Bound for Obama, Perry's letter delivered to Jarrett instead



Posted on August 9, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 9:37 AM

Note: This story was originally published in August of 2010.

AUSTIN – When the doors opened on Air Force One, the president was greeted by the stifling Texas heat, and a handshake from one of his biggest critics, Gov. Rick Perry, who had hoped to deliver a four-page letter pleading for more help from the feds on border security.
“This is way past partisanship or politics," Perry said. "There’s a whole lot of Democrats on the border who need protection from Washington, D.C."

The president waved the governor's letter off to one of his top aides, Valerie Jarrett.
“I was surprised that we couldn’t find a time while he was in town to sit down and speak a little bit longer,” Perry said.
Perry's letter pointed to escalating violence along the border, including a car bomb attack in Ciudad Juárez in July.
The governor's letter was polite, but firm. It read in part:  "The need for border security along the Rio Grande should no longer be underestimated by the federal government, Mr. President. An unsecured border is a threat to our national security and to the safety of all our citizens."
The governor remained critical of what help Washington has given Texas.
“The idea that 286 National Guard troops is somehow going to stem the flow of illegal drugs and illegal activity on the border is, on its face, a bit of a fraud," Perry said.

You can read Perry's letter to the president in its entirety here.