Perry says he's not focused on politics but fires
September 5th, 2011
08:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Perry says he's not focused on politics but fires

(CNN) – As wildfires continue to ravage the Texas landscape, presidential candidate Rick Perry said his mind is on the Lone Star State this week, not politics.

“I’m not paying any attention to politics right now,” the Texas governor said at a press conference in Bastrop County Monday. “There’s plenty of time to take care of that. People’s lives are in danger. That’s substantially more important.”

His statement was met with applause.

Perry is slated to attend his first 2012 GOP presidential debate Wednesday in California. While he canceled his California schedule for Tuesday, he didn’t indicate whether he’s still going to the debate later this week.

Perry skipped a Labor Day presidential forum in South Carolina earlier in the day to fly home and deal with the situation.

GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, who hosted the forum, said he was disappointed that Perry couldn’t make the event but understood the governor’s reason for canceling.

“I don’t blame him at all. I think he needed to be at home in Texas,” DeMint told CNN’s John King. “He promised to make up for it by doubling his commitment in South Carolina, so we’ll work through that.”

Due to an historic drought coupled with high winds, Texas has been fighting a relentless battle with wildfires since the season began in November.

A record 3.5 million acres – roughly the size of Connecticut - have been destroyed, marking the worst wildfire season the state has ever experienced.

“I’ve seen a number of big fires in my life,” Perry said. “This one is as mean-looking as I’ve ever seen.”

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. LouAz

    Oh. pray for rain Parry, pray !

    September 5, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. SecedingfromTexas

    Didn't see in the report that FEMA will be here tomorrow. Parry should be here, glad he cancelled Tuesday in
    California, should have cancelled Wednesday too. We'll see, maybe he will. No kudos, we pay him to do this.

    September 5, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This makes sense to be in the state during a disaster unlike what Christie did during a major snow storm. Perry needs to show what else he can offer other than knowing to go back to his state when a disaster strikes. I just don't know what he really has to offer the country because he wants dismantal the federal government like other tea people. Does he and other really understand what the federal government does for people? It seems that they don't.

    September 5, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. there is profit in fear.....aka payback

    ...I would like to wish the decent people of texas, well. As the battle with Mother Nature. As for perry, I thought, your saviour. Would respond to the prayers of your tea(christian)party crowd ?.......I guess, not.....she or he doesn't listen to hypocrites.........and false prophets...........

    September 5, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    And if he gets in the WH even more us folks around this country will have our lives in danger. Since we're people and NOT CORPORATIONS, we get pushed aside (except for the wealthiest donors to their campaigns).

    September 5, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. Eckart jordan

    Someones afraid to answer tough questions

    September 5, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    nnt one one of of those demons mention god did they phoney phoney people wake up and see these demons they are out to destory us.

    September 5, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. timz

    Isn't it about time for Michele Bachmann to tell us that God is burning Texas to send Rick Parry a message that he shouldn't be running against her?

    September 5, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  9. Dee

    My heart goes out to the people of Texas but the fire has been burning for a long time but not to that extent now Perry needs to go back and see about his constituents.

    I understand he is known to pull out of debates, dictates and he talks about government intrusion and the President so badly how is he going to ask for help for his state or will his rich friends take care of everything. With all the devastation that is happening in this country, government has to play a role in helping people to get back on their feet. Perry wanted to succeed from the United States I am anxious to see how he will solve this problem. You have to be careful with the rhetoric that you spew because you never know who you might need.

    His big mouth is going to hurt the people of Texas because of his hate for the government and President Obama.
    Texans we pray for you and your families. You need to vote people out who do not have your interest in the next election.

    September 5, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    so that gov help is need

    September 5, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  11. thomas

    Sounds like old Rick Perry is leading from behind again .
    He should have spent more on prevention as Governor , he says his state has a surplus. Last year the fires were bad , the year before was bad , what did he expect would change?

    Leading from behind !

    It's sad for those who lost homes , my heart goes out to them for having a negligent Governor !

    Perry = Enron

    September 5, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  12. madmadda

    Clearly this conflagration is gods way of telling rick perry to quit invoking his name as part of the govenors overwhelming ambition towards power

    September 5, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. Tony in Maine

    What is it with Texas governors – they can only do one thing at a time?

    And the one thing he's doing is politickin'

    And if you believe the big show about Slick Rick rushing home to direct the firefighting, I have a bridge to sell you.

    September 5, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. Russell Brown

    The lights of G-D surround Texas
    The love of G-d enfolds Texas
    The power OF G-d protects Texas
    The presence of G-d watch over Texas
    our prays and love are with Texas my G-d keep Texas safe and out of harms way.

    September 5, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. diridi

    I think this idiot needs to shut up....He does not know where is India, where is Burma...o.k, just ignorant idiot...

    September 5, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. G

    Candidates for Potus should exemplify qualities of a good leader by being cable of performing multiple tasks at the same time. Rick Perry should be able to both manage the wildfire crisis in Texas and effectively run a political campaign without missing a step.

    Rick Perry has to oversee only one state, whereas, President Obama has to govern all fifty states. President Obama has had to deal with oil spills, tornados, floods, hurricanes, and perform his legislative duties.

    September 5, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  17. EmDub

    I wonder how long it will be before Gov. Perry asks for help from the feds– fire fighting, reconstruction money, aid for those displaced, etc.

    A common practice I've seen among conservatives is that they tell the feds to get the h@ll out of their lives.... until something goes wrong, then they cry for help as loudly and fervently as anyone else.

    September 5, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. G

    Will Rick Perry or won't Rick Perry show up at the presidential debate scheduled for Wednesday?

    September 5, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  19. Larry L

    How well did that prayer thing work out for you? Idiot.

    September 5, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    These fires have been raging for over a month now ... Parry's just using them as an excuse to not have to face tough questions about his lousy job-creation record or how he rails against the Stimulus bill, while at the same time, he took several millions to renovate the Texas Gov's mansion ...

    September 5, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  21. T'sah from Virginia

    “I’m not paying any attention to politics right now,”
    So I will LEAVE the stage NOW and take my BOW!!
    “There’s plenty of time to take care of that.”
    As long as I don’t have to debate and all of that crap!!

    I’ve heard a lot of people from Texas blog today and the message I got – Perry is full of SHITzkabob!!!

    September 5, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  22. teetard

    This after talking to god! He must not be listening to good looking rascal.

    September 5, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  23. Liberal Friend

    3.5 million acres... God bless you, Texas. I don't know what else to say...

    September 5, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. Discernment


    To be President, you must be able to walk and chew gum simultaneously.

    Naturally, I am sympathetic for the tough times Texas is experiencing. But it is NOT clear to me why Rick Perry could not spend an evening in South Carolina introducing his ideas to America and then go back to Texas by midnight. Unless he has no detail ideas and solutions to present, and he was not ready for primetime. Be honest, Perry used the fires in Texas to bail out of the fires South Carolina.

    President Obama successfully walks and chews gum every day. Yesterday he was in Hurricane Irene savaged New Jersey in support of Republican Chris Christie; and today Obama is in Detroit in support of Unions and the auto industry; all while still preparing to unveil his national jobs plan on Thursday night.

    September 5, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. T in Dallas

    Keep Perry out of Texas! We don't want him back! He'll just come here and put "Tea Party" spin on it. But I guess he could "Make it rain" with his $6B rainy day fund to put out the fires maybe hire some of those out of work school teachers. Out of town workers need not apply as these jobs have no benefits and pay minimum wage. I heard he told Obama to keep any Federal money as it would be hypocritical of him to take a dime of the governments money for a STATE problem.

    September 5, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
1 2