The chairman of the Republican National Committee and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) told TPM on a conference call today that Rick Perry’s fresh birther talk from the weekend is a “distraction.”
Heck suggested the reemergence of conspiracy theories about President Obama’s origins could cause trouble for the GOP as it works to fight the White House on the jobs front this fall.
“I think it’s a distraction from what we’re trying to do here in Washington, which is to set conditions for the private sector to create jobs,” Heck, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, said. “That’s what we’re focused on. That’s what’s going to help us win the election in 2012.
In an interview published Sunday, Perry said he doesn’t “have any idea” if Obama’s long-form birth certificate, released earlier this year after a fresh bout of birther frenzy led by Donald Trump, is real.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus has thought the question of Obama’s birth place has been answered for quite a while now. He reiterated that stance when asked about Perry’s comments.
“From the moment I walked into the RNC, I’ve said the issue is a distraction,” Priebus said. “I believe he was born in the United States and that’s about all I can say about that.”