Texas Republican Governor turned down President Obama’s request for a hand-shaking photo opportunity, but offered something else instead. The president accepted Perry’s counter-proposal.
When Obama offered a brief hand shake when Air Force One touches down in Austin Wednesday, Perry made like Ford and had a better idea, according to The Huffington Post.
“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Perry wrote in a letter to Obama. “I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue.”
The border crisis has turned into yet another White House scandal — but one with a huge difference: It just won’t go away.
As soon as illegal immigrants are allowed in, they quickly disperse and disappear, blowing off scheduled immigration court hearings. In addition, some immigrants have reportedly crossed the border carrying such diseases and conditions as swine flu, ebola virus, scabies and tuberculosis.
Last week, Perry invited Obama to inspect the border with him during the president’s Austin fundraising visit. The tweet read:
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) July 2, 2014
This was Perry’s second invitation to take some time out to tour the border during a Texas fundraising trip “to see firsthand” the immigration crisis, according to The Hill. The previous request was made in June; both were turned down.
Perry hasn’t been shy about his criticism of the president’s disengagement of the border situation.
“I have to believe that when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept, or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, The Huffington Post reported.
Perry’s second request prompted the offer of an airport photo op.
The president accepted the Texas governor’s counter-offer of a “substantive meeting” via a letter from Obama confidant and White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, according to CNN, which reported:
In Jarrett’s letter, she also asked Perry for his help in convincing Republicans in Congress to approve the President’s request for more than $2 billion in federal funds to add new border patrol agents and immigration judges in the Southwestern region, as well as expanded facilities to hold detained migrants. The president has also asked for expanded legal authority for the Department of Homeland Security to expedite the process of returning the children to their countries of origin.
Since Jarrett wrote the letter to Perry, Obama has almost doubled his request for funds to clear up the border debacle — it’s now $3.8 billion, according to The Washington Post.
Breitbart News reported that the meeting between the two is scheduled for Wednesday. The president will also be attending three Democratic fundraisers on Wednesday and Thursday.