FORT WORTH — Texas' gubernatorial candidates agreed Monday that the Texas-Mexico border isn't secure — and took swipes at each other over a land deal and gun rights — as they spoke to about 500 Texas law enforcers.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White and Republican Gov. Rick Perry told the Sheriffs Association of Texas of the need for more border security, even though President Barack Obama is sending 1,200 National Guard troops to border states beginning Sunday. Of those, 250 will come to Texas.
"We've got 64 percent of the border and we are getting 20 percent of the troops," Perry said during the meeting at the Fort Worth Convention Center. "Even my Aggie math can figure that out. We're getting shorted."
He said he's asked Obama to sit down with him when the president visits Austin for an Aug. 9 fundraiser. "We can show him how to secure the border of Texas with Mexico," Perry said. But White, a former Houston mayor, said it's not the president's fault that the Texas-Mexico border isn't secure.
"For 9 1/2 years, Rick Perry has had an opportunity to come through with more police and sheriffs," White said. "He has not been effective in delivering what we need to secure the border."
White also criticized Perry for questions about a property deal in 2007 that turned Perry into a millionaire, saying that "if there was a sheriff [tied to the same land deal], there would be federal investigators over all that."
A report by The Dallas Morning News raised questions about whether Perry bought property in Horseshoe Bay below market value and sold it for higher than market value, in effect benefiting "from favoritism, backroom dealing and influence-buying."
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