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What Rick Perry told Parade, exactly, about Obama birth certificate

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Nati Harnik/AP

(Read caption) Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition presidential candidate forum in Des Moines, Iowa, last Saturday.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s comments to Parade Magazine involving President Obama’s birth certificate have caused quite a stir and revived, yet again, the whole “birther” issue. It’s far from clear that he really doubts that the president was born in the United States. In general, his remarks are a bit odd.

In the interest of letting readers decide for themselves, we present the entirety of that portion of the interview, which Governor Perry gave to Parade contributing writer Lynn Sherr:

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Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?

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I have no reason to think otherwise.

That’s not a definitive, “Yes, I believe he”—
Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.

But you’ve seen his.
I don’t know. Have I?

You don’t believe what’s been released?
I don’t know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night.

That came up.

And he said?
He doesn’t think it’s real.

And you said?
I don’t have any idea. It doesn’t matter. He’s the President of the United States. He’s elected. It’s a distractive issue.