Day 49 of Rick Perry Refusing to Debate: Repub. Consultant Says Bill White is Perry's “Nightmare”

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Rick Perry is scared to debate Bill White. And if you don't believe us, believe the Republicans.

Former Republican Party of Texas Political Director (and a Republican I respect) Royal Masset was quoted in Peggy Fikac's story in the San Antonio Express-News story, “A governor's race without a debate? Maybe.” as follows:

“I think there's a real probability we won't have a debate. I just don't think Rick sees it in his interest to have one,” said Masset, former political director of the Republican Party of Texas. “All he'd be doing is giving name ID to an opponent.”

Masset — who disagrees with those in his party who offer angry rhetoric on issues like immigration — backed U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the GOP primary but plans to vote for Perry in November. Masset noted that voters rarely see an unscripted answer in a debate, but White could bring something different — and that's no advantage to Perry.

“He (White) is plain-spoken. He is very specific-oriented,” Masset said. “He's kind of our nightmare … Why give him a chance?”

The San Antonio Express-News also wrote an editorial over the weekend: “Is Rick Perry afraid to debate?”

This is nothing but a delaying tactic, and not a very transparent one at that. White has made public his tax returns during his entire life in elected public office. The time for Perry’s posturing is over.

In explaining his recent lethal encounter with a coyote, Perry has acknowledged he has a fear of snakes. That’s perfectly understandable, even if his practice of jogging with a laser-sighted sidearm isn’t.

Debates, however, come with the territory of higher office. Unless Perry is also afraid of facing White in a public forum, his campaign needs to drop the contrived demands and get down to negotiating details of the debates everyone knows are going to happen.

Previously on BOR:

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About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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