By Daniel Strauss - 10/25/11 02:05 PM EDT
Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry said it was "fun" to keep alive the issue of whether President Obama was born in the United States.
"It's fun to — to poke ... him a little bit and say, 'Hey, how about — let's see your grades and your birth certificate,'" Perry said in an interview with CNBC which first aired Tuesday.
"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," Perry said.
Perry's comments in the CNBC interview come shortly after Parade magazine published an interview with Perry in which he said he wasn't sure whether Obama is an American citizen.
After increasing calls from conservatives and especially real estate mogul Donald Trump to prove that he was born in the U.S. — something so-called "birthers" believe is untrue — Obama released his long-form birth certificate. The president had previously proven that he was born in Hawaii prior to the long-form's release and the rumor seemed to, for the most part, have been put to rest.
In the interview, Perry also criticized Obama's drive to push his administration's American Jobs Act job creation plan through Congress in pieces rather than as one lump piece of legislation.
"I don't think this president understands basic economics. Not economics that work. He may understand some theory that someone in Princeton sat and dreamed up, but it's not working. This president would be wise if he addressed the economy in the way that we know it works," Perry said.
"You give incentives to job creators. Lower the tax burden, lower the regulatory climate, and this president would be stunned, I'm sure. But America's economy would take off, and take off quickly," he predicted.