August 9th, 2010
12:31 PM ET
13 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. Ric NY

    Disgraceful. No respect for the President. If I lived in Texas, I would not vote for you.

    August 9, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Michael in Houston

    Bill White.....if you think you may win some favor/votes among moderates or even some republicans by stading up the Commander in Chief your going to look back on this and regret it big time.

    By not adjusting your schedule for the President, your underestimating the support he stills has in Texas among democrats.

    I cant imagine Ann Richards doing this.

    August 9, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Naqib

    August 9th, 2010 12:36 pm ET

    "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?"

    Don't worry... the Conservatives have been feeding and protecting liberals for decades... no problem... and don't worry about the illegals... the Unions will not let Obama give them right to work status... but he still has to be careful with the votes...

    August 9, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Anthony Beasley

    When I read these comments, I get ever more disgusted by what I'm seeing. I wasn't a Bush supporter, but I thought it was a disgrace for any city leader to act the way politicians are acting when the President is in your town. And now, what really gets me irate is how accepting people are about being simply seen with the President. As a black man, I feel even more disrespected than I've been by people who have begrudgingly called me the N-word. And the for people to promote it as an accepted behavior is more disturbing. I want to believe in equality and race doesn't matter, but it does. People didn't agree with

    August 9, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Bob in PA

    When will the American Taxpayer stop having to foot the bill for political campaigns ? When the pres goes to bat for someone, that persons political campaign should be required to reimburse us for the full amount of Travel and Security expenses involved. Doesn't matter if Dem or Rep. This is wasteful spending and should be banned. No President should be allowed to use their public political office and resources to endorse a canidate.

    August 9, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Please, this is no different than a Republican in MA distancing himself from the Teatards in order to avoid losing votes from those independents who are more centrist, etc. Just ask Tealiban-hero-who-ignores-them, Scott Brownshirt. If elected, White will start working with the administration pronto and even virulently red Texans will get the know, because actually bothering to do things instead of running around hooting and hollerin in a cowboy hat, popping a semi every time someone mentions gun rights, confederacy or secession...well, because that's what the governor gets paid for, doing things, not toeing a party line ideology that dictates "gubmint wurks best by not working, ergo, I'mma do nuffin."

    August 9, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. kcp

    Wow, Bill White will not appear along side President Obama, and Rick Perry will have a "brief" conversation about immgration reform! LOL!!! What a joke................the one good thing about moving east as you leave the Texas Border, racism is open and tranparent.........but you Texans are the most "closeted racially prejudiced people" I ever encountered on both sides; Democratic or Republican. Bill White secretly is a Republican.........Lol!!!!! Go fiqure!

    August 9, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Liberals are poison

    I don't have to change my moniker to post on this ragsite. It appears that my post has resonated with the majority of Texans who are sick of Obama and his welfare slug followers. We are looking forward to many black conservative Republicans taking their oath of office come January. You can keep calling us racist redneck trash, but in truth; we all are sick of socialists/marxists/liberals of all colors and persuasions. It was only when "real men" tamed the west, when pansy liberals snuck in to suck off of the fruits of our hard earned labor. You might want to consider why states like Texas who are run by conservatives are not suffering from massive entitlement deficits. You probably live in California, New York, or Michigan that cater to your
    every need; therefore, you are totally dependant on them to change your diaper too.

    August 9, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Bill

    Twice snubbed? Cross those states of the good state list!

    August 9, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. SAY WHAT...

    Bad move!!!

    August 9, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    As a Texas X, I only hope that state goes blue. This current Gov. cannot continue to lead this beautiful state down the drain. Education has fallen to the bottom on US standards. I miss the time of Ann Richards.

    August 9, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Chris

    Just shows who is willing to debate the issues and who believes in what the say. Right or wrong you have to give Perry his due for showing up to talk about issues.

    August 9, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Sheila

    Mr.White is playing games that he will win votes from the GOP side but this might cause close him votes in large cities like Dallas and Houston that has a large black voting block. I have seem this game placed many time and it casue your base to stay home in November when you need you base to come out to vote

    August 9, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Ellie Light

    will not meet with OBumbles - imagine that

    surprized Obumbles didnt have Michelle Antoinette call and espout
    "thats okay - let them eat cake"

    August 9, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    @Liberals are poison & every other name you are using to get a NULL and VOID point across...

    To know a ROACH means you have ROACHES!!! That says a lot about how you live and what level of society you are on!!!! Ignorant!

    August 9, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Chris

    LOL, its so good to be a republican and not remember the last 8 years. You want to talk about the worst president ever. Least obama never started two wars based on lies, put wire tapping on all americans, let 9/11 happen, ousted a cia agent, never took more vacations like the last guy, raised taxes on the middle class while giving tax breaks to the wealthy. If he does one of those, then I can agree he is a bad president but till that happens, grow up

    August 9, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. T'SAH from Virginia

    @ Sniffit – I would love to see you in a debate – especially against all of the morons like "Breach", et al!!!!!!

    Thanks CNN for printing how IGNORANT some people can be who talk off the top of their heads – not thinking – showing how small their brains are when it comes to trying to resolve REAL ISSUES. Oh I think they have a name – the RepubliCAN'Ts!!!

    August 9, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. San Antonio Progressive

    White is a fine man an well above the sleazy politics of Pretty Hair Perry. Bill White is a public servant of the highest order and yet I fear the Texas voters will once again fall prey to the dirt-slinging tricks of the GOP. We'd rather have a crook with good hair than a proven leader.

    August 9, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Chilton

    What this article doesn't point out is that just a few days before, Perry didn't show up for a newspaper interview in one of the most conservative towns in Texas (College Station), because he was in California. White showed up.

    August 9, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. DeportMexicans

    Finally even the democrats dont want anything to do with this fool

    August 9, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. I hate liars

    @proudmemeberoftheunpatrioticmob: you need to leave the country dunce your wasting oxygen foolish.Dmn trolls i hate em.

    August 9, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. All the news that is fit to omit

    Sniffit, for the record, after reading your garbage day after day after day, I can honestly say you are a nitwit and like Obama, a progressive loser that has never worked a day in your life.

    I know nothing of the color of your skin and I despise you, just like Oweblamo, based on words and dumb headed deeds, not skin tone.

    Support Allen West – Republican Florida................

    August 9, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Take America Back: from Texas

    Who can blame him????? If I was a Liberal Democrat I wouldn't know O_ _ _ _ _ or "whats-his-name" know.....the one who was going to clean the seas, change the world, and make all people equal.......that know.......I wouldn't support his agenda either, I too would say; "I was making money in the oil patch when that guy was a Community Organizer" .....I too would oppose ObamaCare, Government takeovers, entitlements, Cap & Trade, etc too!

    August 9, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. hawk

    At what point did Bill White indicate that he wouldn't meet with Obama because he was black? What is with all of these accusations of racism? Is this just the norm now anytime a white person disagrees with a black person? Unbelievable.

    August 9, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Take America Back: from Texas

    Hey Snifit....( or whatever "it" is) and all you other Zombie Obambi followers......If you will do some investigating (of which I doubt you are capable) you will discover that by far the majority of Democrat voting individuals are actually those who do NOT have an acreditable fact; most are receiving some type of entiltlement, thus actually causing them to have NO desire to work for a living. It is always Democrats who create the entitlements the mind-numb clamor see, the Liberal Dem wants nothing more than to have these entitlement suckers looking to them for instructions!
    What does all this mean? It means you are narcistic and obtuse!

    August 9, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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