Is Rick Perry a birther?

Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Perry, center left, walks to a truck Saturday Oct. 22, 2011, before a hunting trip near Merrill, Iowa. About a half-dozen Republican candidates and about 1,000 evangelical activists plan to attend Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition in Des Moines Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, as the Republican presidential campaign continues its search for a more conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver) Dave Weaver

Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Perry, center left, walks to a truck Saturday Oct. 22, 2011, before a hunting trip near Merrill, Iowa.
AP Photo/Dave Weaver

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he is not sure President Obama was born in the United States, but it should not matter because he was elected president and the issue is a distraction.

Perry was asked if he is convinced Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, as his birth certificate released earlier this year says.

"I have no reason to think otherwise," Perry said in an interview with Parade Magazine published Sunday.

The interviewer pointed out that is not a definitive yes, and Perry said he can not know for certain.

"I don't have a definitive answer, because he's never seen my birth certificate," Perry said, without explaining why he referenced his own birth certificate when he was asked about Mr. Obama's.

Parade writer Lynn Sherr asked "but you've seen his?"

"I don't know, have I?" Perry responded.

Perry then mentioned his recent dinner with Donald Trump and said the reality TV host told him he still does not think Obama's birth certificate is authentic.

Asked what he told Trump in response, Perry 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."

Under pressure, Mr. Obama in April released his "long-form" birth certificate to put the matter to rest, saying the United States will not be able to solve weighty problems "if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers."

Mr. Obama had in 2008 released on the Internet his "certificate of live birth" -- a short-form birth certificate provided to all Hawaiians as proof of birth in state -- but that failed to quell rumors that the president was born outside of the U.S.

Donald Trump was one of Mr. Obama's loudest critics and took credit for forcing Mr. Obama to release the long-form birth certificate.

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    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.

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