Perry had described an Austin meeting, which would have been little more than a photo-op, as “a quick handshake on the tarmac.”
Instead, Perry said he preferred a “substantive meeting” with the president and would be willing to rearrange his schedule to discuss “the humanitarian and national security crises” on the Texas-Mexico border. The White House agreed, and the governor’s spokesman announced, “Governor Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border.”
Among national political figures, Perry has been among the most vocal critics of the administration’s records on immigration enforcement. When asked by Martha Raddatz, the host of ABC’s This Week on July 5, “Do you really believe there’s some sort of conspiracy to get people into the United States by the federal government, by the Obama administration?” Perry’s reply was straightforward: “I have to believe that when you don’t respond in any way that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive ... which you are functioning from.”
It was not the first time Perry had leveled such charges. During a June 17 interview on Fox & Friends, the governor said: “This president, I will suggest, is either totally and absolutely inept, or making some decisions that are not in the best interests of American citizens.”
During the July 5 interview, Perry also pointed out another threat stemming from our unprotected borders: “We also have a record high of other than Mexicans being apprehended at the border. These are people that are coming from states like Syria that have substantial connections back to terrorist regimes.”
Following his meeting with Perry, Obama held a press conference at Love Field in Dallas, during which he stated, “The issue is not that people are evading our enforcement officials. The issue is that we’re apprehending them in large numbers.” However, Obama neglected to mention that the reason the Border Patrol has apprehended such large numbers of illegal aliens is that many of them, having been told back in Central American that they would not be deported, actually seek out the Border Patrol so they can be processed and then sent on to their final destination!
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Photo of Rick Perry and Barack Obama: AP Images