Perry on Obama: 'It's fun to poke at him'
October 25th, 2011
08:44 AM ET
11 years ago

Perry on Obama: 'It's fun to poke at him'

(CNN) - Comments over the validity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate made by Texas Gov. Rick Perry could overshadow the Republican presidential candidate's roll out of his "Cut, Balance, and Grow" economic plan.

Tuesday morning the Texas governor unveils his proposal–which includes a 20% new flat tax rate–at a speech in South Carolina, the first southern state to vote in the race for the GOP nomination. But when Perry goes before cameras later in the day at a scheduled news conference, reporters will most likely pepper the Texas governor over comments he made in an interview that appeared over the weekend in the on-line edition of Parade Magazine. Perry also said it's "fun to poke" at Obama over the birth certificate issue in an interview with CNBC.

In the Parade Magazine interview, Perry said he believes the president was born in the United States, but was less confident that the long form birth certificate that the state of Hawaii released earlier this year after a request by the president was real. Obama was born in Hawaii.

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

Trump, the businessman, real estate mogul and reality TV star, championed the "birther" movement earlier this year, when he flirted with a bid for the GOP nomination.

Monday, Karl Rove criticized Perry, saying the Republican presidential candidate may harm his campaign by stoking the "birther" controversy.

"You associate yourself with a nutty view like that, and you damage yourself," said Rove, a top political adviser to former President George W. Bush.

Rove, who doesn't have a close relationship with Perry, made his comments in an interview on Fox News.

Tuesday morning, hours before Perry was set to unveil his economic plan, the controversy was injected with new life, thanks to an interview Perry gave to CNBC top political reporter John Harwood.

"Look I haven't seen his, I haven't seen his grades. My grades ended up on the front page of the newspaper, so let's you know, if we're going to show stuff, let's show stuff, but look that's all a distraction, I mean I get it. I'm really not worried about the president's birth certificate. It's fun to poke at him a little bit and say 'Hey, how about let's see your grades and your birth certificate," said Perry, in his interview with Harwood.

As for Trump, his spokesman late Monday night released a statement from the real estate mogul saying "despite releasing what is alleged to be his birth certificate, serious questions remain…is it authentic? I don't know."

- CNN's Rebecca Stewart and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. miss tess

    wITH ALL DUE RESPECT – The general public is the machine that votes
    a president into office. Today we have a president that does not respect
    that voting machine at all! In fact he is trying hard to 'hurt' the Ameridan
    Now, we are being told that to even mention the fact that we feel OBAMA
    should provide us with some background – "GO TO THE BACK OF THE BUS
    What has happened to our country in the last three years?
    Has someone given the American Public a new set of rules?
    Whose idea is it that disallows certain questions especially when we have
    a president that claims to be TRANSPARENT?

    October 25, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Cary

    "Its fun to poke at him" , These are the kind of remarks that make the GOP look like idiots. Instead of being behind the President and helping him out while he's the elected official this guy is playing games..Perry, you will never win this election. You're history. In fact, you'll probably lose Texas elections next time too.

    No substance, no ideas, no plans, no maturity, no honesty just games and "bumper sticker stupidity"!

    October 25, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. JackWay

    Hey! Why not just get rid of income tax entirely and replace it with a National Sales Tax (see Fair Tax) or VAT (as is done in Europe)?

    This way now all of the illegal folks (aliens, drug dealers, etc.) would then help finance this country, and not just the honest folks who work legally? And the rich pay more taxes because they buy more stuff!

    No more individual tax returns! The IRS gets much smaller and now only needs to audit corporations.

    October 25, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Como

    Perry when first asked if Obama is a qualified US citizen to hold the office of President: Perry said simply yes. The reported then goaded and repeatedly returned to the issue. The birth issue seems to be with the media more than the politicians if it is not asked it is not brought up. Go after your liberal press.

    October 25, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    He doesn’t have any move now he is stuck he will through anything to move his polls numbers

    October 25, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. Puddin

    Perry is a laugh-and-a-half. I dought he could put a proper sentence together himself; someone has to do it for him. He is also a coward. When he and Bill White, former mayor of Houston, ran against each other for TX governor, he wouldn't debate Bill White; he kept giving Bill Whit ultimatems to release his tax returns. Mr. White did so, but Perry kept on wanting more and more tax returns released, so Mr. White ignored him because he knew the voters would realize Perry was just being cowardly. Perry is just not real smart. He signed a bill to require women contemplatig an abortion get a sonogram before doing so, but vetoed twenty-three other bills, one of which was to make it unlawful to text while driving. He said that would be "micro-managing" people." It seems he doesn't mind if people are killed that way. Interfering in the lives of women in such a way is also "micro-managing." The government should stay out of citizen's bedroom and allowsuch a decision be between families and the medical community. He reminds me of GWB in his speech and body language. The only difference is the good looks.

    October 25, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Allinit123

    Clowns.. Where is the integrity.. They are all characters except Romney.. But Romney doesn't even support his own healthcare bill. Come on.. isn't that a red flag?

    October 25, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Ed DFWTX

    In Rick Perry you can expect a guy who will say anything to get elected. Using the birth certificate to gain attention is another low for this do nothing Governor. As Gov of Texas he has taken stimulus money for a variety of projects and then criticizes President Obama's stimulus package. He complains about Obams's health plan yet Texas dropped to about 40th in heath care spending. As Gov. Texas went from surplus to approx $27B in debt.

    October 25, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Perry is a very big proponent of the Nixon school of politics. Tell a lie. Even if it has been disproved over and over again. Tell the lie again and again and again. There are always a small percentage of voters who cannot be swayed by the facts and those voters will believe the lies because they match their beliefs. Even small percentages are important.

    It does make Perry look like an idiot to the rest of us. But educated people are not really Perry's big support group anyway.

    October 25, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. MKC

    Let's just declare Obama the winner for 2012 and save a lot of time, grief and money.

    October 25, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. gar

    It's fun to poke at Perry for being a neo-fascist reactionary.

    October 25, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Sandy

    "Perry also said it's "fun to poke" at Obama over the birth certificate issue in an interview with CNBC."

    Republicans act like children! No class whatsoever!

    October 25, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Ducey

    So Perry finds it a higher priority to poke fun at the President than to talk about the issues? Nice to have the luxury...

    October 25, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Fine, Perry likes to poke fun at someone. That doesn't help me like Perry any more. What I (and presumably the countr) want is a new idea if he has one. If all Perry can do is make jokes at someone else's expense, that is not a good reason to have him as president. It is easier to poke holes than actually do something constructive. Perry, along with the others running, don't really seem to have anything new to offer.

    October 25, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. RKG

    What is really mind boggling, is that everyone seems to be going to NY to get Donald Trumps blessing to run. As if he is the godfather or something. Give me a break!

    October 25, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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