Rick Perry says President Obama, the son of a teen mother who frequently was absent from his life and often was stretched financially, grew up the easy way. It’s the latest in a series of winks at conspiracy-minded conservatives deeply suspicious about the president’s background.
Perry’s comments came as he discussed his new ad attacking Obama for saying US policymakers have grown “lazy” about honing America’s competitive edge, a comment that Republicans have inaccurately suggested was aimed at American workers. Asked by FOX News host Sean Hannity about the spot, Perry launched into a highly personal attack on Obama.
“It reveals to me that he grew up in a privileged way,” he said. “He never had to really work for anything.”
Ding ding ding! And here Perry plays directly to Birther audience, the folks that gleefully pirouette around racial overtones of a man who "never had to really work" to end up President (who just happens to be black.) The implications that he's undeserving, unintelligent, lazy, shiftless, one of them is no accident. Perry knows his audience and he's going full blast on that whistle. Sarlin ends with this insight:
From a strategic perspective, there’s some sense to these tactics as a last-ditch gambit to turn around the Texas governor’s toxic poll numbers. If Perry can bait Democratic critics into accusing him of racially tinged attacks on Obama, he can cast himself as a victim and rally conservative media and Tea Party activists behind him. So far it hasn’t worked, but it certainly isn’t for lack of trying.
It's an interesting theory and most likely correct. Certainly the President is staying above the fray...but the point is these are racially tinged attacks and they need to be called out.