Texas Gov. Rick Perry is already making headlines for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme, defending executions under the state's death penalty and challenging the science behind climate change.
But what El Pasoans will likely remember most from his first GOP presidential debate on Wednesday is his mention of their city as he challenged President Barack Obama's insistence that the border is safer than ever before.
"For the president of the United States to go to El Paso, Texas and say that the border is safer than it's ever been, either he has some of the poorest intel of a president in the history of this country or he was an abject liar to the American people," Perry said. "It is not safe on that border."
The comment further angered El Paso leaders who say they are constantly battling misconceptions that the border city is not safe. The city has consistently ranked among the safest in the country and last year was named the safest large city in the United States by CQ Press, an independent research organization.
"It's incredibly frustrating to have the governor of our state use the national stage to denigrate our community," El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said. "We are not unsafe. Every time he says that, it hurts us."
Perry did not specifically say El Paso was unsafe in his comment but city leaders say the statement simply adds to others he has made that create misconceptions about El Paso.
Last year, Perry incorrectly stated on national television that bombs were exploding in El Paso. The comment came shortly after a car bomb was set off in Cuidad Juárez, the Mexican city that shares a border with El Paso.
"I'm starting to believe that he wishes we were unsafe," Escobar said in a Facebook post.