On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Rick Perry held a public signing ceremony at the Capitol and praised the passage of a bill that will require most women seeking an abortion to have a sonogram. He unsuccessfully tamped down buzz about a 2012 presidential run by saying he is focused on the current legislative session. He gave no indication that within hours, he would be heading south to tour the Texas-Mexico border with Fox News' Greta van Susteren for a two-part interview to air tonight and tomorrow.
With helicopters flying above, Perry told van Susteren that President Barack Obama and Congress have not done enough to prevent illegal immigration and violence associated with drug cartels from crossing the border. He said it is a place for people "with close ties" to Al Qaeda, including Yemen, Pakistan and China, to enter the U.S.
"It is an absolute national disgrace," Perry said. "If you don't have boots on the ground, you cannot defend that border." On his relationship with Obama, Perry said they "correspond, but I don't know whether he listens."
The Fox News web site labels Perry a "border-strong presidential candidate," but the clip does not include his response to the talk of a possible 2012 race. Perhaps that's coming tomorrow night in part two of the series.
Watch the interview with Perry and a report in which van Susteren said she was allowed to attend a briefing with the governor at the Texas Ranger Command Center in Edinburg.