Rick Perry refuses offer to shake Obama's hand

If you're wondering about whether Perry is hoping to run for president in 2016, here's a hint

Published July 8, 2014 5:13PM (EDT)

Rick Perry                            (NBC News)
Rick Perry (NBC News)

Perhaps wary of experiencing his own Chris Christie moment, outgoing Texas governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Rick Perry has declined a White House offer to meet and greet President Obama when Air Force One lands in Austin on Wednesday.

According to the governor's office, Perry's team turned down the White House offer and requested the two men meet in private instead. Perry wants to talk about the increasing number of unaccompanied children who have come to the Texas-Mexico border in recent weeks. Discretion, you see.

In the interest of maintaing said discretion, Perry publicly released a letter to the president, responding to the greeting request. “I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Perry writes.

“I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue," he adds.

Recently, Perry insinuated that President Obama was intentionally allowing a crisis to brew along the border with Mexico, for reasons Perry was not inclined to explain further. "I have to believe that when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept, or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from," Perry said during an appearance on ABC this past weekend.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

MORE FROM Elias Isquith

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Barack Obama Border Chris Christie Election 2016 Immigration Mexico Rick Perry Texas