Omar Villafranca, NBCDFW.com
You've seen Gov. Rick Perry's border security ad, but are the points it makes fact or fiction?
What is Spin Check? As part of our coverage of Decision 2010 and the elections that affect Texas we put political ads to the test.
This time, we'll put Rick Perry's "Border" ad through the Spin Check. The ad features Perry walking around a rugged landscape with a law enforcement official. It also features news clips of Perry greeting President Barack Obama at the airport in Austin, during the president's August visit.
Here's the text of the ad with Perry's voice:
"Securing our border is Washington's responsibility, but it's Texas' problem.
I recently confronted Barack Obama with detailed steps on how to reduce drug cartel violence along the border.
Texas has spent 230 million dollars for border law enforcement, technology and aircraft, so Texas Rangers, SWAT teams and military forces can rapidly respond to violence along our border.
Until Washington gets serious, Texas will fight to make our border safe.
Securing our future. Gov. Rick Perry."
Let's dissect the line where Perry says "I recently confronted Barack Obama with detailed steps on how to reduce drug cartel violence along the border."
It's TRUE that Perry did have a letter addressed to Obama in his pocket and reached for it when the president stepped off Air Force One. The letter, seen here, did talk about recent examples of border violence, called the federal government's response to border security "insufficient" and asked the president (again) for 1,000 National Guard troops to secure the Texas/Mexico border.
But it's FALSE that Perry "confronted Barack Obama." In fact, he handed the letter to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Perry told Austin reporters "Oh, we talked. I think we discussed the weather. 'Welcome to Texas, sorry it's so hot, sir,' and he said, 'It's hot everywhere.'" But Perry did mention that he wasn't happy that he didn't get a chance to talk one-on-one with the commander-in-chief on Texas' border security issues.
Perry's ad also said the state has spent $230 million for border law enforcement, including funding for aircraft and technology. That statement is TRUE, as the state has used on the money on such things such as border cameras.
What the ad doesn't mention is that some federal stimulus dollars have gone to border security. Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman in the governor's office, said $45 million in federal stimulus dollars received by Texas was spent on border security since the last legislative session. Those funds are separate from the original $230 million sum mentioned in the ad.