President Barack Obama is heading to Austin, Texas on Wednesday, but Gov. Rick Perry won’t be there to greet him at the airport.
The White House invited Perry to meet Obama – apparently in an effort to smooth things over after Perry has been harshly critical of Obama’s handling of the border crisis.
“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Perry wote in a letter to Obama. “I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue.”
Perry instead is interested in a private meeting to talk about the surge of immigrants illegally crossing the border.
The Wall Street Journal reports that after Perry’s rejection, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett has offered a sit-down between Obama and Perry.
“The president would welcome a meeting with you while he is in Texas,” the letter says. “In addition, he asked me to invite you to join him for a meeting to discuss the situation on the border with faith leaders and local elected officials in Dallas on Wednesday.”
Perry’s spokesperson said Tuesday morning that Perry would indeed meet with Obama.