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‘You’ll See Me Again,’ Outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry Tells South Carolina Audience

By Christy Hoppe, The Dallas Morning News (MCT)

This week alone, Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent two days in New Hampshire, the first presidential primary state, and two days in South Carolina, the second primary state.

And his frequent references to a future presidential campaign means new hints shouldn’t come as a surprise. But he did inch even closer to an announcement on Tuesday.

At a lunch sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, he told the crowd that, “I’ve got about 60 more days of being the governor of the state of Texas and then I’m going to do something different.”

He concluded with, “You’ll see me again,” according to the Myrtle Beach Sun News.

Over the past year, Perry has said he’s been getting prepared for his next step, especially after his disastrous first run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Perry has been in frequent discussions with foreign and domestic policy wonks from the George W. Bush administration and from Mitt Romney’s campaign.

He’s talked about America being a country of second chances and he’s visited Iowa, the first caucus state in the nation, more than any other potential contender in the past year.

In January 2012, after finishing fifth in Iowa and New Hampshire, Perry chose to drop out of the race a few days before the South Carolina primary.

He appears ready to erase that memory.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Sheriffs Question Perry Move To Send National Guard Troops To Border

By Christy Hoppe, The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN, Texas — The governor’s office confirmed this morning that Rick Perry will order 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas border to beef up patrols in South Texas.

But sheriffs along the border said they have not been consulted and question the wisdom of sending military personnel who are not authorized to stop, question, or arrest anyone.

“At this time, a lot of people do things for political reasons. I don’t know that it helps,” said Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio.

Lucio said deputies, police, and the U.S. Border Patrol work well together and that they have been able to handle the small uptick in crime along the border.

“I don’t know what good they can do,” Lucio said of military personnel. “I need people who I can hire who know the community, the language, and who can help.”

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra also told the McAllen Monitor that the Guard troops can’t make arrests and he didn’t know what their objective would be.

“The National Guard — they’re trained in warfare; they’re not trained in law enforcement,” he said. “I need to find out what their actual role is going to be, but I think the money would be better spent giving local law enforcement more funds.”

Perry has appeared on news shows and at political events around the country saying that if Washington wasn’t prepared to secure the border, he would act unilaterally.

In a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT, Perry will appear with Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to announce the military surge.

They have reasoned that drug and human traffickers might be taking advantage of border conditions and move contraband through the area. Along with redeployed state troopers, the Republican leaders have indicated that having “boots on the ground” might serve as a deterrent.

The border has been overwhelmed with the influx of 57,000 unaccompanied children, mostly from Honduras, who have been fleeing gang violence. Many are voluntarily turning themselves in to the first American authority they see.

The estimated cost to state taxpayers for the surge, including Department of Public Safety and the Guard personnel, is $5 million a week.

The border sheriffs said they could hire a lot of new deputies with that money.

“You just can’t come out here and be a police officer,” Lucio said, adding that he is concerned at the move to militarize the border.

“Eventually, they might get into trouble,” he said of the Guard. “They’re trained for different things.”

Photo: Ed Schipul via Flickr

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Rick Perry Bringing New Hampshire GOP Political Activists To Texas

By Christy Hoppe, The Dallas Morning News

In mounting evidence that Governor Rick Perry is preparing for another presidential run, about a dozen New Hampshire Republicans are scheduled to visit Texas next to meet with the governor.

The New Hampshire Journal is reporting that Perry has engaged GOP strategist Mike Dennehy to organize the meeting. Dennehy is well known in the Granite State, the first state to vote in presidential primaries, where he helped engineer victories for John McCain.

Dennehy, according to the report, is working through Americans for Economic Freedom, a group created with seed money left over from Perry’s last presidential campaign and organized by his top supporters.

Perry has been using the group to promote his message for economic growth, and to visit Democratic-controlled states to meet with business owners and run ads featuring the governor.

He has just completed a trip to New York, where he made the rounds of morning talk shows and suggested that he and Governor Andrew Cuomo should hold a debate over economic philosophies. The challenge prompted the Democratic Governors Association to respond by sending out a clip of Perry’s “oops” moment in the 2011 debate when he forgot the third of the three federal agencies he had pledged to dismantle as president.

Perry is expected to speak to the New Hampshire officials and political activists about the Lone Star State’s economic success and the landscape heading into 2016.

“I believe that people will give him a second chance if he decides to run for president,” Dennehy told the Journal. “That is the nature of America and that is certainly the nature of New Hampshire.”

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr