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Hannity

Democratic Candidate Ducks Obama in Lone Star State

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, "The Anointed One" touched down in the Lone Star State earlier today to deliver a speech on higher education and the economy. Now what would a trip be for this president without a few Democratic fundraisers?

On this one he had two, one in Austin and one in Dallas. But the state's most prominent Democrat, former Houston mayor and gubernatorial candidate Bill White was nowhere to be seen as the president arrived in Texas. Now he was reportedly tied up at campaign events in other parts of the state.

Now White is not the first candidate to distance himself from the president during the election season. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes did the same thing just last week. But according to White House senior advisor David Axelrod, the president has no problem with this.

He told CNN, quote, "They are on the ballot, they're going to make judgments they think are best for their campaigns. And I'm totally fine with that. The president understands that."

Well, I'm sure. Well, in absence of Texas' leading Democrat, the duty of welcoming the president fell to Republican Governor Rick Perry. Now last month Perry requested a meeting with the president to discuss border security. A White House spokesman said that the president's schedule did not allow for such a meeting on this trip.

So, instead, Perry passed his message along to the president via letter. In the letter, Perry wrote, in part, quote, "I respectfully but urgently request that the federal government quickly deploy 1,000 troops to the Texas-Mexico border as well as additional law enforcement tools and technology. We must show the cartels that Washington will no longer tolerate their terrorizing and criminalizing the border region."

And joining me now with reaction to the president's visit is the governor of the great state of Texas, Governor Perry, welcome back.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: Hi, Sean. It's good to see you, sir.

HANNITY: All right. So where are the Democrats?

PERRY: Well, there were a number of them out there today. My interest is twofold in this. Number one, the president of the United States, no matter who he is comes off that aircraft, Austin, Texas and the governor, unless he's got a really tight schedule, needs to be there to welcome him to your state which I did graciously.

And -- then I had a little business to conduct with him because he was too busy to sit down face-to-face. I wanted this president to understand that if he's really serious about border security, about securing that 1800-mile border with Mexico, I can show him how to do it.

As a matter of fact, that's what -- was the contents of the letter. It clearly will show him how to secure that border. We don't need to study it any more. We don't need to sit down and talk about it anymore. Put the boots on the ground, put the technology in the air, on the land, in the -- on the water along the Rio Grande.

You can secure that border. Then we can have a legitimate discussion about immigration reform. But not until then because if you have a revolving door there is no use in having any type of immigration reform talks.

HANNITY: All right, Governor, I'm watching this video. There you are. You graciously welcoming the president of the United States to your state, which I thought was the right thing to do.

You wrote the president. You invited him. He's got Democratic fundraisers in Austin and Dallas, he can't find five minutes for the governor of Texas?

PERRY: It appears that's the case. And, you know, we probably spent from the time he got off the aircraft until the door closed on the limousine, two minutes. And -- but the key is, this isn't a letter that's lost somewhere in the bowels of the White House. This is a letter that the president had handed directly to him. He bypassed to individual who was with him.

But I know he's got it. I asked him to read it, consider it and if he is serious about securing the border, I'm ready to meet with him anytime, anywhere.

HANNITY: All right. Back to this issue of -- your Democratic opponent didn't want to be anywhere near the president today. And the same thing happened in Georgia. Now Bill White actually had an interesting line that he gave back in June. He said, you know, if the president wasn't spending so much money borrowing money, it would probably help. He acknowledged in an interview basically saying that the president and his binge spending is a political liability.

PERRY: Well, this candidate has got a pretty hard time getting away from the president. He gave him clear instructions -- as a matter of fact he wanted to be his energy secretary, and the Department of Energy, the secretary but -- and he also wrote a letter on how to sell cap and trade to the American people.

Now that's not what I consider to be trying to get away from this president. The facts are, in public he may be wanting to distance himself particularly after the poll numbers were in the tank like they are for this president. But early on he was wanting to get real close to this president.

And I suggest that that's going to be very hard to do. They are on the same ticket together and they got the unions and the trial lawyers supporting them all. So they are in bed together and there's not getting any out of bed of it.

HANNITY: You know, Governor, I'm watching very closely. And you have taken a very strong stand against the president on stimulus spending, on binge spending, on the borders. And you're out there, and you're confrontational.

It seems that every time you take on the president your poll numbers go up and the people of Texas love you more.

You know, when you analyze that, what do you conclude?

PERRY: Well, I don't make decisions based on whether it's good or bad for the president of the United States. I make decisions on what's right for Texas. And by and large, whether -- look, Texans want a good job. And we're a percentage point below the national average for unemployment.

People know this is the best place in America to live, to raise a family, to have a job. They want to be safe. They want to live in neighborhoods that are safe. And they want a better educational opportunity for their kids than they had themselves.

That's it in a nutshell. Doesn't make any difference whether you're African-American, Hispanic, Asian or Anglo. That's what people want. And that's what I speak to. That's the reason Texas is the number one state in this nation from the standpoint of job creation. That's what we've been doing down here. It's what we're going to continue to do.

HANNITY: Governor, New York, 10 percent state income tax -- what's the income tax down in your state, Governor?

PERRY: That would be zero. And not going to be over zero.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: You know, you're killing me. Florida, Texas, zero income tax and they still don't have any money in New York, New Jersey or some of these high-tax states. It's unbelievable.

PERRY: Yes. It's called stop the spending.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: You want to come up and run for governor of New York, I'm -- you got my endorsement.

PERRY: No, thank you. I got a great state to be the governor of, want to keep the gig.

HANNITY: All right. Thanks, Governor. Appreciate your being with us.

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