Texas Gov. Rick Perry, soon to be the leader of the Republican Governors Association, continued his argument Thursday that the federal government needed to halt their intervention in the private sector and refocus their energy toward securing the border -- even if that means sending U.S. troops into Mexico.
While pushing his small government economic message on issues such as the auto industry and social security during an interview with MSNBC, Perry seemed to express a willingness to massively increase the U.S. military's involvement in foreign affairs by deploying American forces across the southern border to fight in the Mexican drug war.
"I think we have to use every aspect of law enforcement that we have including the military. I think we have the same situation as we had in Colombia. Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them," Perry said. "But the fact of the matter is these are people who are highly motivated with money, they are vicious, they are armed to the teeth, and I want to see them defeated. And any means that we can to run these people off our border and to save Americans' lives we need to be engaged in."
Perry has long painted the issue of border security as an existential threat to American citizens living along the border, and one that is not adequately being addressed by the federal government.
In August, Perry publicly announced that he was dispatching a squad of Texas Rangers to the border in order to cover this alleged security deficiency.
A poll conducted around the same time found that 87.5 percent of residents living in border cities from California to Texas "felt safe as they drove and walked in their neighborhoods." Under 10 percent said they did not.