August 9th, 2010
12:31 PM ET
12 years ago

White a no-show, but Perry greeting Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Bill White, the former Houston mayor, won't attend a rally with Obama on Monday."]Updated with White House response

(CNN) - President Obama is in Texas Monday in part to raise money for his party's candidates, but the Democrat vying to win the state's top office is nowhere to be seen.

Former Houston mayor and current gubernatorial candidate Bill White is campaigning in Midland and west Texas Monday. He told reporters last week the events had long been scheduled and that his "disciplined" campaign rarely changes events. He said no disrespect was intended to the president.

White's busy day comes a week after the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia, Roy Barnes, also cited a scheduling conflict for missing the president's fundraising visit to Atlanta.

The Dallas Morning News said that after a Fort Worth appearance Friday, White was asked about being too closely aligned with Obama. White said, "I really don't think about stuff like that. I don't use national figures as surrogates for me. I tend to campaign for myself."

But the paper said he avoided a question about the president's job performance, saying, "I generally don't give running commentary on other levels of government."

Meanwhile, White's Republican opponent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, will be on hand to greet Air Force One when he lands in Austin. A Perry spokesperson told reporters Perry will use his brief conversation with Obama to discuss immigration issues.

UPDATE: On Air Force One en route to Texas, White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters President Obama did not take White's decision as an insult.

"I don't think that there has never been a president in the history of this great country who has been wanted by every single candidate across the country to come and campaign for them," Burton said.

"I don't think that it says anything broadly about the resident's coattails," he added. "I think it says that Bill White had something else going on today that he would rather do than campaign with the president."

UPDATE 2: Gov. Perry clapped as the President came down the steps of Air Force One at Bergstrom International Airport in Austin. The two shook hands, with the president grapsing Perry on the right arm. The pool reporter on the ground reported Perry pulled a letter out of suit pocket, handing it to senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. Their conversation lasted just a few seconds.

UPDATE 3: Perry's office released a copy of the four-page letter to the president, which covered immigration and border security issues. Perry called the deployment of National Guard troops to the border so far "clearly insufficient". He wrote, "I respectfully but urgently request that the federal government quickly deploy 1,000 troops to the Texas-Mexico border, as well as additional law enforcement tools and technology. We must show the cartels that Washington will no longer tolerate their terrorizing and criminalizing the border region."

Filed under: Bill White • President Obama
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. ConstitutionalPatriot

    They are all the same you idiots! Democrats and Republicans are just two seperate wings of the same beast designed to divide and conquer the masses through the use of divisive issues that will never be resolved. Wake up people they all serve the central bankers, corporate elite, and military industrial complex! That's why Obummer hasn't brought the troops home! The bankers haven't made enough on the wars yet so he doesn't get the nod to bring em home. If we were a more intelligent and thoughtful society Ron Paul would be president and we would proudly be able to say the wars ended a year and a half ago. Obummer=Bush's third term! Wake up America! Commonsense folks of all political affiliations have to come together to end this hijacking of our government and country!

    August 9, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. ABM

    What has this country come to? It is plain foolish to disrespect the office and position of the President. Just because he happens to not be 100% white this country has turned on it's ugly head and you see this behavior. What grade are you in?

    There is NO excuse to not be there. Good thing you are not in my state – you would brag it down with your horrible sense of judgement.

    August 9, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Marge

    Hmm guess those who MIGHT have voted for this crumb will now change their mind. If he gives in to the few nutcases around, how in the heck would run the office they are supposed to elect him for.

    Get Real White you just flushed your hopes down the john. I wouldn't vote for you, Democrat or not.

    August 9, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Dave

    Not surprised at this although I am sure it will do nothing to encourage black voters to vote White ! he has about as much chance at winning this election as I do, and I am not running.

    August 9, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. SuperD

    Obama probably has a 20% favorable opinion in Texas.

    Texas don't take kindly to Northeastern Liberals.

    Kudos to Liberals are Poison, those comments a dead on.

    August 9, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    @ Liberals are Poison, Breach, and their ilk.

