Perry and Obama take a pass on meeting
May 10th, 2011
03:37 PM ET
4 years ago

Perry and Obama take a pass on meeting

(CNN) –Texas Gov. Rick Perry will not meet with President Obama Tuesday when he travels to the Lone Star State. Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks on immigration in El Paso and headline two fundraisers in Austin Texas, but he will not visit with the governor. And in a classic case of he-said, she-said, it's unclear who is refusing to meet with whom.

Perry has been outspoken about his displeasure with the president's refusal to sign a disaster declaration for the wildfire-plagued state and turned down an offer to meet Obama at the airport, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney.

He spoke of the administration's overtures toward the put-out Perry en route to Texas on Air Force One, saying, "We invited him to meet with the President and he declined the invitation. We have also, in the past, offered him a National Security Council briefing on immigration. He declined that as well."

But a spokesperson for the Republican governor, Elizabeth Frazier, offered a slightly different account.

"We tried to arrange something," she said. "The president had offered a greeting on the tarmac in El Paso. The governor was not able to do that."

"We did offer to meet or greet with him when he arrived in Austin for the fundraiser," she continued, "Or to arrange a tour over areas affected by the wildfire, and the White House declined."

When asked if the greeting in Austin was coupled with the tour, she said, "Either/or."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved 25 grants to assist the state of Texas with battling wildfires that have damaged an area greater than the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. But Perry insists the state needs a federal disaster declaration to clear the way for additional federal aid.

"Right now the governor's priority is the wildfire," Frazier affirmed.

"He believes the federal government should approve his request for federal disaster relief. Meeting with the president, that would have been a top priority. Meeting with him in Austin or a brief greeting, we did offer that or to arrange a tour."

CNN's Roland Martin contributed to this report.


Filed under: FEMA • President Obama • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. once upon a horse

    @ SOUTHERN HOTTIE...
    you're right I stay in the metro Houston area and although we have one major radio station that caters to the righties all freaking day long, not everybody here is a blind FoxNews follower.....this state at one time did have Ann Richards as a governor and I was she was still here now to be so again. In fact I thought I'd never say this but I would rather have GW Bush back than this moron we have in there now.

    May 10, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Laverne

    Ahh, is his feelings hurt because our government take-over socialist president did not sign his FEDERAL GOVERNMENT request. It must be tough getting your hands slapped by the one you initially rejected. Rick Perry should grow up and stop playing politics with the people of his state because there comes a time when you can't have your cake and eat it too!

    May 10, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Nancy5545

    Texans have stated frequently they do not want the Feds in their state. Be careful what you wish. for.

    May 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Perry, quit whining and secede already!

    May 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    What? the secessioniost fat boy doesn't want to meet with the President? There's news.
    Were perry's feelings hurt when he didn't get federal aid for a fire that was probably started by some hick's cigarette while doing whatever it is they do in texas?
    Oh poor, poor perry, NOT! This guy said that his state could take care of itself . . . . . . go for it arse hole!

    May 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    25 grants and Perry says he still needs more aid? Why not hit up all those oil companies that do business in your state? They've had record profits the last couple years AND receive BILLIONS in federal subsidies AND don't pay income tax.

    You looking for cash, Perry? Just call up your buds in the oil industry – I'm sure they'll help you out. (Or give Haliburton a jingle, too.)

    May 10, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Sleep Cycle

    Actually Dallas Austin San Antonio El Paso and Houston all voted for Obama. Fort Worth was the only major city in Texas that did not.

    May 10, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Person in Texas

    While many in Texas encourage a small federal government, as long as Texans send their tax dollars to Washington then we will be entitled to federal aid. Now if the federal government no longer wishes to tax Texans then we will no longer ask. Reality is that isn't going to happen. I do understand the federal governments position on proclaiming a disaster as majority of the land burned was not used for anything or even populated. Alabama didn't vote for Obama either, but got immediate aid because large amounts of structures were devastated. Also, Gov. Perry said many would want to secede if the federal government kept behaving irresponsibly in the nation's fiscal matters. He never announced Texas should secede and the majority at this point would rather not do so, as we are proud Americans too!

