LOS ANGELES, California—In an exclusive interview at Breitbart News Network’s headquarters, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said President Barack Obama would cement a legacy of being the worst president in American history if he moves forward on executive amnesty.
“I don’t think this man wants to go down as the absolute worst president in the United States — although the jury is still out on that,” Perry said, adding that if Obama moves forward on executive amnesty “he will be guaranteed that slot. Because the American people will not accept an executive order that basically takes our constitution and throws it out the window. They will not accept that.”
Perry, considering a repeat presidential bid in 2016, had just spoken at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Reagan’s famous “A Time For Choosing” speech. Among his scalding criticisms of Obama, Perry explained the president’s failings as due to his background as a U.S. senator – something that happens to apply to several of his would-be challengers for the GOP presidential nomination.
“If you’re in the Senate or if you’re in the House, you can give a speech and then go home. Governors can’t. We have to govern,” Perry said, adding, “And the president of the United States, historically, has had to operate that way, too; the ones that were successful. And one of the reasons why this President is not successful is because he’s never had that experience.”
Asked if the next president will be a senator, Perry said, “No.”
The Texas government, including Perry, recently came under scrutiny for its handling of an Ebola patient who traveled from Africa and spread the disease to two U.S. health workers. The the state health department cleared 177 people under watch for Ebola exposure. Looking back, Perry cites “bad information” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the cause for why two American nurses who were treating Thomas Eric Duncan ended up infected.
“In hindsight… some of those errors were made because we had bad information from the CDC. [T]here were some oversights and errors there. We are preparing for whatever the next infectious disease is; and there will be another one. We are one plane ride away from, somewhere in the world, being infected by something,” Perry said.
“Disasters are not unlike war. The first things that occurs in war is that chaos reigns and you throw out your battle plan,” he added. As governor, Perry guided Texas through several crises. He brought up a list of disasters that occurred under his watch including the Columbia space shuttle tragedy of 2003; the Queen Isabella Causeway incident in 2001; the overflow of emergency evacuees from Louisiana into Texas due to Hurricane Katrina and Rita; and the onslaught of natural disasters including tornadoes and hurricanes that mire the Lone Star state.
Another recent crisis: the tens of thousands of illegal alien minors, mostly young men, streaming across the southern U.S. border from Central America. Over the summer, Gov. Perry deployed the National Guard, and told Breitbart News the results have been successful, cutting down the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border by two-thirds.
Perry said deploying the National Guard “is absolutely no different that if you would have left a residual force in Baghdad. Same mentality, same concept. When you move your law enforcement or your military, or both, away from a place, the vacuum is going to be filled.”
President Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, eliminating our presence in the region and creating a void which experts say contributed to the rise of the Islamic State has drawn tremendous criticism by politicians on both sides of the political spectrum; particularly from members of the intelligence community. Both former President Jimmy Carter — seen as a failure in his handling of foreign policy with regard to the Iran hostage crisis — and former Secretary of Defense and past CIA Director Leon Panetta have lambasted the president’s choices abroad.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter: @AdelleNaz.