Bonehead Quote of the Week: Rick Perry on the Border
Nothing makes us want to facepalm more than a “the terrorists are coming!” claim.
Despite the whole indictment and pleading not* guilty to two felony counts of abuse of power and coercion thing, Gov. Rick Perry was back to business as usual Thursday, speaking to fellow conservatives at a Heritage Foundation event in Washington D.C., where he claimed that it’s a “very real possibility” members of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) responsible for the killing of American journalist James Foley and violence in the Middle East are crossing into the United States via our border with Mexico.
“I think there’s the obvious great concern that because of the condition of the border, from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS and other terrorist states could be,” Perry said in response to a question after his speech. (Watch Perry’s speech at the 56:20 timestamp, and hear the original question and his answer beginning at 1:24:30).
“I think it’s a very real possibility that they may have already used (the border), we have no clear evidence of that,” he went on to say.
Perry also said border officials have apprehended a “historically high” number of individuals from Middle Eastern countries.
As it turns out, Perry has already been called out for this radical assumption. Earlier this month, the Austin American Statesman’s Politifact rated Perry’s statements as “Pants on Fire,” using actual data that shows the number of apprehensions by U.S. border officials from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria were lower in 2012 compared to the previous 10 years.
So why repeat it? Maybe it’s just us, but we don’t think the Governor is in any position to make claims already proven false with no factual data to support them, even if he was speaking to a friendly crowd.
*Correction: We mistakenly left off “not.” Gov. Rick Perry has pled not guilty to felony charges.