Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) had some sharp words for his fellow Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, slamming the New Yorker’s “fundamental misunderstanding of border security” and saying that Trump was not offering conservatism to primary voters, but instead “Trump-ism — a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”
The two have exchanged rhetorical punches during the past month. Trump was criticized for comments he made during his announcement speech about illegal immigrants coming from Mexico, and Perry was one of the first Republican presidential candidates to criticize him for it. After Perry’s speech at the National Press Club, Perry told reporters that he did not think Trump’s remarks “reflect the Republican Party,” and then further elaborated on that sentiment in a Fox News Channel appearance.
As Breitbart News reported, earlier this month Trump took a swipe at Perry on Twitter and then Perry responded with a YouTube video, inviting Trump to come visit Texas and see the Mexican border himself.
Perry’s full statement:
Donald Trump continues to demonstrate his fundamental misunderstanding of border security. Make no mistake – border security is a federal responsibility, but when I met with President Obama last year and it became clear he would not act, I told him if he would not secure the border, Texas would. Rather than thanking Texas for stepping into a gap it shouldn’t have to fill, Mr. Trump has made clear that he believes the states should fend for themselves on border security. Not only is this wrong, it perpetuates the same failed policies that have left our southern border porous and vulnerable.
I have a message for my fellow Republicans and the independents who will be voting in the primary process: what Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trump-ism – a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.
America doesn’t need another president who pays lip service when issues of national security are at stake. America doesn’t need another president who will pass the buck on border security. We need a president who will finally act to secure the border after decades of failed leadership in Washington, D.C. And Mr. Trump has done nothing to prove that he is the president America needs.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.