POSTED: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 4:41pm
AUSTIN — Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that President Barack Obama should apologize for his Justice department's "insulting lawsuit" against a voter identification law in the Lone Star State.
Perry took a swing at U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Obama in a statement issued ahead of the president's campaign trip to Texas.
"Perhaps while the President is visiting Texas, he can take a break from big-dollar fundraisers to disavow his Attorney General's offensive and incendiary comments regarding our common-sense voter investigation law," Perry wrote in the statement.
Perry continued: "In labeling the Texas voter ID law as a 'poll tax,' Eric Holder purposefully used language designed to inflame passions and incite racial tension. It was not only inappropriate, but simply incorrect on its face."
"The president should apologize for Holder's imprudent remarks and for his insulting lawsuit against the people of Texas," Perry concluded.
Perry's comments come during a heated national debate over the validity of voter identification laws.
The Justice Department is challenging a Texas law that would have required voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot, a requirement that Holder says would disproportionally affect minorities.
On Monday, a panel in Washington reviewed Texas's request to uphold their voter identification law, which proponents say protects against voter fraud.
Holder told the NAACP last week that voter identification laws could be politically motivated, as it is thought the laws would help Republicans at the polls slightly more than Democrats.
On Tuesday, Obama will attend a luncheon in San Antonio hosted by the city's mayor Julian Castro, U.S. Rep. Charles Rodríguez and actress Eva Longoria, followed by a fund-raiser. Then he will speak at another event in Austin, also followed by fund-raiser, before heading back to Washington.