Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry responded to Donald Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants by stating “we want somebody that’s actually dealt with this before, not somebody that’s just going shoot from the hip” and that “Nobody has stepped into the fray on that border the way I have to defend and secure that border” on Thursday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.
Perry said, “I don’t think he’s reflecting the Republican Party with his statements about Mexicans. I think that was a huge error on his part, and, number one, it’s wrong. When I think about the Hispanic in Texas, and I think about the individuals who have paid a great price, whether they were Tejanos at the Alamo in 1836, or whether it’s been as late as the last wars that we’ve had, when you see Hispanics being killed for America –.”
After guest host Charles Payne objected that Trump wasn’t referring to legal immigrants, Perry countered, “I will suggest to you he painted with a very broad brush, and I think that’s the problem. Yes — do we have some challenges? Nobody knows that border better than I do. Nobody has stepped into the fray on that border the way I have to defend and secure that border.”
Perry added, “we want somebody that’s actually dealt with this before, not somebody that’s just going shoot from the hip. And I will suggest to you I know how to secure the border, and the border security is the real issue here, it’s not painting with this broad brush that obviously, I think Donald Trump painted with, where he tried to say Mexicans are bad people, they’re rapists and murderers. Yes, there bad people that cross that border, but how about let’s get a commander-in-chief that knows how to secure the border, and at that particular time, we can have a conversation about how to deal with this immigration issue, but not till that border is secured.”
He also stated that the decision of companies to sever ties with Trump was “their call.” And “My way to address this is to talk about the contributions that the Mexican-American has made to this country, knowing that they are the number one trading partner for the State of Texas, knowing that Mexico is going to play an incredibly important role economically in the future of North America, with the energy resources that they have. Canada, the United States, and Mexico, you put those energy resources together, you lower that corporate tax rate, you lower the electricity prices, bring back manufacturers in this country, and this region can explode economically, and that’s what we ought to be focused on.”
Perry also discussed trade policy, saying, “I happen to think that you have to have the ability to make the deal, but the TPP, we haven’t seen what’s in that yet. That’s up to Congress to make a good decision on whether it’s good for America.”
Earlier Perry reacted to Cuba calling for the US to give Guantanamo Bay back by stating, “we’re seeing this in negotiation after negotiation, we saw this in Iran. Obviously, the president of the United States, not a good negotiator here, giving up positions early on, before we ever — number one, we shouldn’t have been negotiating with Iran to begin with until they did some very important things, the first of which I would suggest to be, is to give up all exporting of terrorism around the world, but this president making mistake after mistake, I see it from a negotiator, and the idea that — I happen to think we had Cuba on the ropes economically. They’re dealing with a country with a lot of challenges, with Venezuela, and our president throws them a lifeline, and then gives away one of our — seems to be wanting to give away one of the most powerful negotiating tools that we have, bad idea.”
The discussion then turned to the economy, where Perry touted his record as Texas’ governor and the state’s job growth, dubbing himself “a real job creator.” He further discussed his record on education in Texas, which he said would be key in attracting African-American and Hispanic voters because “nothing sends a more powerful message to a family that we care about you than you can get a job, you can keep more of what you work for, and we’re going to help your children graduate from high school so that they’re ready for the next stage of life. That’s a powerful message. And you’re going to hear it from us on a regular basis.”
Perry also answered those who would claim the economic growth in Texas was solely due to the state’s energy boom, and not his policies. He said, “anybody that says that is wrong about it. Here’s what happened the State of Texas, we diversified that economy from A to Z. Texas is now the number one high-tech exporting state in the nation. The bulk of those jobs are in other areas. … As a matter of fact, half as many percentage-wise jobs are in the oil and gas industry as there were in 1978 and the oil and gas industry is still about the same percentage of our gross state product. So, Texas exploded economically, and it happened in a lot of other areas outside of the oil and gas industry.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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