Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry backtracked from comments that indicated he doubted US President Barack Obama was born in the US, complicating his efforts to right his troubled campaign and leading some Republicans to question whether he has done irreparable damage to his run by dabbling in the “birther” controversy.
Perry’s comments in recent days about Obama’s birthplace have overshadowed Perry’s unveiling of his economic plan, a move aimed at returning to the top contender tier in the Republican primary race. Perry shot to the top of the field after entering the race this summer, but quickly fell behind former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain after weak debate performances.
Speculation about Obama’s birthplace — a way to question whether his presidency is legitimate — has swirled among conservatives for years. As real-estate mogul Donald Trump fanned the issue earlier this year, Obama held a news conference to release his long-form birth certificate and try to put the issue to rest. Obama’s father was born in Kenya, and some conservatives believe Obama was too, which would make him ineligible to be president.
Some Republicans privately worry that Perry’s comments about Obama’s birth certificate may have endeared him to the party’s conservative wing, but also may have started to marginalize Perry from the larger electorate. That would make defeating Obama difficult if Perry managed to win the Republican nomination.
His comments certainly irked several Republican luminaries, like former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who in recent days have urged Republican presidential candidates to stop raising the issue. Others, like Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and campaign rival Jon Huntsman say it is bad for the party.
Karl Rove, former US president George W. Bush’s political strategist, said Perry may be hurting his campaign.
“You associate yourself with a nutty view like that, and you damage yourself,” Rove said on Fox News.
Perry seemed to try to put the issue to rest in an interview with two Florida news organizations, Bay News 9’s Political Connections in Tampa and the St Petersburg Times.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
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