Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had an exchange of words online Thursday, setting the tone for next month’s first GOP primary debate.
Perry released a statement on his campaign website excoriating his opponent’s rhetoric:
Donald Trump continues to demonstrate his fundamental misunderstanding of border security. Make no mistake – border security is a federal responsibility, but when I met with President Obama last year and it became clear he would not act, I told him if he would not secure the border, Texas would. Rather than thanking Texas for stepping into a gap it shouldn’t have to fill, Mr. Trump has made clear that he believes the states should fend for themselves on border security. Not only is this wrong, it perpetuates the same failed policies that have left our southern border porous and vulnerable.
I have a message for my fellow Republicans and the independents who will be voting in the primary process: what Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trump-ism – a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.
Not surprisingly, Trump responded with a tweet hitting back at Perry, who served as Texas’ chief executive for 14 years:
.@GovernorPerry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2015
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“Running for the presidency is not an IQ test,” Perry said in one of his final statements as governor in December. “It is a test of an individual’s resolve; it is a test of an individual’s philosophy; it is a test of an individual’s life experiences.” Perry was referring to a gaffe he made during a Republican presidential debate in November 2011 when he could not name the third federal department he would eliminate if elected president.
As of Friday, Trump is second in a RealClearPolitics average of Republican presidential candidates, all but assured a spot in the first GOP debate next month. Perry is 10th. The top 10 candidates in an average of the four most recent national polls will be able to participate in the debate on August 4, televised on Fox News. The other candidates will feature in a forum the same afternoon.
h/t: The Hill
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