Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Wednesday equated President Barack Obama’s decision not to visit the Texas border to former President George W. Bush’s much-maligned response to Hurricane Katrina.
“It is a humanitarian crisis, and that I will suggest is the reason the President needs to come to the border, to see it himself,” Perry said in an interview on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “I think about the criticism George W. Bush received when he didn’t go to New Orleans in Katrina. This is no different.”
The governor suggested it wasn’t enough for Obama to send Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on multiple trips to the border to coordinate the administration’s response to the influx of migrants.
“I’m pretty sure if George Bush had said, ‘Well, I sent my FEMA director down multiple times,’ that he would have still been criticized greatly because you need to go,” he said. “That’s what governors do, that’s what presidents do when there are natural disasters, when there’s crises like this. A president needs to be there to show the American people, number one, that he understands.”
Perry’s comments came after he met with Obama in Austin for a roundtable discussion on border issues. In a statement on the border crisis, the President called their meeting “constructive” and said he had no “philosophical objections” to any of the actions Perry suggested could mitigate the crisis.
“I’m glad the president thinks what I said makes sense because we have been saying it for many years now,” Perry told host Sean Hannity.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) had previously invoked Katrina in an interview with Fox News, referring to Bush’s flyover to survey the hurricane damage.
“I’m sure that President Bush thought the same thing, that he could just look at everything from up in the sky, and then he owned it after for a long time,” Cuellar said. “So I hope this doesn’t become the Katrina moment for President Obama, saying that he doesn’t need to come to the border. He should come down.”
Watch below, courtesy of Fox News: