LIVEBLOG – Rick Perry Campaign Tries to Host Press Conference at TCDP Coordinated Campaign

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I will be live-blogging for the next hour or so. Latest updates will be atop the post.

3:33pm – Starting to get press reports in. Here's a video report from the Texas Tribune:

The Austin American-Statesman has issued a report as well:

Dems hijack Perry press conference

If there was a political lesson to be learned today, it was this: Don’t hold a press availability at your opponent’s headquarters.

While Gov. Rick Perry was in China, his campaign spokesman called a curbside press event in front of the office of Travis County Democrats’ coordinated campaign, which serves as the local campaign office for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White and all other Democrats running for office in Travis County.

Mark Miner, Perry’s mouthpiece, stood in the early afternoon’s sweltering heat – in a dark suit nonetheless – to try to talk to members of the Capitol press corps.

But unless you were standing inches from the sweaty Miner, you couldn’t hear anything but the chants of Democratic campaign workers, one of whom donned a chicken outfit.

“Rick Chicken Perry,” they squawked. “Debate Bill now.”

Rick Perry's team only learned that today? They are far, far, far less smart than everyone thinks.

3:07pm – This image says it all. Photo courtesy of Katherine Haenschen, of Burnt Orange Report! (Working on a full slideshow now):

2:16pm – Photo, courtesy of Elise Hu's twitter feed. That is Mark Miner in the suit on the left.

1:58pm – Mark Miner just got thoroughly and sufficiently pwned. I'm working on a recap right now. Will have photos ASAP. There is no way to say how badly that went for Rick Perry's campaign team. They showed up and tried to have a political stunt on the front doors of Bill White's Austin office, and they failed miserably. There is no more excuses — Rick Perry has to debate.

1:34pm – This is the least successful press conference in the history of political campaigns. Over 60 people with signs, chanting “DEBATE BILL NOW” and “RICK CHICKEN PERRY.” So proud to be a Democrat today.

1:30pm – The press conference is preparing to begin.

1:28pm – A chicken costume has now appeared. The crowd chants “RICK CHICKEN PERRY! RICK CHICKEN PERRY! RICK CHICKEN PERRY!”

1:24pm — Has there ever been a worse idea? Rick Perry's campaign team is overwhelmed as Democrats chant, “DEBATE BILL NOW!”

1:22pm — The three Rick Perry people look overwhelmed and sheepish. They've been burned, overwhelmed, and out-messaged, and they know it.

1:17PM – Perry's campaign only has 3 people here. There are at least 60 Democratic volunteers holding signs that say “Perry stop hiding“, “Where oh where is Governor good hair?“, and “$18 Billion Reasons to Debate.” Democrats have overwhelmed Rick Perry's press conference.

1:10pm – I'm sitting with State Representative Mark Strama, who will be available to answer questions today. I asked him what he thought about Rick Perry refusing to debate. His response:

“The people of Texas deserve to hear where they are on the issues, and if Rick Perry has something to say about Bill White's successful business career, he can say so in the debate.”

–State Representative Mark Strama

1:06pm — The message for Democrats — who are gathering now at the headquarters — is clear: Rick Perry is too chicken to debate Bill White and answer questions about his $18 billion budget deficit. If you want to come by the headquarters, the office is located at 605 W. 13th St.., Austin, Texas.

1:05pm – Rick Perry's campaign team has called a press conference at the Travis County Democratic Party (TCDP) and Bill White Austin headquarters to make up some more excuses about why Rick Perry is too afraid to debate Bill White. I'll be live-blogging from the press conference — and I'll do my best to update with photos, video, etc. as the event goes on.



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.


  1. Need two chicken suits
    Should appear at all Perry events, arguing Miller Lite style:

    Chicken suit 1: Skeert to debate!

    Chicken suit 2: Skeert of snakes!

    Chicken suit 1: Skeert to debate!

    Chicken suit 2: Skeert of snakes!

  2. Why?
    I am unclear on why he decided to have a presser at the TCDP coordinated campaign headquarters. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why he selected this location?

    • Maybe
      Maybe he was gonna put on  facade of challenging Bill White on something and going directly to his office to do so?  Also a way to grab the media.

      I didn't realize at first that he was actually a Rick Perry spokesperson, I'm surprised he went through with it.

  3. mommymommybear on

    Roast that Chicken
    This is too funny. Perry leaves the country and his team pulls a publicity stunt that's good for Bill White. You Go Camp Strama, love the photo-op with Gov.Chicken!

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