The Minutemen Project came into the public sphere in 2005 when frustration over illegal immigration sparked heated cries for additional border security. The civilian group launched their own border patrols because they believed the federal government was doing such a poor job. According to a Dallas Morning News report from May 2005, Perry said he understood the group's frustration but had no desire to see the Minutemen Project or any other civilian militia on the Texas-Mexico border.
Since then, Perry has also taken border security matters into his own hands, spending more than $200 million on border security efforts, including tens of millions to help local police pay officers overtime for border patrols and $2 million for about 20 Web cameras on the border.
Today, Perry said he was glad to accept Gilchrist's endorsement. "I am honored to win the backing of a leader who not only shares my love of America, but also my concerns about Washington’s failure to adequately secure our borders. With the support of concerned citizens like the Minuteman Project and our world-class law enforcement personnel here in Texas we will continue to fill the gap left by Washington’s failure,” Perry said.
The seeming change in Perry's feelings about the Minutemen Project didn't go unnoticed over at the campaign headquarters of U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, his top competitor for the GOP gubernatorial nod. Here's the reaction from Hutchison campaign spokesman Joe Pounder: "Five years ago, Perry didn’t want the Minutemen in Texas. Today, he’s holding an event with them. Just more election-year flip-flops from Rick Perry."
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.