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Rick Perry backtracks on 'heartless' comment

In an evening that Rick Perry stood out for the way he fell down during last week's Orlando debate, the Republican presidential candidate had one moment of clarity: When he said that people did not "have a heart" for opposing college tuition breaks for some children of illegal immigrants.

It was a strong statement from a governor who prides himself on strong statements.

No more, according to NewsMax: Presidential candidate Rick Perry on Wednesday apologized for saying that anyone who opposed giving tuition breaks to the children of illegal immigrants “did not have a heart.”

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, the Texas governor said he had made a poor choice of words during the Sept. 22 presidential debate, but he stood by his view that the decision in his state to extend tuition breaks was the right one.

“I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate,” Perry admitted. “In Texas in 2001 we had 181 members of the legislature – only four voted against this piece of legislation – because it wasn’t about immigration it was about education.”


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B. Samuel Davis

Perry is done. NOTHING gets a conservative angrier than illegal immigration - in fact, the issue goes across party lines. It's a visceral issue, and when you come down to it, it is why Bush ended up with a low polls at the end.

Perry won't read this, but he should understand that the American people aren't with him on his stand on immigration. There ave VERY Republicans who can vote for someone who is soft on immigration.

Perry is gone, yesterdays news - go back to being Governor, and learn something about America, and people in your own party.

because with that stand on immigration, you will NEVER be President - NEVER.


Perry is an alright governor but should not be President. He doesn't have his head around foreign policy and he is too beholden to corporate interests in making policy decisions.

Romney/Rubio 2012 or Romney/Cain 2012


Yes, the man clearly has no idea what a " hot button " issue, particularly in this economic climate, the immigration is.
I also believe he is done.


Im a Perry fan, but he turned me off something fierce by saying i dont have a heart. I wont check him off yet, but I completely disagree with his position on immagration....we'll see how things go, but now i'm leaning toward Cain.

Carlos (R)


George W. Perry is a TEA PARTY FAKE, dumber, less sincere, GWB KNOCKOFF. OBAMA '12 HAS SAID THEY'RE PRAYING TO FACE HIM & WITH GOOD REASON. They'll obliterate GWP in a general.



I live in a border state (AZ) and I am still considering Perry for my vote so no Perry is not gone (despite your protestation). First, I will pick the candidate based upon their stands on ALL the issues, not just one. Second, I think Perry has spent more time than anyone except perhaps the AZ governor on immigration. I want to hear how he arrived at his viewpoints. I do believe the issue of education is a state issue (not an illegal immigration issue) so I am not concerned if Texas chooses differing treatment regarding who it covers for education than AZ.


Rick Santorum made the exact point I had made to my husband after the first debate with Perry talking about this. It is not that we WON'T educate them, we just won't subsidize. There are citizen's kids who would love to go to a Texas school but can't because they can't afford out of state tuition. The federal government sends money to colleges and universities so, in effect, everyone is paying for illegals in Texas to get subsidized tuition. This is wrong and show stopper for me.

Thomas Eudy

In Plyler v. Doe(1982)the United States Supreme Court struck down a Texas statute that denied funding for education to illegal aliens and simultaneously struck down a municipal school district's attempt to charge illegal immigrants an annual $1,000 tuition fee for each illegal alien student to compensate for the lost state funding. Therefore these student have a residency right to a free education K-12. The Texas legislature voted 177 to 4 to extend residency to these students. It passed overwhelmingly because the Supreme Courts intent was to limit discrimination(equal protection clause, 14th amendment)to access to an education. Thanks.

Clawhammer Jake

Perry may be good enough for a bottom-tier state like Texas, but he is not good enough for the US.

Big Tent GOPer

Huntsman / Cain 2012.


I am probably one of the few people that watched this entire interview... all 17 painful minutes.

Whoever on his staff approved this interview should be fired because it was, #1 in a hotel room? #2 THE INTERVIEWER'S MUSTACHE! #3 in a hotel room #4 Am i the only one that noticed there was something weird going on with Perry's hair?

Not to mention that Perry, once again, looks like a deer in the head lights... slow to answer and not really articulate at all.

"“I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate" - YOU DON'T SAY?

Romney/Christie 2012


Anybody who wants to have our leaders be people who do not stick to their guns, and would rather have someone who agrees with everything they say is just shallow. Romney is not a conservative, he is pro-life one day, pro-choice the next. He will sell you anything to get a vote, and I will never support him. A recent poll shows Perry and Romney head to head, Perry beats him by 30 points. Look, Perry's views on Immigration are practical, and the right way to go. If Republicans believe that they can win the election against Obama without getting at least 40% of Latino vote, you have not paid any attention to the results of the last ten elections. Plus, in the future we will have to appeal even more. Perry stands by his views, and this is not the way Romney is. There is a reason the establishment Republicans and liberals want Romney, because Romney is one of those east coast wall street republicans. He is more of the same, and for this I will never support him. He has a Moron problem that no one is talking about. He has said over and over through the years that his health care law is right for the whole nation.


Thank you so much for posting this interview with Rick Perry. It reaffirms my support for Gov. Perry. He is clearly the best choice for 2012.

As for Romney - I would rather stay home next election than vote for the father of Obama Care! Romney has been running for office for 20 years and has only been elected once. That should tell you how the voters feel about that flippity floppy flim-flam man.


