Texas Gov. Rick Perry has revealed that he still supports a program that grants in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, even though it was a stumbling block during his failed White House run in 2012.
Perry, who is mulling over a second attempt to become the Republican presidential nominee, told The Texas Tribune
that he continues to endorse the controversial state program enacted 13 years ago.
The GOP governor said that even though the Republican-controlled state legislature is planning to repeal it, he still stands behind the reasons that the law was drawn up in the first place
"Economically, what was in the best interest in the state of Texas was to give these young people the opportunity to be givers rather than takers, to be a constructive part of this society," Perry said during an hour-long interview in front of a crowd at The Texas Tribune Festival.
Perry then praised Republican land commissioner nominee George P. Bush's remarks last week that "until there's a sensible alternative that has been presented by anybody else," he will support the law that grants in-state tuition to undocumented migrants.
Perry, who is leaving his office in January, said that he would make his decision about a presidential run in 2015, while adding that he will be better prepared this time around so as to avoid the type of mistakes that wrecked his first attempt.
"I was not prepared, and it was obvious," Perry said. "And the preparation part of this takes years."
During a notorious 2011 presidential debate, Perry forgot one of the three federal agencies he would eliminate as president, and instead said, "Oops."
Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith asked Perry about his indictment on excessive use of power charges while allegedly attempting to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign following her drunken driving arrest.
Saying that the case was being handled by his lawyers, he refused to answer any questions, adding, "I would tell you that it's already been addressed, and I'm not going to be adding anything new to it."
Smith asked what would happen if the rest of the interview was spent in silence while he waited for Perry to respond. "It'll be a long hour," Perry replied to a round of laughter. "I had a date like that once."
However, Perry was willing to comment on the controversy surrounding his decision to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the state's southern border with Mexico to deal with the surge of illegal immigrants, decaling that it was "one of the biggest issues that I've engaged with, possibly in my entire political career."
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