August 9th, 2010
02:41 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry greets Obama, delivers border message


 President Obama was greeted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday in Austin. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

(CNN) - Governor Rick Perry, R-Texas, greeted President Obama at the base of Air Force One in Austin Monday with a letter requesting 1,000 additional National Guard troops be sent to the Texas-Mexico border amid growing drug cartel violence, claiming federal support so far was "insufficient."

Obama was in Texas for two political fund-raisers and a speech on higher education. Perry's opponent for re-election, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White, did not attend any of Obama's events. A Perry spokesman said the governor would meet Obama at the airport in hopes of pressing his concerns on border security.

Read the full letter here [pdf]

Perry clapped as the president came down the steps of Air Force One at Bergstrom International Airport in Austin. The two shook hands, with the President grasping Perry on the right arm. The pool report said Perry pulled a letter out of suit pocket, handing it to senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett walking behind the President. Their conversation lasted just a few seconds.

Perry's office a short time later released a copy of the four-page letter to the president, on immigration and border security issues.

Perry called the deployment of National Guard troops to the border so far "clearly insufficient.” He wrote, "I respectfully but urgently request that the federal government quickly deploy 1,000 troops to the Texas-Mexico border, as well as additional law enforcement tools and technology. We must show the cartels that Washington will no longer tolerate their terrorizing and criminalizing the border region.”

Perry cited recent violence by drug gangs and Mexican cartels in the letter, saying "the need for border security along the Rio Grande should no longer be underestimated by the federal government, Mr. President. An unsecured border is a threat to our national security and to the safety and security of all our citizens."

The Republican Governor also recommended an "expeditious deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles to provide real-time surveillance and intelligence" to law enforcement officers on the border.

Perry repeated an invitation for President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to meet with his homeland security staff and local officers.

"Better border security is an issue all Americans can agree on, regardless of political party or ethnic or regional differences", he wrote, "American lives, jobs and safety depend upon a more robust federal commitment to border safety and security".

Aboard Air Force One before Perry's letter was delivered, White House spokesman Bill Burton said, "the president has put more assets on the border to secure the border than has ever previously been there. That includes National Guard troops, technology, things he has done on enforcement. That's something that he is working very hard on."

Playing down the meeting with Perry, Burton said, "you know these tarmac greets with elected officials, Governor Perry will be there. It will probably be a very brief conversation."

But Burton said the White House was willing to discuss border security issues with Perry, noting, "We've been in contact with Governor Perry. I know that our staff has contacted him for meetings and briefings to discuss the matter, and it's something that we will continue to work on with them. Today, the schedule just didn't allow it."

Filed under: 2010 • Immigration • issues • President Obama • Rick Perry • White House
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    When will the US Government stop doing the same failed policy over and over, continue to escalate this “war on drugs” and begin to look for other solutions? When alcohol was legalized the policy wasn’t changed because the use and or abuse of alcohol were a good thing for personnel behavior. Alcohol was not declared safe it was regulated. The policy and the laws were changed because the criminal gangs, the violence and the corruption were unacceptable damage of the policy of prohibition.
    Now is the time to legalize marijuana, regulate it, and control it and contain the use above the black market drug cartels. IMHO take the profits away and remove the teeth of these criminals, and save thousands of innocent victims here and in Mexico.

    August 9, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Gaylon Barrow NOT ASHAMED for the truth!!!

    You don't really think Obama will do anything do you Perry. It might cost him some votes. He don't care how many people get hurt as long as he can get re-elected. OF COURSE THAT IS ONLY A DREAM. OBAMA HAS ABOUT AS MUCH CHANCE AS A SNOWBALL IN HADES OF DOING THAT.

    August 9, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Duck Fallas

    Excuse me, but the United States borders TWO counties, if you don't count Russia, wink wink. Could we spare a few troops (what's a troop?) to keep Celine Dion up north? And how about the Habs and Leafs while they're at it?

    August 9, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. BB

    WE don't want you in our country Perry!!!
    So leave already!!!

    August 9, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Nice handshake, Perry. DOOOOOSH.

    August 9, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Mr. President, you can't be seen shaking hands with a seccessionist.

    August 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Naqib

    Was nice of him to show up... very respectful when the President of the United States visits your State.

    Don't know why the Dems didn't think it was important.. but then again they aren't really known for custom or courtesy...

