AUSTIN - Two men who have been at odds for months shook hands, smiled and talked with one another for 90 minutes Thursday.
President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump met for the very first time, in the Oval Office.
"We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds," said Obama.
Their peaceful meeting is what American democracy is made of; the start of the peaceful transition of power that makes the country so great.
"I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel," said Trump.
And a new day in Washington will also mean a new day in Texas.
"It's a dramatic change for us," said Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. "A dramatic change, for the positive."
As Patrick prepares the State House agenda, he believes it will align with Trump's. Both men are prioritizing border security and building a wall.
"We have to continue to be vigilant on our border. Now with this election we're finally going to have someone in the White House that will support a secure border, that will support border patrol to allow them to do their jobs... our tax payers have been sharing too much of that burden because the federal government has not been doing their job," said Patrick.
"I've been down to the border a lot, I've flown over the border a lot. The federal government started building a fence or a wall years ago and just stopped. You know they passed that law a long time ago, nothing's ever happened of any consequence," he added. "Here's the bottom line, and I don't know what their detailed plan will be and they're working on that too. We just have to secure the border and make it safe. And that will be a wall in some places, it will be an electronic wall in some places, it will be a natural barrier in some places. I was down in Big Bend not long ago. You know to cross the border you pay someone five bucks and get in a boat and it takes you about 20 seconds to cross. I mean in some places it's very easy and you need more protection. Other places, it's a bigger distance or quite more difficult."
Patrick said once illegal entry stops, the country can look at pathways to citizenship.
"The key is to stop the drugs, to stop the criminals from coming in. And then the other key, and I think Trump's really going to be able to accomplish this, we need legal immigration reform. No one should have to die to come to America. No one should have to sneak into America in the trunk of a car or the back of an 18-wheeler. No women should be raped or sexually assaulted as part of the bounty to get here. And people need to come here and live in dignity and not be in the shadows and be a part of our culture and a part of our country. And I think there's a real good chance we could have legal immigration reform and you have that on one side and you have border security on the other side and then you address this problem. We have a lot of bad people who want to come to this country. I'm not talking about people coming here for better life and, but I want them to come here legally. And they want to come here legally too. No one wants to sneak in the back door. They want to come in the front door," Patrick said. "This is going to be a big issue for the president and a great issue for the country and Texas."
"There are a lot of hardworking people who've been in this country for a long time that came here illegally and I don't think Americans want to kick them all out. But you can't address that issue, until you stop more people from coming in because the minute you say everyone here has some green card or some, you know, legal way to stay here, we're just going to be overrun with more people. All you have to do is get across the border. And secondly, everyone including all of our Hispanic folks here in Texas understands, if you grant citizenship to people who come here illegally or just say come here and you're a citizen, you're able to get all the benefits of everyone else, we'd de-value citizenship. How about all those people who have been in line? How about all those people who waited and properly became citizens? So there's a fairness question on that issue. Secondly, there's a practical question on it. But you address the people here, the law abiding people here who have been here for a long time after you secure the border. You've got to secure the border first. And once the American public feels confident about that, that we've really done a good job and it's hard to get into this country, then I think they're willing to address the rest of the issue and I think it will be addressed smartly."
Patrick said while border security and immigration are top priorities, there are other Texas issues that will be impacted by a Trump presidency.
"We're going to have to pass photo voter ID again this session because the Justice Department fought us on that issue and we had a very solid bill that was constitutional. We've just had to, to do so much work fighting with the federal government that we shouldn't have to do. Things like waivers on Medicaid and education funding and transportation funding. Donald Trump believes in block grants to states. We need our money back, let us spend our money the way we want to. It's like right now, I know a lot about a lot of things, and I don't' know a lot about a lot of things, but if you ask me to design the finance plan for education or healthcare in North Carolina or Virginia or Colorado, I wouldn't have a clue. I don't know anything about those states. They're best to do it. So why does Washington DC have a clue about how to do it for all 50 states? They don't but they try to tell us and all that's going to end under Trump."
Patrick is also confident relations between the state and the White House will improve.
"When Greg Abbott, our now governor, was attorney general he sued the Obama administration 31 times. I think Ken Paxton's already sued them about a dozen times. We spend so much time, energy and money in court, fighting the federal government, we shouldn't be doing that. The federal government should stay out of our business, that's what the constitution says, they're limited in their powers. We will now have the EPA off our back, we'll have the justice department off our back, we'll have the White House off our back. We'll have a president who embraces the oil and gas industry. We'll have a president who wants to secure the border. We'll have a president who supports school choice."
"I was the Chair of the Trump campaign for Texas, as you know, we have a friend in the White House."
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