PolitiFact: Rick Perry's “Pants on Fire” Lie About Border Crime Rates

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The Austin American-Statesman's PolitiFact site has rated Rick Perry's latest claims on border crime rates as “pants on fire” false. From their story, “Gov. Rick Perry says his border security efforts led to 60-percent drop in crime along Texas-Mexico border“:

Perry's claim that his border security efforts have led to a 60 percent drop in crime doesn't hold water. The calculation he touts doesn't consider crimes committed in cities and towns where most border residents live. It also compared two calendar quarters rather than weighing years' worth of data.

Crime may have temporarily subsided in some rural areas of the border region.

However, it's not clear how much of any decline can be traced to the state's investment in security.

We rate Perry's sweeping statement based on an unreasonable manipulation of crime statistics — the second instance of his administration touting questionable border crime numbers — as Pants on Fire.

Rick Perry's lies will continue coming throughout the campaign — great work by the Statesman on holding his feet to the fire on this outrageous claim. We look forward to their continued new work throughout the coming months, as they redefine fact-check journalism in Texas.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Bill White needs to worry about the Houston Chronicle…

    The Houston Chronicle is good at fact-checking as well. I guess they were planning on endorsing Kay Bailey Hutchison in the general election and no one has bothered to tell them she lost.

    You can add Barnett Shale to the list of two word summations of reasons why people won't vote for Bill White. Bill Clinton. Vinson & Elkins. Issam Fares.

    And of course Annise Parker is about to axe his Metro board. The Perry campaign will love that. Along with the financials of the city of Houston as fall rolls around.

    Maybe we will see a Democratic governor in 2014. Maybe in 2018. Definitely not 2010.  

  2. Rick is right
    He is using Obamathmatics.

    Crime rates are way down compared to what they would have been if we did nothing.  You know the whole Saved Or Created chapter in Obamanomics 101

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