Politics

Rick Perry Skips Visit to Texas Wildfire Scene

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Perry is coming under fire in Texas for seemingly not paying enough attention to the historic wildfires burning in his home state.

The New York Daily News reports that the Texas governor cancelled a visit and a news conference in fire-ravaged Bastrop County at the last minute on Saturday. The Associated Press reports local officials briefed reporters without him. 

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"He's in Austin," Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said.

Another spokeswoman told the Texas Tribune that Perry would not have been able to make the news conference without forcing everybody to wait for him.

Last week Perry did the right thing and canceled a campaign event in South Carolina to go back home and deal with the fires. But then he turned around and flew to California for a fundraising event, according to the Chicago Tribune.

A member of Perry's team commented that fundraising was "going like wildfire" -- probably not the best choice of words.

CNN reports that at last count 179 fires have burned 170,686 acres of land in Texas over the past week -- the worst fires in state history.