Reyes Fires Back at Perry After TV Appearance

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso
U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso

A border congressman today lashed out at Texas Gov. Rick Perry after Perry's appearance Tuesday on Fox News where he proclaimed that the southern border is under siege while the federal government stands idly by.

U.S. Rep. Sylvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, said Perry should instead focus on the increased crime in Austin and other cities away from the Rio Grande.

“Austin, Texas, where Governor Perry resides in his $10,000-a-month rental mansion at taxpayer expense, reported a 72 percent increase in homicides in 2010,” Reyes said in a statement. “The city of Austin had more homicides last year than El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville combined.”

Perry appeared with Fox News' Greta van Susteren in the first installment of a two-part series. During the segment Perry said the Obama administration's border security efforts “an absolute national disgrace.”

“The president either does not know or does not care what is going on on the border of Texas,” Perry told van Susteren.

Reyes said Perry, who recently dodged a question about his interest in a possible race for the White House next year, should stop pandering to the media and instead realize the rhetoric is scaring away investors.

“All Texans should resoundly reject the governor's fear-mongering rhetoric that harms our state's image and our ability to attract tourism and commerce to the border region,” Reyes wrote. “The governor should help create jobs in the region, not scare them away as part of his self-interested quest to bolster his national image.”

The full text of Reyes’ letter is below:

 

Homicides in Austin increase more than 70 percent, yet Governor Perry calls border "a national disgrace"

 

Texas Capital and cities represented by Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, and McConnell all have more homicides than Texas border cities combined 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX-16) released the following statement in response to Governor Perry's continued attacks on Texas border communities.  New preliminary data released by the FBI this week show that Texas' border cities remain among the safest places to live in the United States:

 

"Instead of pandering to TV cameras to tarnish the image of Texas's border region, Governor Perry should focus on controlling crime in the rest of Texas.  While Governor Perry falsely claims that 'drug cartels have operational control of a substantial amount' of the border to incite fear, new data released by the FBI this week confirm that border cities remain among the safest places to live in the United States.  In fact, Austin, Texas, where Governor Perry resides in his $10,000-a-month rental mansion at taxpayer expense, reported a 72 percent increase in homicides in 2010.  The city of Austin had more homicides last year than El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville combined.  All Texans should resoundly reject the Governor's fear-mongering rhetoric that harms our state's image and our ability to attract tourism and commerce to the border region.  The Governor should help create jobs in the region, not scare them away as part of his self-interested quest to bolster his national image.

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