Rick Perry forestalls discussion of immigration reform

Texas Gov. Rick Perry told reporters at the Monitor Breakfast that the 'unaccompanied alien children issue ... has the potential to be an absolute catastrophe.'

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    Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks at a Monitor-hosted lunch with reporters on Thursday, June 19, 2014.
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Rick Perry has been governor of the nation’s second most populous state since December 2000. In 2012, he briefly ran for the Republican presidential nomination. He was the guest at a June 19 Monitor luncheon for reporters.

On the surge of unaccompanied children from Central America entering the US: 

“This unaccompanied alien children issue ... has the potential to be an absolute catastrophe, a humanitarian catastrophe.... I consider it to be a failure of diplomacy by the United States.” 

Recommended: Can immigration reform pass? Five senators to watch.

On prospects for immigration reform:

“Immigration reform is down the list of things you have to do.... The American people do not trust the federal government until they secure the border ... with boots on the ground, with strategic fencing in the metropolitan areas, with technology.” 

On his 2012 run for the White House:

“I am glad I ran in 2012 – as frustrating, as painful, and as humbling as that experience was.... Preparation is the single most important lesson that I learned.”

Why he is considering another run:

“Whether I decide to make a run for the presidency or not, I hope to stay engaged ... being a person of influence in some form or fashion.”

On the recent Environmental Protection Agency proposal to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants:

“It will cause huge economic impact on this country ... based on ... science that is not settled yet on the issue of CO2 .... Calling CO2  a pollutant is doing a disservice to the country.”

On his statement to a San Francisco audience suggesting homosexuality was like alcoholism:

“I readily admit, I stepped right in it....”

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