Perry fires back at Trump's personal attacks on his intelligence

Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate: I'm not going to talk about Trump's hair, I'm going to talk about my record


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 22, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I see Rick Perry the other day, and he's so -- he's doing very poorly in the polls. He put glasses on, so people will think he's smart.


TRUMP: And it just doesn't work. People can see through the glasses.

And he said, he shouldn't be allowed on the debate stage. I said to myself, he shouldn't. So, I tweeted that Rick Perry should have to have an I.Q. test before getting on the debate stage.



NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Do you think Rick Perry is going to take that sitting down? The nation's longest-serving governor for some 15 years as head of the fine state of Texas joining me right now.

Governor, you fired back today. Boy, did you ever. And you're one of the few who do. I don't know what it is or whether people walk on eggshells with Donald Trump, but you engaged him, and he engaged back. And then you got into this Instagram tit for tat.

What is going on here? Do you guys just hate each other? What is happening?

RICK PERRY, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this isn't about me.

This is about Donald Trump and making statements that are just so out of the realm of appropriate, taking on our POWs. To say what he said about John McCain and the rest of the men and women who spent time in the Hanoi Hilton is just -- that's inappropriate. An individual who...


CAVUTO: But more than, Governor -- no, and I understand. And you, as a veteran, one of only two veterans in the race, a captain in the Air Force, and, of course, Lindsey Graham, the other, you have a right to feel angry about that. And I give you your due there.

I think, where you escalated it in these comments today in which you talked of Trump being a cancer on conservatism, what did you mean by that?

PERRY: Well, indeed, he is, when you look at his statements.

This country is begging for a leader that will bring this country together, not a divider. We have had a divider for the last six-and-a-half years.  And Americans are looking for somebody to bring this country together.

And that incendiary rhetoric that you hear out of Donald Trump, whether it's at the immigrant population in this country or whether it's our veterans, that's just -- that's unacceptable. And I think Americans are going to take a look at that, just as I did, and say, you know what, we're not going to quietly take this. We're going to push back and we're going to push back hard.


CAVUTO: But they're not, Governor. Right now, they are not doing that.  And I don't know whether that does change.

I mean, polls are fleeting, as you have reminded me many times. But right now, Donald Trump is doing very well in the polls. What do you make of that?

PERRY: Well, I make it early horse race polls.

And if you will recall, I think it was four years ago, in '07 -- longer ago than that, eight years ago -- Rudy Giuliani was ahead in the polls. And he didn't even make it to Florida. So these polls, they ebb and flow and what have you.

But one thing that doesn't ebb and flow are the values of this country.  And Americans want an optimistic view about the future of this country.  People want to feel good that the best days are ahead of us. And when they see someone like Donald Trump, who spends all his time throwing invectives and being very negative to individuals, I don't think that is going to play well.

CAVUTO: No, actually, Governor, what he is doing is one-upping it, right?  He's promising to go to the border tomorrow, your fine state, to bring the point home that those who work at the border, they love him. They are going to honor him. And he said that, by extension, that they never did that for you.

What do you make of that?


PERRY: Here's what I hope that Donald Trump realizes tomorrow, that the failure at the border is a federal responsibility. Securing the border is a federal responsibility.

He's down there casting aspersion on Texas Rangers, on the Texas Parks and Wildlife wardens, on our Texas National Guard that we have sent down there to fill in where the federal government has failed. Donald Trump needs a lesson in how the country is supposed to work. And the federal government is supposed to be securing that border. They have failed. And Texas has stepped in and done the best they could do to help secure that border.

CAVUTO: You know, Governor, not surprising that you would take on Donald Trump or whatever. You're in a junkyard dogfight. And he's very aggressive. It has made him a very successful businessman.

But he has looked at this and come back at you with your critical comments to say, well, a fine thing for Governor Perry to be saying all this stuff about me. Four years ago, he was begging for my support and my money.

What do you say?

PERRY: Well, I don't ever recall any begging that was going on.

There were a lot of people that went and sat down with Donald Trump four years ago. But here's what I have found out is...


CAVUTO: We showed this Instagram picture of you and him together. But go ahead. Explain that.

PERRY: Well, listen, I have been with a lot of people before.

But when I found out about the real Donald Trump, which is, by the way, his Twitter tag is the @realDonaldTrump. And when I found out about the real Donald Trump, I didn't like what I saw. I didn't like what I heard.

And I don't think Americans are when they really take a -- this is a guy who is for single-payer health care. This is a guy who is for raising the taxes a huge amount. This is a person that I think would be more comfortable with Hillary Clinton than he is running for the Republicans.


CAVUTO: But, Governor, if he were your nominee, the Republican Party nominee, would you support him?

PERRY: There's a lot of people that are going to be -- I think have a better chance of being our nominee before Donald Trump.

CAVUTO: I understand that. And I understand you're hoping that is the case. But if he were the nominee, would you support him? Would you support him over Hillary Clinton?


PERRY: We can say that about a whole lot of people.

I'm a Republican. I'm going to support the Republican nominee. And Donald Trump's got a long way to go to make people really believe he's a conservative. When you really look at what this guy believes, come on, single-payer health care and he's running as a Republican? Where's that coming from, Neil?

CAVUTO: When you hear comments on either physical features or, in your case, the glasses, and all, what do you think? How do you respond to that?  What do you say? Do you just think, all right, I won't trade on that kind of exchange? Or I'm not going to ignore it?

Because unlike some of the others, you are going back full-bore. Why?  There's great risk for that too, isn't there?

PERRY: I happen to believe that my record is what's going to stand out, not either how I do my hair or whether I wear glasses or not.

I mean, I'm not going to -- I'm not going to talk about Donald Trump's hair. I doubt if he talks about mine. But what we are going to talk about is our record. I'm going to talk about where I grew up in that dry land cotton farm and those experiences that paint my world view, wearing the uniform of the country.

And nobody, nobody on that stage is going to be able to talk about having the executive experience of running the 12th largest economy in the world.  And the job creation that occurred in the state of Texas, it blows away anybody on that stage.

CAVUTO: All right.

Rick Perry, very good seeing you. Thank you very, very much.

PERRY: Thank you, Neil.

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