Rick Perry is so desperate to prop up his flagging presidential bid he’s listening to the birther king. That Donald Trump is a powerful guy, because he evidently convinced Perry there’s something to his madness.

From the transcript of Parade magazine (h/t Think Progress):

You don’t believe what’s been released?

I don’t know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night.

And?

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.

Perry makes no sense here, because if he really has doubts about Barack Obama’s legitimacy, that his birth certificate doesn’t prove he’s an American citizen, why is it just “a distractive issue”? It’s the minimum requirement to prove eligibility.

That’s the problem with these birther crazies. They try to diminish Barack Obama’s Americanism through vile swipes hinting illegitimacy. But they won’t go all the way. They simply float the slur out there to hook the wackiest Tea Party types, then say it’s a distraction and doesn’t matter.

Republicans can’t have it both ways.

When Donald Trump had his very first interview with Rush Limbaugh, talking about China, he sounded sane and knowledgeable. Now the guy seems to be running a one-man consultancy that first tried to help Michele Bachmann, now Rick Perry.

Karl Rove was no charmer and his tactics were pure dirty ops, but what Donald Trump is running on the side isn’t going to end up with anyone he talks to making it to the White House.

Rick Perry’s debate performances proved he’s not national candidate material. His birther confession drives it home. It also proves how desperate he is to get back into the race, though thinking that birtherism will get him there makes me want to ask Who’s advising this guy?