MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP/The Huffington Post) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry says he is open to sending American troops to Mexico to help battle drug cartels.
Perry, the Texas governor, likens the situation to Colombia, where the government accepted American military support in battling the war on drugs.
Perry says the current violence may require similar military action.
He often calls for more National Guard troops to help protect the Mexican border and stem the flow of illegal immigration. But Saturday's comments go further. They indicate he's open to deepening America's military involvement across the border.
Perry's comments came at a Saturday afternoon reception at the home of New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne.
A spokesman later clarified that Perry is open to all options to cooperate with Mexico.
It's not the first time Perry has raised the idea of sending U.S. troops across the border. He did so in a November 2010 interview with MSNBC as well.
"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."