    May 10, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Here, Perry, I did a little research for you. All of these Fortune 500 corporations are based in Texas (this, according to Forbes):

    Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhilips, AT&T, Valero Energy, Dell, Marathon Oil, Sysco, Enterprise GP Holdings, AMR, Electronic Data Systems

    There's a 113 on the complete list, but I didn't think CNN would appreciate me naming them all here. You'll have to google them individually for their phone numbers (if they're not on your rolodex), but I'm sure they'd all be happy to pitch in and help out you and Texas.

    May 10, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Jim in San Mateo

    I wonder if the Governor's mother ever told him not to bite the hand that feeds him? You bad mouth the government, threaten to succeed, strip your citizens of the ability to make their lives better, teach religion in schools instead of logic, lower taxes to the point of no reserves, and NOW you come back to the Federal government trying to look like the prodigal son???

    If the President of the United States offers to meet with you, you accept his terms and drop everything you have going on and meet with him. PERIOD. No excuses! And no petty politics. Remember that you represent ALL of the people of Texas first and not the Republican Party, or DID YOU FORGET THAT???

    May 10, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Peter Schatz

    This is the governor that threatens to secede. This is the governor that thinks Texas should go it alone untill he doesn't think Texas should go it alone. Wahoo, cowboy, why don't you just ride off into the sunset.

    May 10, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Texas Dem

    Yes, Perry is an idiot. Yes, he's being hypocritical. But an entire state shouldn't be left to burn because of his stupid comments. If Obama's refusal of funds is because of Perry's big mouth instead of legitimate policy reasons, then he's making a decision out of spite and not making a valid presidential decision.

    I'm not sure people are aware of how bad the situation really is. I live in Houston, hundreds of miles away from these fires, and we haven't had any rain in at least two months - not even a shower coming up off of the Gulf. My family has about two hundred acres of ranchland out near West Texas that has been in our family for almost a hundred years, and it's starting to come into the danger zone. Ranching is vital to West Texas, and a lot of people have already lost everything. Bottom line: it's not just a couple of little fires. It has been seven large wildfires that have been destroying large parts of our state.

    I'm a proud Democrat, and I am definitely not a Rick Perry fan. Never voted for him, never will vote for him, have and always will be involved in the campaigns of candidates who take him on. But there are a lot of good people in Texas, and to say that an entire state deserves this because of one politician's big mouth is insensitive and disrespectful.

    May 10, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Republican Robber Baron

    Good. Perry is a right-wing nut. No point in even bothering to have a discussion with a clown like Perry.

    May 10, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Rosslaw

    I think President Obama should not interfere with God's plan to burn Texas to the ground. Amen.

    May 10, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Rick in AZ

    Perry is a petulant cry baby. Remember "State"s Rights" means State's Resonsibility.

    May 10, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Independent4891

    Ha. Classic situation of Tea Party extreme Republicans that can't keep their platform straight. I thought he wanted LESS GOVERNMENT. The federal government is already paying for most of the relief and he wants more "give aways" as many of the uneducated Tea Party zombies say. Republicans want less government, yet they want the government telling people they can't marry or have abortions. I would expect nothing less from these idiots.

    May 10, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Roscoe

    How can he take time to meet with the president when there's a rumor floating that Bristol is knocked up again. He's got to stay glued to the tube or computer to see who the father is.

    May 10, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. kayla

    from the cradle to the grave, why must we all behave like children?

    May 10, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Obama couldn't care less about the TX wildfires........TX isn't a Dem state!

    May 10, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Bill

    Does the pres. use government owned and operated planes on these campaign missions? If so, does he reimburse us (the owners) for the true cost of that privilege? What about security and other traveling expenses? Are we footing the bill for those as well?

    May 10, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. FormerGOP

    As a person who lives in Texas, I would not meet with Rick, so why would the President?!

    May 10, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. kakaraka

    Texas Dem, what don't you understand? The article said Texas received 25 grants from the federal government to cover 75% of the wildfire cost. Do you need more? Crazy like Perry.

    May 10, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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