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. Donald

    neo cons r too funny, lol.

    August 9, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Mesa Mick

    And TX, like GA and AZ wonder why they never get a break from the Obama adminstration. Ya think snubbing the POTUS in a red state 'cause he's black might have anything to do with it? Nah, just "coincidence".

    These "closet racist" blue dog political hacks should be running for dog catcher of Krackerville not state or federal offices...

    August 9, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. john

    Bush performed much no doubt. So far, Obama's performance is below that of Jimmy Carter who everyone knows really did bad even Democrats agree. Only time will tell if Obama really did something good for America or will only be known in history as the first black president and nothing else.

    August 9, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    If they can't support him, then he shouldn't be there to raise money to help them or the other state candidates.
    Politca sucks and is getting worse.

    August 9, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Mike in SA

    Yet another Democratic candidate hiding from the President. Obama should probably get used to that.

    August 9, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Mark from Louisiana

    That's funny, when White was mayor of Houston he turned it into a sanctuary city, seems like he and obama have a lot in common.

    August 9, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Monica

    How disappointing to stand up the President. Very poor taste

    August 9, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Gaylon Barrow NOT ASHAMED for the truth!!!

    White said you got to be kidding to expect for me to be seen with the Anti-Christ.

    August 9, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Ben

    Sniffit – "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"

    More of your inane Liberal drivel, eh? You seriously need to get educated.

    Sniffit is sniffing glue again.

    August 9, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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