Texas Governor Rick Perry got his turn to speak about his meeting with President Obama on Wednesday night, hours after the president characterized the pair's roundtable immigration discussion as "constructive." Speaking on Fox News's "Hannity," Perry took the opportunity to say that President Obama was acting like George W. Bush after Katrina, because he didn't plan on visiting the Texas border during his trip this week. “I think about the criticism that George W. Bush received when he didn’t go to New Orleans [during] Katrina, this is no different,” he said.
President Obama said on Wednesday that he didn't plan a border trip this week because he was already addressing the crisis through proposing informed solutions to fix the problem, and didn't need a "photo op." "This isn't theater," he added. Perry told Fox host Sean Hannity that during his brief one-on-one meeting with Obama before the roundtable discussion, he explained why he wanted a presidential border visit anyway: "I really want you to come and see this because this is important for you to absorb as a father, but more importantly as President of the United States," Perry said he told Obama. The insinuation is a familiar one from critics of the president: Perry is making a character assessment about Obama's ability to "lead." That came up more directly later in the interview:
As I was discussing with him, I did a lot of listening, he let me know what the feeling is about these things, what the fixes were, I [interjected] where I could. The fact is, I don’t know whether he heard what I said. Because a leader acts, and what I haven’t seen out of this president are actions that make me think he understands what’s going on. It’s one of the reasons I want him to come to the border.”
“He needs to understand instinctively and intuitively and with his own two eyes what’s going on on the border,” Perry added to Hannity.