Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has reportedly rejected President Barack Obama’s offer to briefly shake hands when Air Force One lands in Austin on Wednesday. Instead, the governor came back with a counteroffer.
“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, 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 wrote in a letter to Obama. “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.”
Perry is referring to the high number of unaccompanied immigrant children and other illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014. The Republican governor did meet Obama at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 2013.
The president is scheduled to appear at Democratic fundraisers in Dallas and Austin, but he doesn’t plan to visit the border — the site of the crisis.
During a recent appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Perry criticized Obama for not acting with urgency on the border crisis.
“I have to believe that when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept, or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from,” he said.