Former Texas governor and 2016 contender Rick Perry assured the audience at CPAC today that he’s got presidential-level experience, stepping up last year to secure the border when the White House fell short during the child-migrant crisis.
“I told the president, ‘Mr. President, if you don’t secure the border, Texas will.’ And that’s what we did,” he said, drawing big applause. Perry sent a detachment of the Texas National Guard to beef up border security last summer when large numbers of illegal-immigrant children began streaming into the U.S.
The room was close to full when Perry took the stage, with attendees crowding in to find out how he would recast himself as he considers another presidential bid.
Warning the audience that he would “speak plainly” about America’s precarious state of affairs, Perry – who has reportedly spent the past few years boning up on foreign policy – dedicated the first portion of his speech to overseas threats, such as the Islamic State, Iran, and Russia. He capped off his discussion of national-security by tying it to immigration and the critical need to secure the border.
While the present may be bleak, Perry assured the CPAC audience, the future of the United States is strong.
“We survived the Civil War, two world wars, a depression — we even survived Jimmy Carter,” he said. “We will survive the Obama years too.”