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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What's wrong with Perry's hand?? Did he break it or something?

    August 9, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. george from alaska

    cartels, immigration, anti-government, tea parties? compare these issues to the destruction of thousands of juneau, alaska families financially. "well" (as ronnie r has often said) with a false anti-government image, palin is certainly not anti-government or "pro-family". you folks in the lower 48 should know what we alaskans have been aware of from day one. she wants to move our state capital from juneau to her home of wasilla (destroying thousands of juneau families financially) so she can have it next door. does that sound like someone who is anti-government ? does that sound like someone who is "pro-family"? if you think so then you better get back on your psych meds and swallow them down with your putrid tea quick like a bunny. stop forcing us to read palin headline ads!

    August 9, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. arties262

    Our Federal Government is failing all of us in regards to the US constitution Article 4 Section 4, as we are being invaded silently. OUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING, both democratic, republican, Liberal and conservative, the problem has been festering for at least 23 years under 5 presidential administrations. We should take action to force them to follow the constitution and the duties they swore to follow or have them IMPEACHED!!!!!

    US Constitution, Article 4, Section 4:
    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion;

    Our Forefathers never intended for this to be happening to this great land as Mr. James Madison stated

    "When we are considering the advantages that may result from an easy mode of naturalization, we ought also to consider the cautions necessary to guard against abuses … aliens might acquire the right of citizenship, and return to the country from which they came, and evade the laws intended to encourage the commerce and industry of the real citizens and inhabitants of America, enjoying at the same time all the advantages of citizens…"

    Write your representatives and the president and tell then enough is enough!!!!

    James Madison:
    "When we are considering the advantages that may result from an easy mode of naturalization, we ought also to consider the cautions necessary to guard against abuses … aliens might acquire the right of citizenship, and return to the country from which they came, and evade the laws intended to encourage the commerce and industry of the real citizens and inhabitants of America, enjoying at the same time all the advantages of citizens…"

    August 9, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Robin Bray

    Has anyone else noticed how quickly Comment are closed whenever CNN runs a story about Palin? It seems people can write comments on others forever but the Palin comment time is very short. By the time you go to the Ticker and check out the story the comments are usually closed. What is going on here CNN Editors? Not balanced reply time that's for sure.

    August 9, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Phil in KC

    Kind of a cheap stunt, to play to his base....

    August 9, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. TM in CO

    The President needs to do something before the violence comes across the border and decides to declare war.

    August 9, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    " Why not coun[sel] high school students towards tech schools where they will learn a skill to give them job opportunities and financial security."

    Because ever since Reagan, the GOP and conservatives, and anyone else who bought their total BS about trickle-down economics, has done everything in their considerable power to rid America of manufacturing jobs in order to undermine the power wielded by organized labor, which, as we all know, means "unions" and the evil ba–rds who want middle-class Americans to receive fair wages, raises, benefits and be treated with sufficient respect that they are not living in indentured servitude from womb to casket. NAFTA and the rest of it...all to kill unions and prop up giant corporations by ridding America of manufacturing and other jobs that typically have unionized labor. So yeah, THAT is why you need your kids to go to college...have them study finance since it's the ONLY thing the 10% of employed Americans will be doing in a couple decades if the GOP and conservatives maintain even a modicum of control or influence. Have a nice day.

    August 9, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Michael

    I thought Perry was going to hand the President a declaration of Texan secession from the USA. The only reason people vote for this clown is because Hutchison is worse and they have been threatened with hellfire and damnation if they vote for a godless Commie Democrat.

    August 9, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Biased

    The Obama schedule never allows for discussing border concerns it seems. Ask Burton how many times Perry has tried to talk to the WH and has every time been ignored just like Brewer's letters go unanswered. It is bad enough when you get an answer back you don't like, but getting absolutely no answer and being ignored as if you don't exist is a disgusting display of arrogance from this administration.

