Rick Perry Receives Chilly Response at Latino Leaders Conference

Jun 24, 2011 12:11am

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz (@ArletteSaenz)reports: Texas Governor Rick Perry received a chilly response at a conference for elected and appointed Latino officials in San Antonio Thursday while he promoted his job growth agenda and attempted to stress the importance of diversity. 

As Perry touted the diversity within the government of Texas, he joked it was perfect to appoint Jose Cuervas to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission because his name sounds like the tequila brand Jose Cuervo. The joke fell flat with the largely Hispanic crowd, but Perry continued to describe Texas as a land of opportunity.

“You have a role model you can look up to, someone who proves that any obstacle can be overcome,” Perry said at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference. “That is especially true for a Hispanic child in Texas.”

Texas is nearing the end of its special legislative session, and state officials are debating a bill which would ban “sanctuary cities” in the state.

Protestors gathered outside the hotel where the governor spoke and some linked Perry’s plan that would permit local law enforcement officials to inquire about a person’s immigration status to the controversial immigration law in Arizona.

“We don’t want to be another Arizona in Texas, and it seems like we’re heading in that same direction,” one protestor said. 

Perry also visited a Boeing manufacturing facility in San Antonio where he touted his economic initiatives in Texas but offered no indication of a run for president.

The Associated Press and KSAT-TV contributed to this report.

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