El Paso – Wednesday night, in his first Republican Presidential debate since declaring his candidacy for President, Governor Rick Perry, mentioned the city of El Paso during his comments on border security.
Perry stated, "For the president of the United States to go to El Paso, Texas and say that the border is safer than it's ever been, either he has some of the poorest intel of a president in the history of this country or he was an abject liar to the American people. It is not safe on that border."
Today, State Senator Jos Rodr guez released the following statement in response to Governor Perry's remarks made during Wednesday's debate:
"I am deeply disappointed by Governor Perry's detrimental comments regarding the safety of our Texas border communities. His statements continue to proliferate the misconceptions spread by those seeking to create fear of border communities for purely political purposes.
"It's even more disappointing that someone who was elected to represent the entire state of Texas continues to spread negative rhetoric about cities such as El Paso - this doesn't just hurt our pride, it hurts our community and our state economically. As a result of the false information about El Paso and other border communities, businesses are less likely to move here, and tourists are more likely to spend their dollars elsewhere. When the Governor is misreporting that grenades are going off in a city, that doesn't bode well for the local tourism industry.
"The reality is that El Paso was named the Safest Large City in the United States' in 2010, just one year after San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas had the highest crime rates in the nation. In fact, last year, when El Paso reported just 7 murders, Perry's home city of Austin reported 37. Why isn't he talking about that?"