Perry open to sending US troops to Mexico

STEVE PEOPLES - Associated Press
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Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaks during a 2012 presidential campaign event Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said Saturday that he is open to sending American troops to Mexico to help battle drug cartels.

Perry, the Texas governor, likened the situation to Colombia, where the government accepted American military support in battling drug trafficking. Mexico's government, however, has been opposed to foreign forces in its territory.

Perry saids the current violence may require similar military action.

"It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and keep them off of our borders," he said.

Perry often has called for more National Guard troops to help protect the Mexican border and stem the flow of illegal immigration. But Saturday's comments go further. They indicate he's open to deepening America's military involvement across the border.

Perry's comments came at a Saturday afternoon reception at the home of New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne.

A spokesman later clarified that Perry is open to all options to cooperate with Mexico.