    Hint: It is less obvious that you are the same person regurgitating the same talking points under different monikers if you (a) wait a little bit between repetetive postings and (b) use different language, metaphors, analogies, etc.

    August 9, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. ST

    Not a surprise! it has become a pattern. Even republicans didn't want to be near "W" before he left the Office.

    August 9, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Blaum

    Wow..... Obama is falling so fast it's ridiculous....

    what does that say when a DEM won't even come out to be with him...

    sorry Barry.....

    August 9, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. ruty

    Another ignorant Texan who is mad that a black man is in the white house. Why oh why don't you seceed and take that redneck cowboy Bush with you.

    August 9, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Vic of New York

    The problem with Bill White is the same problem the Democrats always have... no balls!

    August 9, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. No Incumbents

    Perry the pompous Governor-for-Life wants a photo of himself hugging Obama for his campaign ads. Smart move.

    August 9, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Me

    Even if Bill White does not meet with Obama, he is STILL a better pick than Perry.
    I and many others will STILL vote for Bill White, not BECAUSE he chose not to meet with President Obama but IN SPITE OF the fact that he did not meet with President Obama.

    WHITE '10
    OBAMA '12

    I love election season, don't you?

    August 9, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "If everyone has a college degree, who's going to do the jobs that don't need a college degree? The illegals Obama wants to fast-path to
    US citizenship?"

    No no no, those performing the more menial tasks will most likely be the mulletheaded, myopic conservative ideologues whose brains are cluttered with veiled racism, xenophobic fury and rancorous partisan demogogue talking points, who consider anyone bothering to educate themselves to be an elitist who constitutes a danger to the easily manipulated, malleable populace the GOP seeks to foster.

    August 9, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Joseph


    Ducking appearing with the President? How's that for an "endorsement" by his own party? Down the bowl go the election hopes of the Democrats....

    August 9, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Gail

    Mr. White I still plan on voting for you however you may have lost some votes by this move. I wasn't real please with your decision to not meet the President of the United States.

    August 9, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. worst president....really!!!

    Its very interesting reading the personal opinions and comments from most of the people sharing on this site. An individual said that President Obama was the worst President – hmmm so where were you living for 8 years.
    This nation was going sinking faster than the titantic before the 2008 elections. I ask where were the tea party's and other common sense conservatives...wait let me guess it was ok then because big government wasn't – naw can't be that Bush was stead growing the government – lets just call it for what it is A black man is the leader of the free nation and yall can't stand it!! A Reality needed for most of yall using disagreeing talking points to disguise your true feelings. 1 term huh...guess yall want Sarah Palin to be the leader too...???

    August 9, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Rushs unseen, unheard, staff are the people he has callin to his show

    Perry can eat the yellow snow along with Sarah,the seal basher.

    August 9, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. sonny chapman

    At least Obama has the guts to go to a state that he knows he'll never carry. Bush was too much of a politician & not enough of a President to visit California, a part of the UNITED States of America & home to 20 million people. Bush was okay with being President of 50.0001 % of the country.

    August 9, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Naqib

    Like Rats from a ship...
    Bright enough to distance himself

    August 9, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Buster

    Yeah, of course. These demorats do not want to be seen with nobama and get the kiss of death. Well guess what? To late.

    August 9, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. sammieb51

    Shame on them - bet they are still licking Bush's boots though! This life you get what you give - you give this kind of disrespect to the highest office in the land, you gotta wonder how they will treat all you folks making the small dollars? Be surprised if they win their elections with these attitudes.

    August 9, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. DJ

    obama is poison to the dems. that is why they are running away from him.
    BTW, for all those calling for TX to secede, your're out of your mind. If they were to, the price of gas in the US would instantly go to at $5 a gallon. Do you really want that?

    August 9, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. onlysanetexanleft

    Bill White anf other Dems are listening too much to the tea party and the chattering class in the media. Without President Obama's huge voting block being excited about voting this fall, Dems are going to get waxed.

    August 9, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Jay

    This guy's last name says it all.

    August 9, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Artie

    Like rats deserting a sinking ship !

    August 9, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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