Perry told Parade magazine last weekend he didn’t know if Obama’s birth certificate, which indicates he was born in Hawaii, is legitimate.

But Perry also called it “a distractive issue,” saying: “It doesn’t matter. He’s the president of the United States. He’s elected.”

Perry later seemed to admit that he enjoyed casting doubts on Obama. “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 told CNBC on Tuesday.

Obama released his long-form birth certificate last April, hoping to finally put to rest a movement of doubters — known as “birthers” — who questioned whether Obama was born in the United States and therefore could serve as president.

“I’m not here to defend Rick Perry’s campaign,” Priebus said, but he did defend the possibility floated by Perry Communications Director Ray Sullivan on Wednesday night that Perry might not participate in all of the upcoming presidential debates.

“I think what they’re saying is, look, there are 16 debates here, and many folks in the media want to keep planning debates, and at some point, I think we have to have some reasonable conclusion to all of this,” Priebus said. “I think some of these campaigns might have to [pick and choose]. But I’m not going to get in the middle of it.”