Bachmann to sign “pledge” on border security

A South Carolina man who heads “Americans for Securing the Borders” is in Perry, Iowa, this morning to witness Michele Bachmann putting her John Hancock on a huge piece of paper.  She’s holding a campaign event here to sign a pledge. By signing this one, Bachmann is promising that she will secure the border if she’s elected president.

Van Hipp, chairman of  Americans for Securing the Borders, told me in an interview that too many candidates have paid mere “lip service” to the issue.  “Nothing really gets done,” Hipp said. “We believe by having a pledge like this it really is the best way to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire so we’re calling on all federal candidates for president, for senate and for the House to sign the pledge to secure the border of this country and to make America safer.”

According to Hipp, the group issued this “pledge” challenge in the “past week or so” and Bachmann is the first presidential candidate to sign it.  “The first one with the backbone to step up to the plate and get serious about this is Michele Bachmann,” Hipp said.

I asked if his group had heard from the Perry campaign (it hasn’t) and I specifically asked whether Rick Perry’s support for the Texas policy which grants a college tuition break to illegal immigrants in some way “disqualifies” Perry on the immigration issue.

“We want him to sign the pledge,” Hipp said. “…We are looking forward to the other candidates signing the pledge as well.”

Bachmann is due to appear in the Hotel Patee’s ballroom soon for the pledge-signing event.  (UPDATE: Here’s a live blog from the event, plus two follow up posts here — she finally said “Governor Perry” at the 55 minute mark — and here.)

Another UPDATE: When I asked Hipp where he was from, he told me he was from South Carolina. Hipp used to be chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party (in the late 1980s). He is currently working in D.C. as a consultant.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.