Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry stood at center stage Thursday in the debate of second-tier Republican candidates for their party’s nomination for president and spoke repeatedly about immigration.
Perry, who had more support than his fellow candidates on the stage at the Fox News debate, said for him, the past four years have included much preparation and reflection to get him ready for his second run at the presidency. He didn’t mention the “Opps” moment in 2011 that derailed his candidacy during the last presidential race, nor did he talk about the indictments on two charges related to his effort to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest.
Perry was asked by a Fox News moderator about the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, businessman and television reality star Donald Trump.
The governor has been perhaps the most aggressive candidate in attacks on Trump, but one of the moderators told Perry that Trump “seems to be getting the better of you.”
Perry responded by mocking Trump for backing single-payer health care and using his celebrity — rather than his politics — to make a run for the presidency.
Perry also took a couple of opportunities to talk about the border and his experience trying to secure it.
He mentioned confronting President Barack Obama on a Texas tarmac in 2014 about the issue.
“The border is still porous,” he said in the debate.
No one else running for the GOP nomination has experience on the border, he said.
He called for more military personnel on the border in strategic places, construction of some walls, installation of cameras and “quick response teams.”