On Tuesday, Bill White spoke at an event hosted by the Texas Tribune. During the course of the interview, White refused to pledge that he would cut taxes as Governor, or that he would not raise taxes as Governor. When Texas Tribune CEO noted that he may have handed Rick Perry ammo for the fall campaign, White shrugged his shoulders and said, “they'll mislead people anyway…”
Watch it for yourself here:
As Evan predicted, Rick Perry and his Perry-bot supporters immediately latched onto White's refusal to say whethere he would cut taxes or not raise taxes until he could “look under the hood” and look at what the budget was like. Many reporters, still trapped in a “gotcha journalism” mentality, quickly pounded away at their keyboards and repeated Rick Perry's attacks with glee.
Jason Embry with the Austin American-Statesman, however, did not. And wow, was it refreshing.
From his column in today's paper, titled, “White avoids tax promise, just as Perry did”:
Perry's campaign staff and his vast web of former staffers and advisers love to work themselves into a lather whenever an opponent gives them an opening for criticism. They hit the phones, call their favorite reporters and ask some variation of, “Can you believe he (or, in the primary, she) would say that? At a time like this?”
In 2002, a gubernatorial candidate declined to promise that he would resign if he signed a tax increase.
“Hypotheticals are fun, but the bottom line is people of the state of Texas want to hear the governor talk about how he's going to make the budget work, and that's what I've done over the course of this campaign.” That candidate was Rick Perry.