Politico’s chief political columnist Roger Simon said Sunday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised questions about the legitimacy President Obama’s birth certificate in a recent interview as a way to prove his racist bona fides with the Republican electorate.
Perry injected the birther issue into the GOP nomination race last week in an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood. In an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday, Simon said the Texas governor did so in an effort to ingratiate himself with what Simon seems to view as an at least somewhat racist Republican base.
“Can I say one thing about the birther issue? It’s not a fun issue to poke somebody on. It is more than a little bit racist. It grew – not everyone who believes it is a racist, but it grew out of the belief that a black man could not be legitimately elected to be president of the United States,” he said. “Now why would Perry use that in the primaries instead of saving it for the general when he’s running against President Obama? Well, it’s because being extreme perhaps and a little bit racist perhaps gives you good bona fides in a Republican primary — shows him you’re on the same side as they are.”
The current frontrunner for the GOP nomination, according to national polls, is former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain, who is African-American.
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