In an interview with the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush denounces fringe claims that President Barack Obama wasn't born in this country. Texas Gov. Rick Perry's "decision to delve back into birtherism — on CNBC and on the day he is rolling out an economic plan — has struck a nerve with responsible GOP officials and insiders," Rubin wrote.
Here's what Bush told Rubin's Right Turn blog, apparently in an email: "Republican candidates should categorically reject the notion that President Obama was not born in the United States. It is a complete distraction from the failed economic policies of the President."
Here's the transcript of what Perry said today about "birtherism" in an interview with CNBC's John Harwood:
JOHN HARWOOD: Mitt Romney after the President released his birth certificate earlier this year said that issue's done and settled, I accept it. You chose to keep it alive in your interview with Parade magazine over the weekend. Why'd you do that?
RICK PERRY: I-- it's a good issue to keep alive. Just-- you know, Donald's got to have some fun. So-- and the issue is this.
JOHN HARWOOD: But it sounds like you really do have some doubt about it.
RICK PERRY: Well, look, I haven't-- 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. So. But, look, that's all a distraction. I mean, I get it. I'm-- I'm really not worried about the President's birth certificate. It's fun to-- to poke and add him a little bit and say hey, how about-- let's see your grades and your birth certificate.
RICK PERRY: But here's what's really serious. Is we got people sitting around watching this interview while the president has killed 2 and a half million jobs. That's serious. And that's what we got to better get right.
JOHN HARWOOD: But are you saying that your comments about that are kind of a joke? Or do you seriously have unresolved questions like Donald Trump has about them?
RICK PERRY: I don't have a clue about where the President-- and what this-- birth certificate says. But it's also a great distraction. I'm not distracted by it. If those of you in the media want to talk about it that's fine, but I hope what you'll really get focused on is how are we going to get this country back on track.