Politico's Roger Simon says that Republican presidential Rick Perry's recent embrace of birtherism amounts to a racist "dog whistle."
"It's not a 'fun' issue to poke somebody on," Simon told CNN's Howard Kurtz Sunday. "It is more than a little bit racist. Not everyone who believes it is a racist. It grew out of the belief that a black man could not be legitimately elected to the president of the United States."
He continued: "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. It shows them that you are on the same side as they are."
"So, it's a bit of a dog whistle?" Kurtz asked.
"Absolutely," Simon replied.
After almost a week of refusing to admit that President Barack Obama was a U.S. citizen, Perry finally said Wednesday that he had "no doubt" that the president's birth certificate was real.
Watch this video from CNN's Reliable Sources, broadcast Oct. 30, 2011.