(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will not attend the Palmetto Freedom Forum of GOP candidates Monday night, sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint, and will instead return to Texas to deal with the wildfires in the state, DeMint and the Perry campaign told CNN.
The South Carolina senator's office said they learned of Perry's plans not to attend the Columbia, South Carolina event Monday morning.
"The Governor is in close contact with emergency operations officials regarding fires in Texas, including calls with his emergency management chief this morning," Perry's campaign communications secretary Ray Sullivan told CNN. "Governor Perry is cancelling the remainder of his South Carolina schedule today (including DeMint Fourm) and his California schedule tomorrow in order to return to Texas ASAP."
Six declared presidential candidates, including Perry were scheduled to participate in the Forum, led by DeMint, a leading voice in the tea party movement.
Perry will now fly back to Texas after participating in a town hall in Conway, South Carolina Monday morning. He has also canceled a trip to California Tuesday, according to Mark Miner, national press secretary for the campaign.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
He has to fly back to Texas to pray for rain, otherwise only South Carolina would benefit from the holy cloud waters.
better hurry up and get that photo op.
Gosh darned it – he aint cumming
Perry will just worsen the situation in Texas by all the hot air drivel that comes out his mouth.
Perry does not like to debate. He refused to debate in the last govenors campaign. Its only a matter of time before this fraud crumbles...in a presidential campaign you debate...period. btw...the fires are a second rate excuse....we have had fires in texas all summer
He's going to go pray them out. I wonder why he waited so long.
The fires in Texas have been on going for a few months before Perry announced his bid for the presidency...I have to laugh, DeMint has been dissed and Perry is a coward!
Reason Given by Perry for not attending DeMint's little Conservative Radical Grilling is a Total Lie – now that details of the questions to be asked have come out, Perry has decided to avoid this minefield. He will try to avoid as many public debates as possible, because he will not do well when pushed for answers that he is not comfortable answering. And his rather shallow intellectual attributes would likely be visible for all to see.
My prediction for 2012 Presidential Race – Romney & Palin vs Obama & Clinton (Joe Biden will be Secretary of State)
Cowardly cop-out!! Unless you have a red cape and blue tights, Perry, the "help" you can offer is non-existant! Don't want your Teapublican base to see for the fraud you are, do you?
Gee, Mr Parry, you have had wild fires in your state of TX all summer. Why the need to return now? Could the word tea party mean anything???????
Can we really afford another Texas governor that was a college cheerleader?
Well, knowing that he isn't very good at debating, this isn't that surprising that he find any excuse to not attend. That's not to diminished the tragedy about the fire going on. Betting he will be back on the road the day after the debates as if never happened.
What can you expect from Perry – he is a runaway guy. He hardly confronted in opponents in his debates when he ran for governor. He will give any excuse under the sun that he can come up with.
Let's see how many GOP debates he participates in.
If he speaks, he will loose.
Well.Well!! Mr. Perry is finally going to do the job he was elected to do-work on the problems facing his state!!
Mr. Perry chickened-out.
Poor tea party.
I thought a candidate for president should be a multi-tasker. I think he is not prepared.
I wonder how Gov. Perry will feel about federal help as this goes on?
Perry is a radical right wing TP'er, but you won't hear much about that. What you will hear from the democrats will be a thousand refrains of "Just Like W!". Truth is, the biggest difference between Perry and W is that Perry is even more hard-core than W on almost everything. As a local pundit put it, "more like W than W."
Perry is morally bankrupt. Its great to see him dodge this opportunity for Americans to see what a hypocrite he is. Its just a delaying tactic. Eventually everyone will know.
Wow – maybe PERRY reads CNN Tickers!!! That was the complaint of most bloggers – "Why isn't he in Texas taking care of his state that is burning to the ground?"
["He is in contact with emergency operations personnel and others on the ground in fire-effected Texas communities," Sullivan said.]
Yes – that's all good – But President Obama "cannot" monitor situations while on vacation or campaigning!!! The RIGHT screamed at him about going on vacation when they all knew damn well President Obama can "chew gum and walk at the same time."
Well it's about time Perry is even "mentioning" the situation in Texas and going home. All during his campaigning, he never mentioned the fires or what he is doing about it. The fires in Texas were burning for weeks – months?
There is nothing he can do in Texas that he could not do in South Carolina... Short of going down to the fire lines, he should have stayed in touch and on the trail.
He's gonna ask for federal aid under the table. Let the oil companies slip him some more money to fight the fires, he's already in their pocket.
Going to pee on the fire? What use is HE???? Maybe he needs to beg for more federal money that he can deny taking.
You know what? After reading some of the blogs here, many have pointed out the TRUTH about Perry. It's NOT the fires in Texas he is concerned about – it's NOT attending DEBATES. I guarantee you, he just might not show up for the MSNBC debate on Wednesday either!!! Palin and Perry – the two Ps in the POD – Run from Debates, Run!!!! Maybe P will pick P as his running mate and then the SAME nightmare begins that occurred in 2008!!! Ahhhhgggghhhhh!!!!!!
It is not a big surprse that the East coast news organization has the Texas fires described as brush fires. I am in the middle of it and 400 homes have also been distroyed. It is on every news station in the Austin Tx area. I saw a news story about a storm tracker that ran into a tornado. Oh yes East coast somewhere. Rick Perry leaving some GOP speech thing to come home and monitor He should have been here yesterday.
HERE IS THE NEWS STORY. 400 HOMES DISTROYED. THE FIRE IN BASTROP TEXAS IS 16 MILES LONG AND 6 MILES WIDE.THAT FIRE IS THE BIG ONE. THE ENTIRE AREA AROUND AUSTIN HAS OTHER DISTRUCTIVE FIRES.
Selective news selection.