We knew all along that Gov. Rick Perry was hyping Bill White’s tax returns for a reason. We just weren’t sure what for and we never thought he would use it as a lame excuse to duck debating Bill White. As BOR so aptly points out, 190 Days Until the Election and Rick Perry is Already Scared to Debate Bill White, he’s never taken issue with Dewhurst failing to release his tax returns, ever.
This has to be one of the most chicken-moves imaginable. The Perry campaign is terrified — absolutely terrified — of standing next to Bill White and defending their record. Perry already skipped out on all newspaper endorsement meetings in his primary race against Hutchison, knowing full well that his repetitive history of lies could not stand the scrutiny of their honest fact-checking and reasonable requests for responsible solutions.
It’s a cowards play, and a pretty weak one at that. Rick Perry thinks Bill White should release random tax returns from obscure years when he wasn’t running for statewide office — a standard that doesn’t measure up to what Perry himself has done. Moreover, Perry’s own Lieutenant Governor, David Dewhurst, has failed to release a single one of his tax returns.
Finally — Rick, if you think these damn tax returns are so important, why don’t you stand next to Bill White in front of a television camera and say so?
The answer is clear: Rick Perry is terrified to stand next to Bill White and defend his record.
More on this at Letters From Texas, Interoffice Memorandum to Governor Perry.
White’s campaign puts it in the proper perspective, it’s not Perry’s decision, via Elise Hu.
White’s team says the power lies in the sponsor’s hands. “It’s up to WFAA and Belo to decide the criteria. Rick Perry’s playing a political game here with WFAA,” said Katy Bacon, the White campaign’s spokesperson. “It’s their choice, not his choice. If Rick Perry doesn’t want to debate, he should just say so. As usual, he’s just playing politics instead of focusing on Texas and Texas’ future. This is his way of trying to avoid the debate.”
Schedule the debates and if Perry doesn’t show up that’s his choice. I’m sure Burka will have a post up soon telling us why this is bad for White and good for Perry’s presidential aspirations in 2012.