Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he was the only presidential candidate with the relevant experience to secure the border, casting his Republican rivals as talkers, but not doers.
“We know how to secure the border, and rhetoric’s not going to do it,” Perry, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the second time, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
Perry also said the plan submitted by Donald Trump – also a 2016 Republican presidential candidate – who is calling for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is impractical.
“A wall without personnel there means nothing,” he said.
Perry has looked to parlay his executive experience from 14 years as governor to distinguish himself from his Republican rivals. As a border state governor, he’s also highlighted his own record boosting the presence of patrolmen in the Rio Grande Valley.
In recent weeks, Perry has also emerged as one of the sharpest critics of Trump’s comments about undocumented immigrants from Mexico. When asked if Trump was qualified to be president, Perry declined to answer, only saying that he himself is “the most qualified.”
Trump was meeting in New York with Perry’s fellow Texan, Sen. Ted Cruz, when speaking to Blitzer. Perry took a shot at his fellow presidential candidate when asked if he had any thoughts on the tete-a-tete.
“Everybody gets to pick who they hang out with, so I have no idea whats going on,” Perry said.