    August 9, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Bob Texas

    This man is no friend of Obama or the USA. He is radical and not trustworthy.

    August 9, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. JR

    2 seconds with a Republican governor of an immenant issue, however, plenty of time to be out campaigning for Democrat senate/house hopefulls. This is no leader of our country. Why doesnt he live by his words to the American people, and to John McCain – "the campaign is over". I guess he just doesnt have to live by his words.

    August 9, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Peter s

    Lock the borders shut!!!

    August 9, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. doug

    Enforcement of immigration laws is NOT on Obama's agenda. This is the guy who a few weeks ago was reported to be considering the use of an EXECUTIVE ORDER legalizing illegal immigrants.

    What part of ILLEGAL does he not get??

    August 9, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. gt

    campainer in chief.... with a 20% approval rating in texas ,,,i bet this will be a quick trip... get the money and run,,,

    August 9, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Longtimetexan

    If Perry can greet the president, why can't Bill White?

    August 9, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. sureaboutthat

    The feds don't just need to be more robust, their commitment should be absolute, whatever it takes to secure the borders and ports of entry. Allowing Mexico's viscous criminal activity to affect U.S. Citizens or our land is unacceptable. Completely, unacceptable.

    August 9, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Texas Conservative

    Perry is nothing more than a sleazy puppet of the oil industry. The President shouldn't waste his time talking to a low-life weasel who would suggest Texas should consider withdrawing from the United States.

    August 9, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. ~~ JULY ~~ ( Palin is the new Paris Hilton )

    I bet you Perry was ORDER by both Bush to go greet the President.
    Enjoy it Perry cause baby you will be gone sooooooon!!!!!

    August 9, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Malt

    Obama dropped by Texas for two fund raising events... fundraising trips and vacations should be paid for by the president and his reelection team, not by taxpayers.

    August 9, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. ex-sarge

    Governor Good-Hair from Texas is a world champion at the Hypocrit two step. Loves to criticize the President and the Democratic Party, and loves to use the money they send him (as well as take all the credit for the good that it does). I am sick and tired of politicians from either side of the fence that disregard the needs and interests of the voters. Course, with the Supreme Court handing out citizenship to every foreign corporation that wants to put their two billion into what they think about our elections, what the voters want doesn't count for a whole lot. As Orwell said (in"Animal Farm", if you haven't read it, or haven't read it lately I recommend you give it a try, before Glen Beck tells you to burn it), "All animals are created equal, some are just more equal than others." The Supreme Court has declared that Halliburton is "more equal" than you and me. Also recommend reading "1984" by George Orwell. and remember this, the definition of "fascism" was changed in the dictionary about 20-25 years ago for a reason.

    August 9, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. retsuB

    Obama seemed well, even a bit merry
    As he stepped down to greet Governor Perry
    Economy's in the ditch
    Illegals think we're all rich
    But blaming it all on Bush is what's scary.

    August 9, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Rick

    I thought Perry was against big government and now he wants the governments help. How are we going to pay for it Gov.Perry?

    August 9, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. doug

    Let me say this – I am 50 year old US Citizen, born and raised, and have paid into Social Security for my entire working life. And not by choice. I am being told every day, as I have been told for decades, that Social Security is a flawed system, and that money will most likely not be there for me when I retire.

    Now how can we go and add an estimated (and it is estimated, because nobody knows the real number) 20-30 million people into Social Security – people who are not from here, who broke laws to get here and have not paid one dime into it – when the odds are that people like me who have paid in their whole lives will not get anything out of it?

    August 9, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    It is a shame that the Governor has to beg the President to do his job. Lucky he caught him in between vacations.

    August 9, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Bill, Bloomington Il

    Of course White sent a diiferent message. I want your money but I will distance myself from your policies. White would be good for Illinois.

    August 9, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Orlando Patriot

    Let's see if the president can actually act "presidential". He has yet to act like a real president but the country is still hopeful he will FINALLY uphold his oath.

    Remember the oath states " I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    Notice that he has only THREE responsibilities which are to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution but has not done ANY of these to date. We can HOPE he will start!! Better late than never....

    August 9, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Take America Back: from Texas

    Where is your boy White? Oh yeah.....wasn't he the guy who ditched his party and his Prez when he said...."I was making money in the oil patch when Obambi was a Community Organizer"?
    Oh well.....I suppose if I was a Liberal Dem I too would distance myself from Obambi.

    August 9, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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