On the Barack Obama birth certificate question that doesn't go away, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry should take a cue from his most powerful endorser, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and put the issue to rest from his campaign perspective.
Jindal, a respected Repubjican who many think should be in the GOP presidential nomination race instead of Perry, the Texas governor he endorses, appeared on CNN Tuesday evening to talk about Perry's just-unveiled economic agenda. On the air, Jindal was approached by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the Obama birth certificate question and Perry's views on it.
Asked Blizter: You're a major supporter of Governor Perry. Do you believe the president of the United States was born in Hawaii?
Responded Jindal: Absolutely. Wolf, I've said for the last many years, I've always believed he was born here. I have no questions about where he's from. I've got more questions about where he's going. The reality is president was born here. He is the president of the United States. The real debate about whether he deserves a second term is his handling on the economy. The reality is the only way we're going to grow the economy is to cut government spending. We've had three years. We've tried the opposite. The results have been a disaster. You've got a debt up to $15 trillion. Unemployment over 9 percent. Government spending has increased and yet private-sector jobs have not recovered.
Blitzer: So, why does your candidate, Governor Perry, refuse to say what you just say? Instead, he told this to CNBC this morning on this whole birther issue. (plays interview clip of Perry) Why does he do that? Why doesn't he just say what you said, Governor?
Jindal: You'll have to ask him. The bottom line, though, is this election is about a difference in two approaches...
Earlier on Tuesday, Perry, the Texas governor battling to claim the GOP presidential nomination, declined to say whether he believes Obama was born in the United States. Speaking with reporters at a news conference after introducing his economic plan, Perry brushed aside questions about claims which have been widely proven as wrong that Obama isn't an American born citizen.
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.
Perry, though, never answered the reporter's question by saying whether or not he thinks the Obama was born in the United States. The reason, of course, is clear. Perry doesn't want to say he believes that Obama's birth certificate, which shows he was born in Hawaii, is real because many prospective supporters don't think it is real.
Perry would rather just brush the issue aside, without answering it. He's even been known to stoke the issue. In an interview with Perry released Tuesday morning, The New York Times quoted the GOP presidential nominee candidate as saying Obama's birth certificate question was a good issue to keep alive.
Perry, though, would be wise to take a cue from Jindal, who seems to have wider public appeal in many respects than Perry, by simply answering the question and putting it to rest as far as his own personal campaign goes. If he believes that Obama's birth certificate is real, and that the President is a U.S. citizen, Perry should answer the question as Jindal -- state he believes Obama's birth certificate is real and move on.
If Perry doesn't think Obama is a U.S. citizen he should state that belief and move on, although admittedly it would be hard since the issue would then becoming larger than other campaign initiatives Perry wants to promote. And maybe that's the point.
But Jindal has the right approach. Obama's birth certificate has been made public, and it should no longer be an issue. Perry would be wise to follow the lead of one of strongest and effective supporters. Perry should do as Jindal -- affirm Obama's birth certifiate and move on.