Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) did not appreciate what his 2016 GOP primary rival Donald Trump said about him on Twitter.
Perry released a video on Wednesday responding to a tweet Trump posted last weekend. In his message, Trump blasted Perry’s record on border security and included a joke about the ex-governor’s glasses.
The video response from Perry begins with a shot of Trump’s tweet set to a soundtrack of chirping birds.
“Hey Donald, I saw your tweet the other day, but I think you might need to borrow my glasses to get a good look at the steps I took to secure the border while I was governor of Texas,” Perry declares in the clip.
Perry goes on to claim, “Under my leadership, Texas dedicated nearly a billion dollars to border security efforts.”
Trump has made combating illegal immigration a focus of his presidential bid and controversial comments he made about immigrants from Mexico in his announcement speech last month have made headlines. In those remarks, Trump said some undocumented immigrants from Mexico are criminals, drug runners, and rapists. He has also suggested the government of Mexico is deliberately sending “bad ones” to the US.
Along with defending his record, Perry also criticised Trump’s comments in his video.
“You comments about Mexicans are offensive and they don’t reflect the values of the Republican Party,” Perry says in the clip, adding, “Donald, you might want to take a trip down to Texas some time to meet some of the Hispanic-Americans who’ve helped make our nation great and to learn a little bit about what we need to do to secure our border.”
Watch Perry’s video below.
Perry previously described Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants as a “huge error” in a speech last Thursday.
“What I would say is that we want somebody who’s actually dealt with this before, not somebody that’s just going to shoot from the hip,” Perry said in the speech. “I will suggest to you I know how to secure the border, and the border security is the real issue here.”
That speech led the Texas Tribune to dub Perry “a leading anti-Trump voice” in the Republican Party.
In response to Perry’s video, an adviser for the Trump campaign told Business Insider that Perry bears direct responsibility for illegal immigration from Mexico.
“Out of all the candidates in the race, Rick Perry is the only one who could have secured the southern border. Whatever he claims he did, it failed,” the Trump adviser said. “We know a vast majority of illegal immigrants are crossing through Texas. Perry also said that you do not ‘have a heart’ if you do not want your tax dollars supporting illegal immigrants. The unsecured border harms our economy, safety and national security. Perry was the governor of Texas for over 14 years. He ignored the problem for far too long.”
It is not clear what data his team is using to support the claim that a majority of illegal immigrants enter the US from Texas. There are not statistics to back up some of the claims Trump has made about illegal immigration from Mexico. According to the Migration Policy Institute, Texas is the second most popular destination for Mexican immigrants behind California.
Perry’s team did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Trump adviser’s comments. The former Texas governor is not the only member of the crowded GOP presidential field who has taken shots at Trump’s stance on illegal immigration during the firestorm over his comments.
Two longshots, former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) and little known former IRS commissioner Mark Everson, have released statements attacking Trump. On the Democratic side, in a CNN interview on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton attempted to tie the entire Republican 2016 field to Trump and characterised them as being “in the same general area on immigration.”
On Wednesday, Trump sent a statement to Business Insider responding to Clinton’s comments.
“Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States. On top of that, she is extremely bad on illegal immigration,” Trump said. “Despite anything you may hear to the contrary, I do not think she is electable.”
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