President Barack Obama said he has no philosophical disagreements with Texas Gov. Rick Perry's advice on solving the border crisis, but Perry says he isn't so sure the president heard him.
"I'm glad the president thinks that what I said makes sense, because we've been saying it for many years now," Perry said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."
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The current crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children flooding illegally across the border has produced problems for border security and has angered Obama's opponents, who blame his 2012 executive order granting prosecutorial discretion in handling cases of illegal immigrants who arrived as children.
Perry told host Sean Hannity that officials in Texas have known the border was a "real issue" since 2005, and warned Obama in 2009 of the massive problems that could occur if the border wasn't secured.
"I would suggest to you that had the money been spent back in those days to put the National Guard troops on the border to bolster the Border Patrol, we wouldn't be seeing the issues that we have today," Perry said.
Some in Obama's own party, including Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, have warned that Obama might be facing a "Katrina moment" if he doesn't visit the border for himself while in Texas this week to attend high-dollar Democratic fundraisers.
Perry, who became governor after George W. Bush was elected president in 2000, agreed.
"I think about the criticism that George W. Bush got when he didn't go to New Orleans at Katrina," Perry said. "This is no different."
Perry said politics should have nothing to do with the crisis, noting that two other Democrats have joined Cuellar in asking Obama to see the border.
"This is a bipartisan 'ask,' and it ought to be a bipartisan fix," Perry said.
The governor initially refused to greet Obama at the airport, but relented when Obama promised to meet with him on the border crisis.
Perry said that what he said to Obama once aboard Air Force One was, "I really want you to come and see this . . . because this is important for you to absorb as a father, but more importantly as the president of the United States."
Obama "needs to understand instinctively and intuitively – and with his own two eyes – what's going on on that border," Perry said.
Though Obama told the press he had heard Perry's words and agreed with them, Perry wasn't convinced.
"I don't know whether he heard what I said," Perry said. "Because a leader acts, and what I haven't seen out of this president are actions that make me think he understands what's going on.
"You can't talk about it," Perry said. "You have to act, Mr. President. That's what leadership is."
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