Perry, insisting his record demonstrates a commitment to securing the border through “boots on the ground,” quickly shot back. “We put our Texas Ranger recon teams there now,” he said. “But if you are saying we shouldn’t educate those children, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children because they become a drag on our society.”
Perry noted that only four members of Texas’ 181 lawmakers voted against the bill, which he said “I still support greatly.”
Loud boos from the audience seemed to embolden Perry’s competitors to pile on. “No one is suggesting that children shouldn’t go to a college or university,” challenged former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. “The point is, why are we subsidizing it? Why should they be giving preferential treatment as an illegal in this country? He’s very weak on this issue.”
Debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News allowed Perry to respond, asking him how he felt to be the target of his fellow candidates.
“I feel pretty normal being criticized by the people on this stage,” Perry responded, before defending his view that a “border fence “does not make sense. As president, he said, “we will have boots on the ground and we will stop illegal immigrants and we will stop the drug cartels.”
Rick Perry takes lumps for