• With: Texas Gov. Rick Perry

    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 24, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, we are live in south Texas. On the Record" is at ground zero, the fight on America's border with Mexico. Many say this is a war zone. And we're coming to you live from the Texas Ranger recon headquarters mobile command center in Edinburg, Texas. And you are at the center of the action. Both tonight and tomorrow night, you will see what's really happening here from high above in the air and on the ground. It is the most illegally-crossed international border in the world.

    And Governor Rick Perry of Texas is here to tell us what is and isn't being done to secure the border. The governor and President Obama do not see eye-to-eye, and he is here to tell us why. Joining us is Texas Governor Rick Perry. And Governor, I could almost feel you sitting next to me with that report on Dallas we first heard. That just happened in your state.

    GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: Yes. And you know, it's personal with me in a sense just being the governor. It's -- my children live there. And so we have our prayers for everyone up in that part of the state.

    You know, disasters are part of Texas. We have monstrously big hurricanes, tornadoes that can hit any time. I talked to Jay Nixon up in Missouri this morning...

    VAN SUSTEREN: The governor ...

    PERRY: ... and he's having that same type of event that he's having to deal with in Joplin, Missouri. I offered him any assistance that we could -- that we could have or be able to give them. So you know, there's always something going on in Texas. And again, our prayers are with everyone up in Dallas today as we deal with a lot of different events, whether it's a border that's very porous, things going on. You know, right behind us is...

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... helicopter just landed (INAUDIBLE)

    PERRY: ... one of our tactical teams that's just coming in from right across the way, over on the Rio Grande. And that is, unfortunately, an average day in Texas -- 2.7 million acres of land that has been destroyed by wildfires, obviously, a border that is under almost constant attack from those that would...

    VAN SUSTEREN: But here's the difference...

    PERRY: ... try to penetrate through...

    VAN SUSTEREN: That tornado, you could not anticipate. You know, it - - you know, it surprised you and everybody else. Maybe you have a couple hours notice. What's going on behind us where the helicopter just went out to try to do something that -- he is trying to prevent something that's quite predictable. And you and the president don't see eye-to-eye on this one.

    PERRY: Well, not at all. As a matter of fact, I was very disheartened when the president came into El Paso a couple of weeks ago, had a photo-op out at the city of El Paso and proclaimed that the border was as safe as it's ever been.

    And that's just nonsense. You ask these men and women who are putting their lives on the line every night, the border patrol agents, the ICE agents, the Texas Department of Public Safety, folks in that helicopter, our SWAT teams that are out there, the local law enforcement.

    All of those individuals know that this border not only is porous, but the people that are coming across this border we have no idea -- well, unfortunately, we do know where some of them are from, and they are from countries that have very close ties to al Qaeda, whether it's Yemeni or Afghanistan, Pakistan, China. It is an absolute national disgrace.

    VAN SUSTEREN: The thing that surprised me today is that I always knew there was drugs and guns and smuggling of humans back and forth here. What I hadn't realized until I talked to your people today is how many different nationalities come across this border illegally. That's what surprised me. And of course, you know, there are some that are red flags -- countries like Pakistan or Yemen, of course. We all -- you know, we don't want to be alarmist, but those happen to be countries that have been most unfriendly, to put it politely.

    PERRY: We have now for upwards of five or six years been going to Washington, D.C., explaining to Congress, administrations that we have a real and a serious and a present danger that has to be addressed. Some 12 Democrat sheriffs, people who are not in my political party, went with us to Washington a few years back to share the story about what's happening on that border. And it's only gotten worse.

    We know that there has to be more boots on the ground. You saw a wall today, a fence being built.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, from the helicopter.

    PERRY: And you asked the question, "Is that effective?" And the director of the Department of Public Safety said no. This is in a very rural area and...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there are gaps in the fence. I mean -- - I mean, it wasn't even a question of going over the fence.

    PERRY: Yes.

    VAN SUSTEREN: There were gaps. You didn't even have to get a ladder.

    PERRY: If you don't have boots on the ground, you cannot defend that border. That's a key issue here.

    VAN SUSTEREN: And can you tell that to President Obama, or won't he hear from you?

    PERRY: You know, I hope the President of the United States would hear from the president of -- or excuse me, the governor of the second largest state in our nation...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Does he?

    PERRY: ... a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. We correspond, but I don't know whether he listens. I don't know whether he hears. But the issue is, you've got an entire administration and a Congress that has been reluctant to do what it takes.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Why?

    PERRY: I have no idea. I can't answer the -- the...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Because the drugs that come through here end up in Milwaukee. They end up in Chicago. They end up in Boston. They end up in Idaho. They end up all across the country. I mean...

    PERRY: These are poisons that are showing up in our children's bloodstream. And they're poisoning a generation of Americans. So why wouldn't we do everything that we can to defend that border from those dug cartels that have operational control of a substantial amount of that border?

    VAN SUSTEREN: Are the cartels in Mexico?

    PERRY: Well, certainly, they're in Mexico, but here's the scary part. They're also in Dallas. They're also in San Antonio...

    VAN SUSTEREN: I meant Texas.

    PERRY: They've been in Austin.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I meant Texas.

    PERRY: They're -- they're all -- and we're starting to see them as operational cells, if you will...

    VAN SUSTEREN: In Texas.