Barack Obama is heading to Texas this week for a number of fundraising events around the state, as per usual. Set to touch down Wednesday in Austin, Obama sent Gov. Rick Perry an invitation to greet him at the airport.
As Huffington Post reports, however, the Republican governor declined in a polite, yet firm, response. He wrote a letter to Obama explaining that a post-flight meet-and-greet is insufficient in light of the weighty issues his state is facing due to the current crisis at its southern border.
“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport,” Perry wrote; “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 included an alternative that would allow the two leaders to discuss at greater length the problems currently plaguing the Lone Star State and the entire nation.
“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,” he concluded.
Rick Perry is clever. He made an offer President Obama couldn’t refuse: forget the formalities, let’s talk about the immigration crisis.
— Fred Barnes (@FredBarnes) July 8, 2014
Huffington Post noted that Perry has not been similarly averse to meeting Obama – or his surrogates – following previous airport arrivals in Texas. In 2010, for example, the governor handed a letter to Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarret on the tarmac shortly after touchdown. The contents of that letter also dealt with the issue of border security. At the time, he expressed his suspicion that Obama would read the letter, though he could only hope to receive a response. Reports indicate that Obama accepted Perry’s latest offer, confirming the two will meet in Dallas to discuss the issue Wednesday.
Gov. Rick Perry has accepted Pres Obama’s invitation to meet with him in Dallas on Wed to discuss border crisis. — Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) July 8, 2014
The Daily Caller used this incident to portray the difference between Perry’s approach to Obama and other Republicans – namely New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Citing the latter’s pre-election chumminess with Obama in 2012, the site confirmed that this bipartisan display arguably secured the president’s reelection.
Despite the fact that Perry’s stance on Obama’s offer will surely give leftists ammunition to use against him and the “supposedly irrational Republican hatred of the president,” the Daily Caller concluded that standing up for his state and the rule of law was the right decision.
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