Perry: 'I Said, Mr. President, I Really Want You to Come and See This'

By Susan Jones | July 10, 2014 | 6:28 AM EDT

President Barack Obama attends a meeting about the border and immigration with local elected officials and faith leaders, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, second from left, in Dallas, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

( - Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the "first thing" he said to President Obama when they met in Dallas on Wednesday was that he "needs to come to the border to see it himself."

"I said, Mr. President, I said, I really want you to come and see this because, I said, this is important for you to absorb as a father, but more importantly as the president of the United States, to see the humanitarian crisis and to also understand how you can move the border patrol forward, away from the 45 miles or so back they are today, to be right on the border, to see what the (Texas) Department of Public Safety is doing with our gunboats in the river to stop the criminal activity that's going on.

"That's what the president needs to see. He needs to understand instinctively and intuitively and with his own two eyes what's going on on that border."

Perry, speaking to Fox News's Sean Hannity Wednesday night, said he's been warning the Obama administration since 2009 about the need to secure the border. And it can be done, he insisted:

"You can secure the border. And that's what I shared with him today. I said, Mr. President, you can secure the border. We've done it. We'll show you how to do it. And -- but I said, you really can't do it unless you allow the National Guard to come in and to play a very prominent and visible role, move that Border Patrol.

Perry said he's "not sure the president understood" that the Border Patrol checkpoints are set up 40 to 45 miles from the actual border -- more focused on "apprehension" than "prevention."

"Mr. President, if you care about securing the border, you can direct the DOD to make those 1,000 National Guard troops available, and that would send the powerful message. You want to send some symbolic messages down to Central America and say, you no longer can send your kids up here because they can't get in."

Perry said he doesn't understand Obama's "pushback" that Congress must pass a $3.7 billion supplemental spending bill before the National Guard is deployed.

"It's one of the reasons I want him to come to the border, because I think he really needs to see how the interaction with these different law enforcements and the addition of the National Guard could secure that border. And I think if the president would see that with his own eyes, then he would act on it. You can't talk about it. You have to act, Mr. President. That's what leadership is."

Perry said Obama's request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending "isn't about securing the border," because less than $100 million of it goes to border security.

"It doesn't work," he said.

Perry said a thousand National Guard troops could be deployed "in 30 days, actually have them in place.

"And the message would be overpowering back to Central America that you no longer can put your kid on a train, put them on a bus, send them up with a coyote and have them come into the United States because that border is now secure."