I am a native Texan and I don’t think there is a person in my state who wants the border closed more than Rick Perry. Perry has petitioned the national government over and over to seal the border, but the national government refuses to do so. This leaves Rick Perry to deal with the situation in Texas as it is, not as he would like it to be. Rick Perry has no right to deport illegal aliens. When Arizona tried to deal with the illegals, Obama sued them. As for Perry’s realization that building a fence will not solve the problem, he is correct. He says “put boots on the ground.” Mexican drug cartels have already dug tunnels under the border and what would keep them from digging under the fence? Texans own land along the border and they complained bitterly that a fence would deprive them of parts of their land, their cattle grazing areas, seal them off from the Rio Grande, and end other uses for their own land. There is a major national park along that border…Big Bend National Park. Maybe folks living away from the border don’t realize the fancy tunnels that cartels have dug with sealed walls, air conditionaing and lighting, etc. They start these tunnels under buildings in Mexico and dig them until they come out under buildings in the U.S. I wonder how many folks living in states away from the border know that Mexican students outnumber Anglo students in my hometown of Houston. The law (that Perry did not pass) makes children born in America citizens even when their parents aren’t. The idea that these youngsters would be given free college educations is false. They do live in Texas and the legislature voted to give them instate tuition to college if they fulfill all of the requirements, such as attending Texas schools at least three years, make grades required for college entrance and probably many other requirements I don’t know of. Instate tuition for Texas colleges is not cheap and these students would have student loans to pay off just as other college students. That $100,000 free figure mentioned in the debate is baloney. And Romney made it a point to mention tuition at the University of Texas. Most of these students are attending community colleges because tuition is not the only college expense. I hate to see the misconceptions that Romney managed to spread at that Florida debate. He simply was out to knock Perry out of first place in the polls. If it took deception, he didn’t mind.

I have stated that I would vote for whomever is the Republican candidate, but after watching the debates, I think I would have to hold my nose to vote for Romney. He is as cocky and self-centered as Obama. Those snotty "Nice try" comments grated on my nerves. He may have $810 million dollars, but that shouldn't cause him to be so obnoxious. He shouldn't be able to buy the election. I hope Romney is not the candidate.


Great interview. In the next debate, if Perry can articulate his points as well as he did in this interview, he can make a comeback. He still has my vote over the flip-floppin Romney.


I think all illegals should be deported, even the ones that were smuggled in as kids. Once they are home those that truly love this country and are not simply motivated by money could apply for admission by the regular legal visa process. Really innocent youngsters, e.g. those raised in this country from a young age and with good English and no criminal record, could be given high priority in the visa cue. For example, their status could be equal to the special priority we give to the wife or husband of an american citizen. That is about as far as I would be ready to go in the way of helping adjust the status of illegals. In the vast majority of cases I have absolutely no sympathy for them regardless of ho long they have been here. If we would just concentrate some police resources on preventing cross-border smuggling of children, then these sad situation would never happen. We should also try to catch and remove as many of these kids as possible when they first try to register for school.


Governor Perry's experience as a border state governor equips him to bring realistic perspectives to the table regarding the illegal immigration issue. He acknowledged his respect for each state's decision about in-state tuition for children of illegals. This issue should not be critical at the national level, especially given the Governor's strong stance on border security.

One way to create jobs is through the energy sector. This governor is strategically positioned to lead on this issue. His knowledge reaches beyond the Texas oil fields.

He has a heart for Texas but also for the US.

Go Perry Go! Don't look back!


I got a kid that loves the University of Texas, but he would have to pay out of state tuition. That isn't fair, and it isn't right to put illegals ahead of US citizens! Remember 9/11? Most if not all of those terrorists were illegals! Do we want to subsidize their education also? I'm for legal immigration! Let them come if:

1. The jobs are available.
2. They love this country.
3. They are not a criminal.

Craig in Texas

I for one am happy that the Republicans have a large field from which to choose at this point. To me, Perry appears to be attacking Romney's character rather than drawing distinctions between their policies. I grow tired of the polotics of personal destruction. I am not sold on Romney either.

Someone earlier said Romey has a Mormon problem. That shouldn't be an issue. I am a Southern Baptist and can look beyond this. He is running for President of our country not the SBC.

Finally, having said all this, the Perry/Romney drama has resulted in looking at other options. Having watched all three major debates to this point, I will take a more serious look at Cain.

Craig in Texas

One other comment, I like most do not have a problem so much with illegals attending Texas universities. I don't believe that 1) they should not get a tuition breaks, 2) they shouldn't receive any government assistance, and 3) they should be required to meet the same criteria for attendance that all other students that apply for our colleges must meet.

Rals P.




@Craig - I fully agree, I think the government should help its residents first, then illegals who are contributing to the society.


I personally took the boos as heartless...this bill protects my grandson...very ANGLO...NOT ONE SHRED OF ANYTHING BUT US CITIZEN BLOOD OF GENERATIONS MOSTLY DATING BACK TO THE FOUNDING OF THE US OR PRIOR. His dad is in Taiwan...mom in S.C. He wanted to remain in Texas and will be attending A&M...this bill allows us to pay...in state rates for a kid born in Texas...raised his entire life here...otherwise his residence follows mom and dad...he is undocumented. Please see further...

http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/undocumented/3education.html .

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