Rick Perry Is Open To Sending U.S. Troops To Mexico To Fight Drug Cartels

October 1, 2011 1:56 p.m.

Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Saturday said he would be open to sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug cartels.

Speaking in New Hampshire during a campaign stop, Perry said, “It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and keep them off our border.”While Perry didn’t offer many specifics, his campaign press secretary, Robert Black, said Perry’s comments signaled his willingness to cooperate with the Mexican government should a situation arise, CNN reports. “He’s going to work with the Mexican government to do what’s necessary,” Black said.

As the Washington Post points out, Perry on Saturday also said he wouldn’t send American troops into a combat situation if he didn’t have a clear plan for victory and withdrawal.

Speaking of border issues, Perry also fielded questions on illegal immigration — an issue that has plagued his campaign since the last presidential debate where Perry said opponents of his state’s policy to give children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition don’t “have a heart.” Perry later backed away from his remark, calling it “inappropriate.”

On Saturday, Perry defended his state’s policy, CNN reports.

“I’m the only one that’s been dealing with it for the last 10 years, and I know how to secure that border.

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