Texas Fires Pull Rick Perry From Presidential Forum

Rick Perry may be running for president but the GOP candidate still has to govern the state of Texas. With the recent outbreak of wildfires, Perry is pulling himself from the GOP forum in South Carolina to return to Texas to deal with the situation.

Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for Rick Perry, said in a statement:

“Governor Perry is canceling the remainder of his South Carolina schedule today, including the Palmetto Freedom Forum and tomorrow’s California schedule, to return to Texas. Governor Perry’s first priority is to the people of Texas during this natural disaster.”

Perry was scheduled to join Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and three other Republican candidates at a South Carolina forum sponsored by Senator Jim DeMint.

The New York Times reports that Perry is still scheduled to head to California on Wednesday for a nationally televised debate.

According to the governor’s office, wildfires in Texas have torched more than 3.5 million acres and destroyed more than 728 homes. Perry told all Texans to be careful over the Labor Day weekend and re-issued an emergency disaster proclamation for all 254 counties.

USA Today reports that Perry’s administration has criticized Obama for not offering Texas enough aid to deal with the wildfires. Of course, Obama’s administration says that it has provided more than enough help through FEMA.

Before Perry left for Texas, he appeared at a South Carolina town hall, where he fired a shot at Romney.

Perry said:

“There is no one who’s gonna be sitting on that stage [at the debate in California] who has the record of job creation I have. There’s one in particular who’s created jobs all around the world. While he was the governor of Massachusetts he didn’t create many jobs.”

Romney will get his chance to debate the Texas Governor directly on Wednesday, when a few more punches are expected to be thrown.