|Rick Perry at Heritage|
But that was exactly the case today when Perry appeared before an overflow crowd at the Heritage Foundation to deliver what had been billed as by the foundation and co-sponsor the National Review as a talk entitled The Border Crisis and the New Politics of Immigration."
Perry, making his 1st public appearance in Washington since his indictment on two felony counts of abuse in power, dismissed those charges as politically motivated.
"I am very confident in my case," Perry said. "[The allegations] are an attack on our system of governance. I will defend the constitution and stand up for the rule of law in Texas."
The governor was indicted by a grand jury on charges that he abused his office by trying to coerce a Democratic district attorney to resign after she was convicted of drunk driving.
Perry, who apparently is testing another run for the Republican presidential nomination, spent much of the time in his 30-minute talk calling for intensified U.S. military actions against Islamist terrorists, who this week posted a video of their beheading murder of kidnapped American photojournalist James Foley. (See The Prices Do DC Extra below to see what he said and related stories).
He did tie the events in the Middle East into the Mexican border situation. He said ISIS terrorists could slip across the border to threaten American safety.
"We have a crisis on our Southern border," Perry said. "There are assailants and murderers who should never have been in [our] country in the first place," Perry contended.
The Texas governor criticized President Barack Obama for his handling of the border situation and his immigration policies. The crisis has heightened in recent weeks as thousands of unaccompanied minors fleeing deadly violence in Central America have been surging into Texas from Mexico.
Perry was especially critical of Obama's refusal to visit the area. "To this day, the president has refused to see the facts at our Southern border. No briefing from far away can capture the scenes at our border," he said.
Securing the border should be the first priority, Perry said, advocating more "boots on the grounds, fencing for metropolitan areas" and the use of drones for 24-hour surveillance.
"Until the border is secure there can be no real talk of immigration reform," Perry maintained.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It
More on Perry's Views on Islamic Terrorists, Related Stories
Perry calls for more air strikes against Islamic State. (from USA Today)
Could Islamic State fighters threaten US citizens in their own homeland? (from USA Today)
Are Islamic terrorists crossing the U.S. border (from Think Progress)