President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday in Texas about the immigration crisis, urging Congress to approve his request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending.
"The problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem. The challenge ... is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done?" Obama asked during a stop in Dallas.
"Are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem?"
They shook hands and then boarded Obama's helicopter for Dallas, where they met with faith leaders and local officials to discuss options for responding to the influx of young immigrants illegally entering the country.
When asked by a reporter to address those who say he should visit the border to witness the immigration crisis firsthand, the President said he wasn't interested in photo ops.
"There's nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on. This isn't theater. This is a problem," he said.
Discussions aren't enough for GOP critics or even some of Obama's fellow Democrats.
"This is a real crisis and the President needs to treat it as such and I think traveling from Dallas to the border is a 500-mile trip," Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told CNN. "That's not far to go on Air Force One."
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a possible GOP presidential nominee in 2016, called the situation similar to the much-disparaged federal response to Hurricane Katrina by the Bush administration.
"For him to go to Texas and spend two days shaking down donors and never even getting near the border mess he helped create would be like flying into New Orleans in the highest waters of Katrina to eat Creole cooking, but never getting near the Ninth Ward, the Superdome, or the Convention Center where thousands languished in squalor," Huckabee said.
Perry seized on a similar theme, saying the immigration crisis is no different than another natural disaster - Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
"The American people expect to see their President when there is a disaster," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan in an interview that aired Thursday. "He showed up at Sandy. Why not Texas?"