Texas Gov. Perry (R) says ISIS may have taken advantage of chaos at the border with Mexico to send operatives across into the U.S. In a speech at the Heritage Foundation:
There’s the obvious great concern that because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be [crossing the border]— and I think there is a very real possibility that they may have already used that.
He says there is no clear evidence that ISIS has crossed the border but that amid growing criminal activity at the demarcation line, disregarding the possibility is risky:
We have no clear evidence of that but your common sense tells you when we’ve seen the number of criminal activities that have occurred — and I’m talking about the assaults, the rapes, the murders — by individuals who have come into this country illegally over the last five years, the idea that they would not be looking at [the border] … is not a good place to be.
Perry’s office confirms that he wants a travel ban. He has previously called for stepped-up screening at entry points but has stopped short of an outright restriction. Communications director:
Gov. Perry believes it is the right policy to ban air travel from countries hit hardest by Ebola … provided there is an exception for aid workers
Perry comes under scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats for traveling to Europe during the Ebola scare on a foreign policy trip, ahead of an expected presidential run, that meant he was away when the infections of Pham and Vinson happened. Republican strategist Mark McKinnon:
Crisis management is actually something Perry has done pretty well in the past. But, in this case when the national spotlight was on Texas, Perry was missing in action. And based on pure politics, this is a situation where he could have taken command and control and looked presidential. He’s trying to jump back on stage now, but at the very least, he missed the first act because he was in Europe.
Democratic strategist Paul Begala:
Of course, Gov. Perry should have canceled his trip or come back from Europe — just as President Obama should have gone to the border. As George H.W. Bush said, ‘90 percent of life is just showing up.’ Now, will that hurt Perry two years from now? No way.
Perry tweets a Memorial Day message, including a photo of himself standing in front of a military cemetery, with his back to the camera.
Perry launches his second presidential campaign in front of a crowd of 1,000. Using a C-130 cargo plane — the type he flew while serving in the U.S. Air Force — as a backdrop and introduced by veterans, he emphasizes his military service, and says that Americans see the system rigged, are stuck with stagnated wages and stifled by regulations, mounting tuition costs, with many families on food stamps.
Now is the time for clear-sighted leadership. This is the election where voters will ask, ‘Where have you led?’ It’s not a speech on the Senate floor. It’s not what you’ve said; it’s what you have done…I know America has experienced great change, but what it means to be an American has never changed…I hear you; you are not forgotten. I’m running to be your president
Perry says that it is clear that the trooper involved did not follow protocol:
Well, obviously, I don’t think they followed protocol. I think that has been from the very early viewing of that camera that there was not proper protocol followed there. And this is going to be investigated, as it should. And transparency is really important in this process. So that all the citizens of the state of Texas know that this has been appropriately investigated, and if it’s found that the individuals made errors, then that that needs to be addressed and addressed in appropriate way
Perry, Santorum, Jindal, Fiorina, Graham, Pataki and Gilmore will not appear in the GOP presidential debate in Cleveland, OH. They are below the threshold set by the average of of five recent national polls to calculate the top 10 candidates.
Perry drops out of the 2015 presidential race, the first of the current candidates to do so.
We have a tremendous field — the best in a generation — so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, and as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be too. I share this news with no regrets. It has been a privilege in an honor to travel this country, to speak with the American people about their hopes and dreams, to see a sense of optimism prevalent despite a season of cynical politics.
Multiple news outlets report that Perry is Trump’s pick to head the Department of Energy.