October 24, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. sparky

    Yes, you damage says MC Rove, he's a treasure trove

    October 24, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    This shows the Birthers are alive, well, and stalking the corridors of power in the GOP inner sanctum. The GOP has lashed itself to a group that is chopping a hole in the bottom of the Ship of State, and theya re only now realizing their mistake.

    October 24, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. phyllis

    This is the only statement of Karl Rove, that i agree with........
    When he says, nutty fringe group, he is referring to the tea party, and its bunch of squirrels.
    Why would the republicans keep saying this, when they know it is not true.......stop this crap already.......
    That show everybody, what kind of nuts, they have in their party........
    They are only degrading the State of Hawaii, by saying he is not an American..........HE IS.......SO STOP THIS CRAP.......

    peace out..........

    October 24, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Seanomatic

    Note to Rove: He's already "damage" goods. All "nuts" stick together!

    October 24, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. ObamaCares

    "Nutty," "fruity," "stupid" all describe the t-tards and America's taliban -The GOP.

    October 24, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. independent

    The only guy in the bunch with a brain is Romney. The problem with him is his weather vane position on the issues, and his corporate predator short-term ethics.

    October 24, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. John

    It all ready to late Karl ,because Rick Perry has all ready Prove he a nut case. And has no business being president of this Country or even GOV. of Texas. This man has lost his mind a long time ago. Just tell him to go back and have his love affair with his GUN. This Is one weird man.

    October 24, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Chalk this up to "you're doing it wrong." What Parry apparently failed to realize in this instance is that the correct GOP/Teatroll behavior here is to use code and dogwhistles to wink wink indicate that he's on board the birther bus, maybe throw out a less blatant talking point grenade that would still get him some free publicity and then walk the whole thing back while wink wink winking at the right wing extremist base to let them know that "I'm only walking this back because they're making me...but I'm really on your side." If you're a GOPer/Teatroll, you are definitely supposed to believe that Obama's birth certificate is somehow fake and that he was born in Kenya with a tail and the mark of the beast on his forehead, but you're not supposed to talk about it publicly must be hidden and only used for your campaign through proxy PACs in a manner that can't be traced back to you.

    October 24, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Perry is a joke without a punch line – His hilarity never ends.

    October 24, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. diridi

    This idiot needs to shut up....

    October 24, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. willard

    What about obamas aunt and uncle are living of untied state of amercian but obamas aunt and uncle are keep proof of birther cerifacate. In usa or kenynea

    October 24, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. G-nO-P

    I really find it odd that the media plays along with this game of pretending Donald Trump might run for president.. He never forma an exploratory, he nevers puts people on ground in key states, he will NEVER disclose his Tax returns, so all you bafoons , both in and out of the media, who go along with this charade, are just as culpable. Donal Trump is an Egotistical Carnival Barker with Bad Hair .... and that really sums up that LOUD MOUTH IDIOT ..

    October 24, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Straight Shooter

    I forgot, what was it that Donald's investigators turned up in Hawaii that he said was going to be very interesting to the American public? Oh yah, nothing!! The same thing that is between Donald and Rick Perry's ears....

    October 24, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. M I Snow

    You know the GOP has gone off the deep end when Karl Rove is the voice of mnoderation...

    October 24, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. SaintM

    Perry will not listen to Rove. Like Texas, Perry's campaign isn't big enough for the both of them. Perry will go against Rove's advice and attach himself to Trump/Birthers, proving that he is as stupid as he looks.

    President Obama 2.0 – 2012

    October 24, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    "I know he went and he's trying to cultivate … Donald Trump, in order to get his endorsement, but this is not the way to go about doing it," Rove said on Fox News.
    According to Rove, Perry should have said: "Yes, he [Obama] was born in the United States, yes, he is eligible to serve and don't associate yourself with this nutty fringe group."
    Karl Rove is trying to tell Gov. Perry that that topic is not supposed to be discussed publicly. Did you notice that Rove did not exactly correct the opinion held by birthers? Nope. Mr. Rove offered "words" that Gov. Perry could have used to respond to the topic in the future. He spoke about what should have been said, never mind the truth, just say this. Perry might be able to pull that off. But, .....

    And, he told Perry to stop associating with nutty fringe groups. The biggest problem facing Perry is that his inner circle meets that description nutty fringe group. Gov. Perry has a long laundry list of controversial people whom he apparently considers to friends, or representative of the types of voters who Perry thinks should him appealing. You know those types will never vote for Obama, so why is Perry trying to openly court them? Oh oh, that's right. It's conservative primary season. Be quiet, Karl. Rick needs a nomination. This year that means 'being the beast" that the extreme hard right wants.

    October 24, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "The only guy in the bunch with a brain is Romney. "

    Not really. The guy flip-flops so much that the only reasonable, rational, coherent conclusion that can be drawn from his behavior and words is that even he is admitting he does everything wrong the first time.

    October 24, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. thetruthis out there

    willard: what is your primary language? what is your education level?

    October 24, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. FIELD1st SGT

    Do you want the following: 1. Find a job; 2. Keep Democracy for this country: 3. Keep the 2nd Admendment: 4. Heal the Economy; 5 Have good morals; 6. Get rid of CZARS and all the Aides to Michelle (MY GOSH ALMIGHTY WHAT FOOLS WE ARE TO HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN). 7. No more kissing the Islam terriost nations' rears. Have Patriotism to this Country, Flag and God. 8. No one trying to set up his own private Army to overthrow this country's military like Obama. IF YOU DESIRE A COMPLETE PATRIOT THEN YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ELECT PERRY AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    October 24, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. G D

    Wow, when a far-right wingnut like Rove says something is "nutty", you'd better stay away. But will Perry listen to the obvious or the oblivious? We'll see....

    October 24, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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