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. Brian in MD

    Obama will file that letter in the circular file bin. He doesn't care what your thoughts are, only his.

    August 9, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "It appears that my post has resonated with the majority of Texans who are sick of Obama and his welfare slug followers."

    Classic. So you and 50 other conservatards regurgitating the same talking point about cockroaches that Mamabird Limbaugh vomitted into your hungry babybird mouths is something you think everyone will believe was resonance? HAHAHAHA. Can you say "echo chamber"?

    August 9, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Karen L. Reimer

    A political stunt by Republican Governor – He can make appt to see the President – This is an insincere gesture on the Governor's part. If he was truly concerned about "national security" he could have made appt. a long time ago.

    August 9, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Disbelief

    Where were the Republicans on this issue 12 years ago? Put another way, what were the Republicans doing to address this problem? It doesn't take much mental horsepower to figure where this problems was going – so why were the Republicans not working on it way back then? They did very little or nothing, so now they are trying to blame their failure/mismanagement on Obama. This is their typical MO. Republican Corey Stewart, Chairman of Prince William Board of Country Supervisors in Virginia is claiming President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and members of Congress "all have blood on their hands" because an illegal immigrant who entered the country while Bush-Cheney were in office and was released twice by the same administration killed a Virginia nun while DUI. Also, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General has been using his office as a platform to attack Democrats on immigration – and all othe issues for which the Republicans did nothing or made things worse. Having said all this, I do hope Obama address border and drug gang violence in a big way. Unfortunately, he will have to work with Republicans even as they continue to attack him – again, the Republican MO....

    August 9, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. JR

    The Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White chose not to appear with the leader of his party just because the media and the poll companies say so.
    It looks like someone who will be running away from his party any time he is pushed by external forces.

    August 9, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. norma

    And Gov. Perry ended the letter with, "of course I said nothing when that dope from my party was in charge and doing less than you are currently doing to secure our boarders."

    Seriously, did these people in AZ and TX think George W Bush was so inept that they didn't even bother discussing the issue with him. Sheesh, it's like our illegal immigration problem started on Jan. 20, 2009 or something!

    August 9, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. edland

    I am not a republican but I do admire Gov Perry and I know that he cares for the state of texas if I could I would vote for him and I do see him running for president once President Odama 2nd terms end I do believe he is the truly best republican to win the white house he would not be like a bush he will be a different republican. Mark my word this man Rick Perry wil be a future president.

    August 9, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. seebofubar

    Way to go Perry!!!!

    August 9, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Mike Kowalczyk, San Geronimo

    How is it that a Republican can ask the President for what amounts to a federal handout on one day, then, on the other 364 days give the President the finger with a steady stream of Anti-Government rhetoric? The irony is that it was a former Texas Governor that exploded our deficit with two unfunded wars and other expenditures (expanded prescription drug benefits) which our children and grandchildren will need to pay for. Governor Perry, benefits such as a well-trained National Guard, safe bridges and roads, low interest government education loans and grants and other features of a well governed prosperous country cost money. Sometimes you have to choose: tax breaks for the upper 2%, or national guard troops when you have a disaster or crisis.

    August 9, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Jim

    Gov. Perry has his own Homeland Security staff? If so, that's a big statement about his request. Last I checked, he's a governor, not a President, and his state is still a member of the United States. Maybe he should try that on for size before he drops these kinds of letters on the President.

    August 9, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. BobH

    Again, more disrespect and showboating from Republicans. It's extraordinary that the President can be as poised and dignified as he is with these mental midgets trying to score points with their slack-jawed half-wit supporters.

    August 9, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "you will discover that by far the majority of Democrat voting individuals are actually those who do NOT have an acreditable fact; most are receiving some type of entiltlement, thus actually causing them to have NO desire to work for a living."

    61% of those receiving entitlements are white, a large portion of which are backwoods rural white people who believe anything and everything their GOP-accredited talking chicken tells them. As for entitlements resulting in people not wanting to work for a living, that may be true for some, but not the majority of them...perhaps you should do more of that research and studying you think I don't do, because sociologists and psychologists would laugh in the face of your assertion as do their empirical studies. Unless you're a vehement follower of Alfred Adler's theories? Go ahead...tell us who he is without Wikipedia...

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

    Gee, how convenient is this timing? Where was he last year on the issue? too busy campaigning for Governore then to notice the problem? How about 3 years ago when his party was in office?
    Ihate POLITICS IN 2010!

    August 9, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Joe

    you got mail

    August 9, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Joe

    No really, doesn't the governor already have control over the national guard????

    August 9, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Andagain

    Good for the Governor. The states that have to deal with these illegal immigration issues and the drug cartels are getting little support from the Feds. Keep digging away and keep it in the news. Washington will have to do something big some day soon...elections are coming.

    August 9, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. John lannefeld

    The federal govt continues to allow our borders to be breached and the states are left holding the bag. With 60,000 undocumented children being born every year in the state and receiving automaric citizenship, the citizens are continuing to bear the burden of a system completely broken! What an outrage!

    August 9, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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