Rick Perry works to clean up his immigration problem

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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It’s nice when politicians listen.

After his poor debate performance last week, I warned that it would be a fatal mistake for Rick Perry to take his immigration problems too lightly. The issue, after all, is highly toxic. But I also reasoned that Perry could have avoided the problem by stressing his commitment to controlling the border, as well as by doing a better job of explaining his state’s controversial in-state tuition policy for illegal immigrants.

Here’s exactly what I wrote:

… if Perry had aggressively stressed his commitment to controlling the border and stopping illegal immigration — and then eloquently defended his position — he might have mitigated the damage.

It sounds like that’s exactly what Perry is now doing.

From a Saturday campaign stop, NBC News’ Jo Ling Kent Tweeted: “Perry opens with national security, border issues and is against amnesty. That’s twice today.”

And First Read reported:

At a town hall meeting earlier this morning, Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered an in-depth explanation why the Lone Star State — under his watch — has allowed illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition at Texas universities and colleges.

David Connors, the man who asked Perry the in-state tuition question, said he was satisfied with the governor’s answer.

Of course, it would have been better to have simply avoided this situation. Still, Perry is clearly working hard to clean up this problem. Let’s see if it works.

Matt K. Lewis