Texas Gov. Rick Perry slammed President Barack Obama on Fox News Sunday, once again demanding the National Guard, and called on Obama to stop the blame game and get up and lead.
Host Brit Hume asked Perry to explain why he wants the National Guard sent to Texas, inquiring skeptically, “What exactly would National Guardsman and women do on the border?”
Perry explained that the National Guard acts as a front-line deterrent for illegal immigrants, and is critically important now, because most border patrol agents are stuck taking care of the illegal immigrant children. “The president was not even aware that his border patrol was back 40 or 45 miles from the border at these checkpoints,” he said. “They need to be right on the ripper, they need to be there as a show of force.”
“This flood of children is pulling away the border patrol from their normal duties of keeping bad people, keeping the drug cartels, they’re being distracted.”
Hume pushed back, questioning how effective the National Guard could be when they aren’t allowed to actually detain anyone. “They’re not, under the law, allowed to apprehend any of these children that are crossing, are they?” Hume asked.
“It’s the visual of it that’s the most important,” Perry countered. “Their conversations are being monitored with calls back to Central America, and the message is ‘hey come on up here, everything is great, they’re taking care of us,’ and that needs to stop.”
Hume then asked if Perry thought the presence of the National Guard would really deter children who have already “made the harrowing journey.”
“Are they really going to be deterred by the presence of troops along the border who won’t shoot them, and can’t arrest them?”
“What we’re talking about is sending the message back now to staunch the bleeding,” Perry replied. “Those that are already here, to address them, to humanitarily [sic] take care of them, to make sure they are safe — to reunite them with their families — that is the most humanitarian thing we can do.”
Perry again stressed the necessity of the National Guard to help get border patrol agents back to their actual jobs. “Right now, reports of up to 70 percent of them [border patrol] are taking care of these young people who have come in, rather than do their job of securing the border.”
Hume brought up President Obam, and his hope that Perry would “put the heat” on the Texas congressional delegation to pass “this nearly $4 billion dollar measure” that he is proposing.
And Perry had some choice words for the president.
“Very little of it [the bill] is for border security. And I think until he gets realistic about the problem and how you deal with the problem, and it is a border security issue, and we’ve got a track record now of five plus years of him disregarding what is going on on the border, so here’s his opportunity to truly lead,” Perry declared.
“Don’t blame this on anyone. Be a leader, lay out a plan.”
Hume then asked Perry to clarify if he was saying he would disregard the president and not pressure the Texas delegation to pass the bill.
“So in other words, governor, you don’t particularly support the bill, and you’re not going to be encouraging your delegation to pass it. Is that a fair assessment?”
“I think you have distilled the correct answer,” Perry replied.