Donald Trump's talk about Mexico "makes for some pretty good TV," Rick Perry said Wednesday, but the reality is that he, as the former governor of Texas, really knows what needs done to secure the border.
"I do know a little bit about border security, having been the governor of Texas for the last 14 years," Perry, who is competing against Trump and nearly a dozen others for the GOP nomination, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
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Trump has called for building a wall
between the United States and Mexico, and getting Mexico to pay for it. While strategic fencing can be a detriment to people crossing the border, there are other things that are needed, said Perry.
"There are three things that you do to secure the border," he said. "Obviously personnel and personnel in the right places," he said, noting that fencing is also important.
"The third thing is aviation assets," he said. "I will suggest that what Mr. Trump was talking about makes for some pretty good TV, maybe, but the reality is if you want to secure the border, we know how to do it," pointing out that the National Guard surge, which he ordered last summer, resulted in "a 74 percent decrease in illegal immigration."
But Perry said he'll let Trump run on what he wants to, but as for himself, "I will run on actual experience of this.
"Americans are not looking for rhetoric. They are looking for someone who has been in the field of battle, who has performed and has results. Whether it is job creation or dealing with the border, we have real results that back up our actions."
He also disagreed with Trump's claims that Mexico is taking financial advantage of the United States.
"I think you have to have diplomatic relationships with a lot of different countries," said Perry. "Mexico happens to be the No. 1 trading partner with the state of Texas. We may disagree on a number of things, but I will not be getting distracted on what is important to our country."
Still, Perry said he welcomes Trump's addition to the race, as the field is giving voters a great deal of choices.
"I think Americans will look at this, after what has been eight years of an inexperienced young senator who has the country in a pickle economically and from a foreign policy standpoint," said Perry. "Americans want someone with job creation results ... and having worn the uniform of the country, knowing how to deal with the challenges on the foreign policy front is going to be important."
Perry also responded to a jab by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who asked during a campaign speech Tuesday that listeners contact Perry or his own brother, former President George W. Bush, and "tell them we created more jobs than Texas" in Florida.
"When you have blue skies and wind behind your back like the early 2000s and late '90s, it was easy to create jobs there," Perry said of Bush's record. "But look at who created jobs when the great recession of 2008 forward was occurring. Texas created 1.5 million jobs from the end of '07 to 2014 while the rest of the country lost 400,000 jobs."
Even with the early jabs going and a tough race to follow, Perry still believes that there can be a "thoughtful, civil conversation," and said he respects his fellow candidates but believes his own experience is the "full package" that American voters will want.
"Americans want to see a tough, focused, disciplined leader in the country and we have not have that for the last 6½
years," said Perry.
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