After loads of tough talk, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) caved and will take part in a roundtable discussion with the president when he visits Texas.
At his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “When Governor Perry sent a letter to the White House yesterday indicating a desire to meet with the president, we thought it made sense here to extend an invitation to Governor Perry to allow him to participate in that meeting with other Texans who are seeking to address the situation in a constructive manner, so we’re looking forward to Governor Perry participating in that meeting.” The Press Secretary also said that if Rick Perry is a good boy, he might get a private meeting with Obama, or to put it another way, Earnest said that the administration hasn’t ruled out a private meeting with Perry.
Perry’s spokesperson issued a laughable statement that tried to take credit for the already planned White House roundtable, “Gov. Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border, and he looks forward to meeting with the president tomorrow.”
There are several factual issues with Gov. Perry’s version of events. The roundtable was going to happen whether Perry attended or not. Gov. Perry originally wanted a private meeting with Obama. Instead, he is getting a seat at the table with other political and faith leaders. Lastly, Perry didn’t get anything that he wanted from the president, so it is dishonest and disingenuous for the governor to try to spin this as the president acting on his invitation.
What really happened was that behind the tough talk of demanding a private meeting, Rick Perry really wanted to be seen on the same stage as the president. The rhetoric was for Republican primary voters. In reality, Perry couldn’t pass up face time with POTUS. Plus, Perry can still claim that he really showed Obama by not meeting him at the airport.
Rick Perry has stayed strong and not violated the Republicans’ no touching the black president rule yet. Otherwise, this whole episode of right-wing political performance art has been a gigantic failure for Perry. If Rick Perry is what passes for presidential timber in the GOP, Hillary Clinton could have a very easy time of it in 2016.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association