Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?While he does say "It doesn't matter" he's still doubtful that the long form birth certificate's been released (it has). Unless I am mistaken, this device is what's known in the rhetoric trade as apophasis. It's an assertion by denying the importance of the thing being asserted.
I have no reason to think otherwise.
That’s not a definitive, “Yes, I believe he”—
Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.
But you’ve seen his.
I don’t know. Have I?
You don’t believe what’s been released?
I don’t know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night.
That came up.
And he said?
He doesn’t think it’s real.
And you 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.
The subtle is there. All rhetoric aside, he doubts the long form birth certificate is legitimate.
Rick Perry's a birther.