Rove issues 'birther' warning to Perry
CNN Producer Gabriella Schwarz
(CNN) - Karl Rove said Monday that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry may harm his campaign by stoking the "birther" controversy.
"You associate yourself with a nutty view like that, and you damage yourself," Rove said.
In an interview published Sunday in Parade magazine, Texas Gov. Perry said he believes the president was born in the United States, but was less confident that the birth certificate he released earlier this year was real.
"I don't know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night," Perry said. "He doesn't think it's real."
Real estate mogul Donald Trump championed the "birther" movement during his flirtation with a bid for the White House. President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii, eventually released the long form version of the document to seemingly combat the growing rumors.
But Rove, who was the chief campaign and message architect for former President George W. Bush, said Perry should not associate with the group.
"I know he went and he's trying to cultivate … Donald Trump, in order to get his endorsement, but this is not the way to go about doing it," Rove said on Fox News. "It starts to marginalize you in the minds of some of the people whom you need in order to get the election."
According to Rove, Perry should have said: "Yes, he [Obama] was born in the United States, yes, he is eligible to serve and don't associate yourself with this nutty fringe group."