President Obama may have declined to tour the southern border of the United States, now facing a flood of illegal immigrant children, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry has not proven to be so finicky, according to a Thursday story in the Washington Free Beacon. Obama has gotten a curious antipathy to photo ops. Perry took Fox News personality Sean Hannity and a camera crew with him. This has caused The Hill to suggest that Perry has become the leader of the opposition to Obama, at least over the immigration issue.
Perry took Hannity on a tour of the southern border by boat and helicopter. He was careful to note that he had warned the White House of the impending floor of illegal immigrants months before, apparently to no avail. He also gave an account of a meeting he had with the president about immigration when Obama was in Texas on a fund raising tour.
Perry asked the president to take a number of actions, including getting the FAA to grant permission to fly drones over the southern border and to deploy National Guard troops to buttress the Border Patrol. The president was not responsive to either request. However Perry holds out the hope that Obama will move seriously on border security at some point.
Perry, it should be noted, is said to be planning to run for president in 2016. His previous attempt to run, in 2012, was fraught with rhetorical missteps, including the notorious “oops” moment during a debate. Perry has ascribed those mistakes to lack of sleep brought on by a back injury he had recently sustained. His health problems are behind him and he is carefully setting the ground work to start a new campaign, raising money, making speeches, and networking. Also, unlike last time, Perry will be out of office and will thus be able to devote his full attention to running for president.