    August 9, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. patrick

    the democrate distances himself from Obama to Win the election, The Republican, who has been dissing the President wants to have his photo op with the president to win the election... Some things never cease to amaze me in the world of politics.
    There you have it. IT'S ALL A GAME! Take note all you diehards on the left and right.

    August 9, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. james

    I bet if there was a golf outing obama would have made time for that. November 2010 and 2012 can't come soon enough. Yes, Repubs will prob screw some things up but you know what, it's the lessor of two evils and at least they love their country and aren't trying to destroy it from the inside out.

    August 9, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. andy

    This idiot Perry was calling for secession just a few months back and now he wants "national" troops urgently??? Why don't you get your militia to the border governor?

    August 9, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Joe in Austin

    I must take issue with the headline. Gov. Perry performs a cheap political stunt on someone that would help him is asked reasonably, but it plays well to his Perry's base. What's surprising about that? It's Perry's caliber.

    Truthfully, Perry took 3 positions that I greatly admired when he first took office. They were roads, water, and HPV vaccination. When disapproved by his do-nothing and sex-obsessed base, he backed off of all 3 of them. I thought for a while the republicans had a true star in their closet. If so, he is still in the closet.

    August 9, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Terry in Iowa

    This President has done more to protect our boarders then any President before him. Yet his detractors ignore 30 years of failed immigration reform, criticizing this administration at every turn. Immigration reform will come from congress not the President and will only happen when there is enough pressure put on our representatives.

    These same detractors claim they are the defenders of the Constitution, yet when the President moves to protect the same Constitution from states over reaching their constitutional powers. They want to criticize the President for being weak.

    Many of the President’s detractors are either two stupid to understand what this President is accomplishing or have ulterior motives and don’t care about facts or the Constitution.

    August 9, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Felonious Monk

    Immigration is a RED HERRING. It is a false issued used to divide and conquer America.

    August 9, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. infidel

    Congratulation Gov. Perry, this is how you get things done in Wash DC. Maybe Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen McCain and Kyl can take a lesson from you. Or better yet they should all resign and let cooler heads tackle the immigration issue.

    August 9, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Gar

    Obama has turned into George Bush....Secure the Border, for our safety....then, then, then lets talk about how to handle illegal mexicans, maybe a small fine and a path to citizenship for working immigrants and a fine and bus ride home for those not working or doing something illegal. Is this that complicated? Instead of paying people not to work (unemployment, welfare), why not pay them to guard the border. 14 million unemployed could stand every 10 feet along the border with a rifle (or a taser gun if you like), rotating 4 hour shifts and the problem would be over. Get real Obama, we haven't seen much "hope" or "change" – – rather we are in a bigger mess now then we were 2 years ago!

    August 9, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. C Smith

    Its nice every once in awhile to see a Republican treat the President with respect. You sure cried about not respect ing Bush but apparently it doesn't go both ways for most of you?

    August 9, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Shawn-Ga

    Well since his own party is nowhere to be found when he goes to their states, someone has to greet him... LOL LOL LOL

    August 9, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Mary G

    Why don't we ever bring up the subject of why people from an oil rich country have to cross the border to make a living? Oh, I guess we don't want to discuss the corrupt government and the drug lords taking over the county.

    August 9, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Geoz

    What happened to old self-reliant Governor Perry who was going to leave the union? What happened to that Ricky-boy? Now the rest of us have to pay for what you can't do?

    August 9, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. A Real Texan

    Is this the same Rick Perry that wants Texas to secede from the union? That refused to take federal bailout money? That wants his state to be an independent nation? Perry carries a handgun when he goes jogging in his own neighborhood. Maybe he should start jogging on the border instead.

    August 9, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Brad5013

    Just like a Texan . . . Big PR stunt for little minds.

    August 9, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Eugenia S. Havis

    Perry is such a waste of time. But bless our great President for his kindness to stop and give a quick tarmac hand shake to mr. Dumb and Dumber Perry. I shall vote to get rid of Perry.

    August 9, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Nate from Atlanta

    At least Perry has class enough to greet the President unlike the governor of Nevada.

    August 9, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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