Texas Gov. Rick Perry waves to the crowd Sunday in Eldridge at a fundraiser for Mariannette Miller-Meeks, candidate for Congress in Iowa's 2nd District.


Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the Iraqi militants who are threatening that country's stability need to be "stamped out" and that President Barack Obama needs to keep all his options open.

Perry, who was in Eldridge on Sunday, said he didn't want to send ground troops to Iraq, but that the militant group known as ISIS, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is a real threat.

The president authorized air strikes late last week, but the administration has said it has no intention of sending in ground troops.

Perry, who is finishing up his last term as the governor of Texas and is considering a bid for president in 2016, said all options should be on the table.

"I do think it was the right thing for him to use the air power. I think you keep your options open, whatever is required to keep ISIS from being a clear and present danger," Perry told reporters on Sunday. "When you think about Israel, when you think about Jordan, when you think about that area and our allies, it is very important that we stamp out ISIS."

He added ISIS is capable of "substantial destruction."

Perry is one of a number of potential 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls who have been to the state in the last week, many of them supporting 2014 Republican candidates.

Perry appeared along with a number of potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates Saturday night at the Family Leader's summit, an important gathering of social conservatives.

He appeared not only at the Eldridge fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks, but he also helped raise money for GOP state Senate hopeful Brian Schmidt in Grand Mound on Sunday. He said he'd make a decision about running for president next year.

Miller-Meeks is running against 2nd District incumbent Dave Loebsack.

In Eldridge, Perry renewed calls for a more sharply limited federal government, saying states know best how to deal with education, health care and transportation. He got a rousing cheer when he said the federal government should secure the border.

"As I told the president some weeks ago, and he's seen it now in action and not just in words, if Washington cannot secure that border with the United States and Mexico, Texas will. And that's what we're doing," he said.

Perry last month ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, a move critics have called a publicity stunt.