Richard Shiro, Associated Press
Republican Presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the ISO Poly Films plant, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, in Gray Court, S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Rick Perry now is saying that he has no doubt that President Barack Obama is an American citizen.

The Texas governor made the comment in an interview with Bay News 9's "Political Connections" in Tampa, Fla., and the St. Petersburg Times.

Perry said that he was just — in his words — "having some fun with Donald Trump" when he stoked widely debunked claims that Obama was born outside of the United States.

Perry says he wasn't expressing doubts about Obama when he raised the issue in a series of media interviews. In one he said that the birth certificate issue as "a good issue to keep alive."

On Tuesday, he refused to answer a reporter's direct question about whether he believed the president was born in the United States.