In the November 2011 Republican debate in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, Rick Perry expressed some of his views on national security and foreign policy to which I have responded.
On the TSA “Well, here’s what I would do with the TSA; I would privatize it as soon as I could and get rid of those unions.”
The Governor was asked about his proposed legislation to criminalize TSA pat-downs in certain cases and to comment on whether he felt they were necessary for national security. Instead of answering directly, he took the opportunity to union bash, suggesting that a private operation would somehow protect civil liberties and provide adequate airport security for the traveling public.
On Intelligence Gathering
“And this administration in particular has been an absolute failure when it comes to expending the dollars and supporting the CIA and the military intelligence around the world, to be able to draw in that intelligence that is going to truly be able to allow us to keep the next terrorist attack from happening on American soil.”
Governor Perry conveniently left out the fact that because of its intelligence gathering, the Obama Administration took out Osama Bin Laden in a bold raid on a compound in Pakistan.
On the Failed Supercommittee
“I don’t think anybody is particularly surprised that a supercommittee failed. It was a super-failure. And I think we expected that. We had a president of the United States who is not a leader. He pitched this over to them and said, here, you all figure this out.”
If Congress had done it’s job, the supercommittee would not have been necessary. It took Presidential leadership to form a bipartisan debt reduction committee that would be responsible for automatic across the board spending cuts if they could not reach a deal. And that they ultimately did not reach a deal, proves the Republicans are the party of NO compromise. The Democrats put everything on the table, but the Republicans refused to consider raising revenues, even on billionaires, because most had signed the silly Grover Norquist no tax pledge.
On the border
“And we have to put the boots on the ground and the aviation assets in place, and secure that border once and for all, and be committed to it.” Perry also mentioned the need for “strategic fencing.”
How would the Governor strategically fence the boarder? This suggests that some parts of the border would have no fencing. If I were trying to cross the boarder, I’d go to the parts that had no fence. Anyway, has Mr. Perry forgotten that we have two borders? Oh, but he would have boots on the ground – and they would have to cover a lot of ground and that would be a lot of boot power. I guess this would be good for the boot industry. And last, the Governor would mobilize aviation assets, but it’s not clear to me what those are. Drones? Bottle Rockets? Missiles? Helicopters? The Space Shuttle? A Boeing 787 Dreamliner? Wouldn’t it just be cheaper and more practical to work for comprehensive immigration reform? Really, wouldn’t it?