No calls at all from White House? That doesn’t ring true

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By W. Gardner Selby

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!

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