No calls at all from White House? That doesn’t ring true
Gov. Rick Perry, who seems to relish bashing Washington, suggested a complete lack of outreach by President Barack Obama and the White House in a Fox News Channel interview last week.
Speaking to anchor Neil Cavuto, Perry said: “We don’t get a lot of calls from this White House.” Asked about his relations with the Democrat’s administration, the Republican governor said, “I have, frankly, never had a call from them.” He added: “They may have checked in at some staff levels that I’m not aware of.”
We asked Perry’s office for elaboration on his no-call status with Obama and also contacted the White House, whose spokesman, Matt Lehrich, disputed Perry’s description.
Lehrich pointed us to indications that Perry has been part of White House conference calls.
On April 29, according to a news release on
the White House website, the president called Perry and the other governors of states on the Gulf of Mexico “to discuss the BP oil spill situation and assure the governors that the administration will continue to use every single available resource at our disposal in the response efforts.”
The release continues: “The president described the range of federal actions that are un- derway to respond to the spill and stressed the importance of maintaining close coordination with the governors as this event continues to evolve. All of the governors appreciated the call and the actions being taken by the federal government.”
An earlier release, from July 6, 2009, says Perry was among five governors to participate in a conference call with Vice President Joe Biden.
Of late, Lehrich said in an e-mail, Perry has been invited to be on a call with senior administration officials involved in the response to the oil spill every day since May 4. Perry “has participated on a number of those calls and has been represented by his staff on many more,” Lehrich said.
We shared this information with Perry’s office and got no response.
Next, we checked Perry’s state schedule covering April 1 to mid-July. Perry’s schedule for June 29 has this entry at 8:15 a.m.: “Phone Call: White House Intergovernmental Affairs/BP Oil Spill.”
Does the Democratic presi- dent routinely seek the Texas Republican’s counsel? We doubt it.
But both the White House’s information and Perry’s own schedule contradict his claim he’s never had a call from this White House.
Presuming his state schedule reflects what actually happened, Perry got such a call two weeks before the Fox interview aired.
Pants on Fire!